Thoughts for The New Year

– Posted in: Miscellaneous

When I went to visit a museum this past week, Eretz Israel, which focuses on the history and culture of the Land of Israel, I stumbled upon an exhibit,  the winners of the 2009 World Press Photo Competition. The photos, divided into several categories, captured my attention because of their beauty, subject matter and  depiction of the interdependent relationship of nature and humankind.

The above photograph, taken by Fu Yongjun of China, shows “a peach tree beside West Lake in Hangzhou City, Zhejiang province, eastern China.  The lake is one of China’s most noted natural resorts and features on the back of the 1 Yuan bill.”

The beauty of Fu Yongjun’s work, which won 2nd place in the Nature Stories category, is that all of the photos were taken at the same location. To observe how this landscape changes throughout the seasons is a subtly breathtaking mini-exhibition in its own right.

The photo above by Yasuyoshi Chiba, the winner of  People In The News category, grabbed  me because of how the textured, muted landscape contrasts so vividly with the people walking down the hill. Imagine my surprise when I looked more closely and read this description: “Warriors clash with members of the Kalenjin tribe using bows and arrows, in western Kenya in March. Old rivalries resurfaced between the tribes in the aftermath of Kenya’s disputed general elections, held the previous December. Unlike the rioting in the rest of the country, conflicts were strictly codified according to age-old traditions. Archers fired salvos at each other in daily contests, seldom engaging in close combat.”

What did I take away with me from this exhibition? Here are my thoughts.

Whether in war torn areas of the world,








as shown in these 2 photos by Li Jiejun of China, whose photo of the Falling Soldier took 3rd prize stories at the 2009 World Photo Competition






In Assisi, Italy, captivated by a breathtaking view…

Stumbling upon a vertical garden on a hidden street in Tel Aviv…

Meandering through a grove of blooming rhododendrons in a garden abutting the Pacific Ocean…

Visiting a spring garden in Philadelphia…

Or shopping at a market filled with fresh fruits and vegetables…

Wherever we happen to land, it doesn’t matter. As long as we’re breathing, we have the opportunity to experience nature’s power and how it is inextricably linked with us. My wish for this coming year, 2010, is that we take the time to see, smell, touch, hear and feel this pulsating force: so that eventually all of humankind will live a more conscious existence, one filled with grace, appreciation, humility and abundance.

Fran Sorin

Fran is the author of the highly-acclaimed book, Digging Deep: Unearthing Your Creative Roots Through Gardening, which Andrew Weil, M.D., recommends as "a profound and inspiring book."  

A graduate of the University of Chicago with Honors in Psychology, she is also a gardening and creativity expert, coach, inspirational speaker, CBS radio news gardening correspondent, and Huffington Post Contributor.

Learn more about Fran and get free resources that will help you improve your life at

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Fran Sorin
6 Comments… add one

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Les December 29, 2009, 8:21 am

Thanks for the wonderul wish and the fantastic link.

With pleasure. Have a beautiful New Year. Fran

Allan Becker December 29, 2009, 12:33 pm

Thank you for the links to the World Press Competition and to the Eretz Israel Museum. Both are simply awesome. I was very excited with the scope of exhibits currently on display at the Museum. That will be a “must see” destination when I visit the Middle East at the end of next August.

Dear Allen,
I’m so glad you enjoyed them. The museum is really, really fine and is a little gem on the outskirts of Tel Aviv which alot of people miss when visiting. And the photo competition, as you saw, needs no words. Have a wonderful, healthy New Year! Fran

jodi (bloomingwriter) December 29, 2009, 12:39 pm

Fran, this is amazing. I love your observations at the end of the post, and join you in your wish.

You’re a sweetheart. Am glad you share my sentiments. Fran

Helen December 29, 2009, 2:26 pm

Thank you for showing us these amazing photos – I think your words summed them up wonderfully

Dear Helen,
Am glad you enjoyed. Have a wonderful New Year! Fran

Jim December 29, 2009, 5:57 pm

Thanks for the wonderful sentiment at the end of the post. I’ll be in Tel Aviv the week of Jan. 18 – any gardening destinations I should keep in mind? The Eretz Israel Museum may become part of our itinerary now.

Dear Jim,
Yes I do:
Tel Aviv University Museum
Jerusalem Botanical Gardens
Bahai Gardens
Ramat Hanadiv Gardens http(//

Hope this is hopeful and have a wonderful trip. The weather has been beautiful with flowers in their 2nd bloom because of the rain! Fran

healingmagichands January 4, 2010, 10:34 am

Fran, I have long believed that if all humans were in touch with the pulse of nature, as you so poignantly express, we would all be better off. The people in power in the world are all far too divorced from the real world, insulated from it by power and wealth.

The picture of the fallen soldier in the surf zone made me very sad. But it is an awesome post, and well done.

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