The Sign Says

20120915-26 Blog
Sign at the entrance of the Norfolk Botanical Gardens

Life is one big road with lots of signs.
So when you riding through the ruts, don’t complicate your mind.
Flee from hate, mischief and jealousy.
Don’t bury your thoughts, put your vision to reality.
Wake Up and Live!
Bob Marley

This week’s photo challenge is “the sign says” – sign being “funny, poignant, symbolic, incorrect, informative, foreshadowing…”. 

The sign above is both funny and a reminder to slow down, relax, and enjoy oneself.  It was on the road going into the Norfolk Botanical Gardens and my favorite boy toy and I both had big smiles after seeing it.  It was a good reminder to us as we spent some time exploring the place to enjoy the fresh air, the beautiful gardens, and each others company.

One group of signs that I particularly enjoy is at the Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens.  It’s a memorial for a woman named Sally Minnigh, inscribed into the concrete by the greenhouses.  I usually go by and look at it when I’m at the gardens.  It sets out how life should be lived and what should be important.  According to her obituary, Sally was an events coordinator at the botanical gardens until her death at age 45 from breast cancer.  Although I never knew Sally, the words inspire me to be a better person and enjoy life fully.

Our heart oft times wakes when we sleep,
and God can speak to that, either by words, by proverbs,
by signs and similitudes, as well as if one was awake.
John Bunyan

Sally is not the only one with a memorial.  There are a number of them at the botanical gardens, from the patio steps to signs on the benches to plaques in the gardens.  Each one says something about the person who has gone on.  How wonderful to be loved and missed and remembered in this way.

I don’t look for signs.
But when things happen,
I say, ‘OK, something must be right.’
Or ‘OK, something must be wrong.’
Lil Wayne

Signs are also instructive.  One of the great things about parking in the visitor lot at Colonial Williamsburg and walking in (versus taking a bus), are the signs along the walkway.  As you walk away from the visitor center, you lose more and more of modern life.  At the end of the day when you come back, you see the things gained or changed as the years have gone on.  This is but a small amount of the many items on both sides of the walkway.  It was instructive for me of how different the Colonial times were from modern day America.  I know it with my head, but seeing the signs really pulled it together for me.

I remind myself that not everything is a sign,
that some things simply are what they appear to be
and should not be analyzed, deconstructed, or forced to bear
the burden of metaphor, symbol, omen, or portent.
Diane Schoemperlen,
Our Lady of the Lost and Found: A Novel of Mary, Faith, and Friendship

Not every sign needs words either.  This little guy has been around for over a week.  He (she?) is doing well suspended over the rosemary and is out of the way enough that I can ignore him or her.  But a sure sign of summer is that the bugs are back and so (thankfully) are their predators.  I wouldn’t mind some help in the house with the current ant infestation, but not enough to encourage spiders to be living inside.

20130526-14 Blog

See what you have to ask yourself is what kind of person are you?
Are you the kind that sees signs, sees miracles?
Or do you believe that people just get lucky?
M. Night Shyamalan

Have a good week!

Weekly Photo Challenge

dogear6 View All →

I am a backyard adventurer, philosopher and observer, recording my life in journals and photographs. Visit my blog at

19 Comments Leave a comment

    • I didn’t realize he had a movie by that name. His stuff doesn’t usually appeal to me, but the few I’ve seen (my husband and daughter like his stuff) have been good.

      I’m glad you liked the walk through time. I’ve gotten several comments about it and am thinking of going back to photograph the entire thing and just put up a big gallery as it really is thought provoking (and much better received than I expected).

  1. Ok first – love this post! Second – it is totally hilarious that you quote Lil Wayne! Nancy, this is such a thoughtful commentary- all the different signs speak to us on such different levels. Wonderfully moving post today, my friend.
    And I’m not really sure what you mean about the beagle and the bus schedules to MO (while looking at my feet and then skyward and whistling a bit) Uh ..I think I hear someone calling … I gotta go

    • Are you feeling guilty about something?????

      Isn’t it a hoot on how some really good quotes come from the most unexpected places. I did one last summer on never surrender that used a quote from a movie spoof called “Galaxy Quest”. One of my readers caught the joke and about fell on the floor laughing. Still though, it’s a good quote.

      Now if I could just figure out why you’re acting so squirmy. . .


  2. Great photos for this challenge. I especially love the sign to Norfolk Botanical Garden ! And the one of Rosa Parks , a really stunning and a brave woman .
    Thank you for sharing these signs // Maria :)

  3. I love the sign at the entrance to the Norfolk Botanical Gardens. I need to remind myself to slow down many times. That is what we liked about Spain so much, the slower pace. People took time to stop and talk and look around. There are no drive through anything there. Meals are stretched out to savour and enjoy. We need to remember that in North America. I guess that’s why we need signs!

    • Spain sounds like a wonderful place to visit! But with some effort, we can do that here too. But at least for me, I have to work at it and remind myself to slow down and not stress out if I can’t get it all done.

      Great note – thanks!

%d bloggers like this: