Nun’s wimples or a simple cyclamen?

IMG_0140white cyclamen.PNG


Winter has started and don’t the cyclamen know it! The fag-end of our autumn came with a furious storm that felled more than just trees, it also brought the return of a terrible drought. Sydney with its inhabitants of over 5 million and 650 suburbs is now again on water restrictions. Only hand-held hoses for watering gardens is allowed and strict penalties apply for contravening this law. In the past neighbours were encouraged to dob in those that would sneak out at the hollow of the night and furtively watered their beloved lawns. Short showers and single toilet flushing are now advised but still allowed, but for how long? ( ‘If its yellow let it mellow, if its brown flush it down,’ was a voluntary policy hailed by our Government as a resounding success during the last drought)

Our main water supply is behind a large concrete dam named Warragamba. it holds more in fresh water than Sydney’s harbour but it’s level is now at 50% which is the reason for automatic placing of water restrictions. The storms and unusual warm weather patterns are blamed for the water shortage with evaporation and  ageing bursting water infrastructures adding to its woes. Each time you get a return taxation credit in your mail in tax, you will get less service and more burst water mains.

But, I am all set on the beauty of life and the cyclamen I photographed today is proof of my determination to persevere in seeking beauty and avoid any thing detrimental to that pursuit, including the possible premature anticipation of not flushing the toilet in order to save Sydney water.  In any case we don’t live in Sydney and as far as I know we still have adequate water. On the farm we always had to be very careful with water as the only water we had is what we collected from our roofs. and stored in many tanks.

We always saved the water from our washing machine and used it to flush toilets and water the plants. Brushing teeth would never be done under a running tap and as for the dish washer, we never used it.

But now back to the cyclamen. I seem to not get away from thinking about nuns when I look at that photo and am curious if some viewers feel the same. It is not often anymore that one sees nuns wearing their long habits while wearing veils or wimples.

Here a poem by Gerard Manly Hopkins.


  • A nun takes the veil
  • I have desired to go
  • Where springs not fail,
  • To fields where flies no sharp and sided hail
  • And a few lilies blow.
  • And I have asked to be
  • Where no storms come,
  • Where the green swell is in the havens dumb,
  • And out of the swing of the sea.


Tags: , , , , , ,

34 Responses to “Nun’s wimples or a simple cyclamen?”

  1. leggypeggy Says:

    Canberra has adequate water for the time being, but we try so hard to be careful.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. freefall852 Says:

    A poem by Joseph “manly” Carli…

    When a catholic priest goes to a convent to hear the confessions of the nuns there, it is said he goes to ;”Dust the Lillies”….the lillies, of course, being the ;”Lillies of the fields”…: The nuns.

    “Dusting the lillies”.

    Wither goest thou, Father John,
    On such a splendid day?
    Do you follow whimsy’s course,
    A carefree wanderer…say?
    A laugh, a smile, pause a while..
    Then, cautious answer, yea..
    “I go toward yonder gate,
    Under stately blue-gum tree.
    There, (with blessings of God)..
    I go to ‘dust the lillies’.
    To dust the lillies gently,
    Lest such petals fade and die.
    I’ll embrace their hips,
    Kiss their lips,
    And whisper a little white lie!”

    Liked by 3 people

  3. gerard oosterman Says:

    I am sure the lilies would have appreciated the attention, Joe. Have you ever had ambitions in joining the men of the cloth?

    Liked by 1 person

    • freefall852 Says:

      “. . . joining the men of the cloth?”…..funny you should ask that…yes…I’d like to join many of the less holy ones together with a heavy chain at the waist and drop them into the ocean!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. janesmudgeegarden Says:

    I think nun’s wimples is a terrific description for your cyclamen and your photo is very beautiful. We don’t have restrictions here yet, but I don’t think it will be long.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. doesitevenmatter3 Says:

    Good poem and photo, Gerard! The cyclamen definitely make me think of nuns, too! 🙂
    When we first moved to California, they were in a seven year drought…we had to learn how to conserve water severely…you mentioned some of the ways. And we learned that little potty-rhyme, too. There were huge fines $$$ for not following the rules. I put buckets in the shower to catch the water and used it to water my houseplants. It worked. 🙂 Had to get creative.
    Best wishes…water restrictions are rough and the thought of even less water is scary. 😦

    Liked by 2 people

  6. doesitevenmatter3 Says:

    PS…I don’t know if I ever told you…my parent’s weren’t Catholic, but they named me after a nun who became their friend. I found it funny and ironic…me, named after a nun!!! 😉 😮 😀

    Liked by 3 people

  7. shoreacres Says:

    Here’s something I just realized. One of my readers lives in Oostburg, Wisconsin. I finally snapped to and went looking — sure enough, the village was settled by immigrants from the Dutch town of the same name.

    There’s a certain place at my apartment building where water comes down from the roof during a good rain and splashes onto a concrete walkway. I carry my buckets down there and collect rainwater for my plants. Not only is it a way of using some of that “free water,” the rainwater’s much better for the plants than the treated water that comes through the faucets. When our town was just using chlorine in water treatment, you could let water sit in a bucket and the chlorine would evaporate out. Now, they’re using chloromines, which is a chlorine/ammonia combo, and that stuff stays in the water and turns plants yellow.

    You’re on target with the wimple analogy. I’ve not seen one in a long time, but I can see some of the “old-fashioned” nuns from my childhood in your photo. Now I’m thinking about Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. I’ll bet his nun wore a wimple!

    Liked by 3 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      In times gone past it was normal for women to wear headgear and scarves. My mother always wore a scarf when we were small. Looking at scores of Paul Gauguin paintings one can see how young and old wore wimples of different types. In paintings dating back to the middle ages one would be hard too find an image of a woman without some form of head covering.

      Last night I woke up and could have sworn I heard the patter of rain dripping down the guttering. I got up and looked, and we had a shower, totally unpredicted and just like that. It felt great and I love the sound of rain.

      You are right, even chlorinated water isn’t all that great. We don’t have the Chlorine/ammonia combo yet. Good heavens, what next?
      Sydney has cranked up and re-started their de-salination plant. If the drought prolongs, the water restriction will ratchet up even higher.

      Liked by 2 people

      • auntyuta Says:

        We actually had some thunder and a bit of rain very early this morning. In Goulburn and Katoomba was quite a bit of snow. Did you have any snow in Bowral, Gerard?

        Liked by 1 person

      • gerard oosterman Says:

        No snow yet, but a bit higher it did snow, Uta. We had some good rain and more to come. Good for the garden. We both bought thermal underwear….brrrr.


  8. rangewriter Says:

    Splendid! The cyclamen wimple, not the dearth of water. I’m sorry to hear Australia is dealing with water woes. And for some reason, it surprises me to learn that the drought raises it’s ugly head as winter approaches. Stupidly, I always associate drought with summer heat. I know, of course, that a dry winter is usually followed by a hot, dry, waterless summer, so I don’t know what I’m thinking. That’s the problem. My brain is too dry to think.

    Liked by 2 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Sometimes we get the summer’s monsoonal rains up north being pushed down further south and rain is a plentiful. But, most years the rain here around Sydney is coastal and doesn’t venture much deeper inland than about 60/100 km.

      By the way, I loved your post on the horses that were let free after the bush-fires in your neck of the woods. I bet the seven stallions were happy to gallop with the mares all going wild.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. gerard oosterman Says:

    Ask a woman how she feels and she’ll go through the entire medical encyclopedia. Ask a man how he feels and he’ll tell you he feels like a pizza.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. freefall852 Says:

    Here’s my Nun’s story…it was one of the saddest things I have heard when told to me by another nun…

    Liked by 2 people

  11. freefall852 Says:

    Well, Gerard, et al…it has come to this; The AFP raids on the ABC…For years now we have been railing about this very possibility…but to no avail..we were but voices crying in the wilderness…verily : Cassandras…no crystal ball, just the evidence freely available in the annals of archived history…now truely it has proven the old adage : “Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”..( I changed the wording a tad)..welcome to A Brave New World.

    Liked by 2 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, I remember the Australian Embassy in The Hague back in 1955, spruiking the waving palms, the everlasting sun, the streets paved with gold in Australia and now…the midnight knock on the door, the crunching of boots on bones.

      Mind you, the White Australian policy was well entrenched and did not lie about the well ingrained and installed fear of the foreign, the aboriginal injustices, and now the locking up of refugees for years on end. It was always thus.

      The real Australia is a dark place where the media is attacked for trying to throw some light on some very dark issues. I have great fear for Australia.


  12. Forestwood Says:

    The cyclamen is most definitely a Nun! Reminds me of Audrey Hepburn really.
    I also concur with freefall852’s comment.
    Dutton and Morrison are lying through their teeth. Typical bully boy tactics. How could Australians be so blind as to vote for these people? I am ashamed of my country is so many ways now.

    Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: