Terri from Second Wind Leisure chose purple as her Sunday Stills monthly color challenge. The pictures also work for Cee’s Flower of the Day Challenge. There are more #BrightSquares for Becky today. Finally, Sadje has asked this wonderful question, “Are you a good listener?” for her Poser #24. which I will try to weave into my flower pictures.
Are You a Good Listener?
“When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen.”Ernest Hemingway
As a cognitive coach for the County Office of Education, I learned and practiced the skills of good listening. Lean forward towards the person talking, mirror their movements like crossing and uncrossing arms and legs. If they are tense, lean back and give them space. When in doubt, repeat their words to validate them. Don’t offer an opinion or story. Listening is not about ME!
Why are you listening? Are you conducting a therapy session and you want to make your client better? Do you love the person you are listening to and want to validate them? Do you want information from them to use against them in a court of law? Are your trying to learn something for a test or gather material for your next novel? I would argue that everyone has a motive for listening.
Listening and remembering are two different skills, but one augments the other. If you can’t remember, what good does it do you to listen carefully? If you listen carefully, AND have a poor memory, then you should take steps to help your memory.
You may wonder how I tie listening to purple flowers.
Carol and I strolled through many gardens together. One of my favorites was the Treasury Garden in Melbourne. Everywhere we looked, Carol had more information for me – names of flowers, trees, buildings, birds, bodies of water, statues. I admit that sometimes my mind took a vacation, but my lapses always caught up with me and sold me short when I needed information.
She took some beautiful pictures of bird of paradise, then wandered off and found this agapanthus. But here is the problem. I kept notes, but not great ones, mostly pictorial. Now the only records I have are in my earlier posts about Australia. My posts were not precise about every item we saw. Why? Either I didn’t listen or didn’t retain what my Australian friends told me.
My Listening Score: 2.5 out of 5. I gave myself credit for writing it as a caption on my photo from 2016.
After Melbourne, we flew to Ballarat and visited the historical part of the city known as, Sovereign Hill. At one of the vintage houses we saw these beautiful “spikey purple plants,” as another blogger called them.
I may have asked Carol or her sister-in-law, what they were, but three months later when I wrote the first post about them, I did not know what they were. But the answer is in Google or Bing if you look hard enough. It was also right under my nose at the Woodlake Botanical Garden also on file in my WordPress media file.
My Listening Score: .5 out of 5. I gave myself little credit because if I did hear it, I didn’t write it down or look it up so I would remember it later.
My Listening Score to Manuel: 1 out of 5. I recognized the picture on Bing and knew I had an artichoke.
Purple in Prescott, AZ
Finally, back to the here and now in Prescott. My neighbor has been spraying what she calls “vincas” like they were invasive enemy #1. They might be. They are not like the vincas, also known as periwinkles, I remember from California. Bing had pictures of vinca major that look like my back yard where these pictures were taken.
Listening Score: 5 out of 5 So far both short-term memory and listening skills are working.
They seem too beautiful and delicate for be attacked as an invader.
California Purple Monsters
Violet, purple California has it all Not to be left out!
Morning Glory plants win the prize for both beauty and killing roses. Puppy Girl enjoys the shade provided by the Morning Glory tee pee built by Manuel Jimenez, the founder of the Botanical Garden in Woodlake
Listening Score to Manuel and my friend Sylvia who told me about Morning Glory 35 years ago: 5 out of 5.
I gave myself extra credit for remembering a factoid for over 35 years.
Another beautiful invasive species that I planted all over my yard in California is the Mexican Petunia. Even when you think they are dead sticks, they are working on their rhizomes, “a continuously growing horizontal underground stem which puts out lateral shoots and adventitious roots at intervals.” Wikipedia. Our home buyers may love them, but if they don’t, it will be difficult to get rid of them.
Listening Score 3 out of 5. I still want to call them Mexican pansies.
- See you next week on Sunday Stills. and Sunday Poser
- I’ll look for you Wednesday on Writer’s Quotes Wednesdays.
- See you almost any day at Cee’s and #BrightSquares
- And I haven’t forgotten Lens-Artists – This week they are flying high and that them fits well with Lisa’s Bird Weekly Challenge Birds with chicks.
- And finally, I’m starting to get involved with my most recent interview, Natalie the Explorer’s links on the weekend. Have you been there?