The process of being refined and renewed is generally not an easy one. In order for us to strip away what is no longer useful, not serving us, dragging us down or maybe even hurting us, is probably one of the most difficult things we can do. But we are not left defeated. The protea shows us time and again that when we strip things down to the bare minimum, or even when that is done to or for us, we often emerge stronger and more resilient, but definitely more resplendent.

Difficult circumstances allow one to get to the heart of the heart. They force us to clear away the clutter so that we can focus on what is important. Many proteas protect their seeds in fire-resistant hearts. What these hearts need is fire to release them. The result? Regeneration and new life. Beauty, despite hardship.

And as we are in a period of self-reflection, self-isolation and self-care, we need to keep in mind the image of the flaming protea contrasted against an ashen and charred background. We need to let it serve as a symbol of resilience, strength and courage – all those things captured in the heart of the heart.

Captured Memories
As we have been forced to slow down, to be kind and just be, many of us now have the time to spend on that which makes us who we are. We read, we paint, we make music, we talk – really talk – to those we should have a long time ago. We reflect on memories.

For others, maybe this time of self-reflection is triggered by items found in our homes. Items which have captured memories of our lives within them. It could be a feather gifted by a child, a teacup entrusted by a granny or even a burnt protea. 

You can find another example of this process here: