A Resilient and Creative New Year!

I found my theme for the New Year:   Resilience and Creativity.

Hurricane Matthew, on its path up the Atlantic coast back in October, must have swept this large tree branch onto this South Carolina beach.  The hurricane caused quite a bit of destruction and flooding, as these powerful storms tend to do.


On a grey and dreary morning, this oversized driftwood looks broken and out of place…

…Like too many events in our human lives and within the political, economic, and environmental arenas.

What to do with the brokenness? with loss? displacement? with those inevitable setbacks and misfortunes that just cannot be undone?

When I returned to this tree later, just as the setting sun draped it in warm, golden colors, I noticed that a transformation had happened.


Look at what people did to this lost tree!


Someone had lovingly decorated this lonely, broken tree with treasures they found along the beach – shells, corals, sand dollars. They collected grasses to tie the ornaments to the tree, accessorizing and beautifying it with the gifts from the sea.

“Psychological resilience is defined as an individual’s ability to successfully adapt to life tasks in the face of social disadvantage or highly adverse conditions….Resilience is one’s ability to bounce back from a negative experience with “competent functioning”. Resilience is not a rare ability; in reality, it is found in the average individual and it can be learned and developed by virtually anyone.” Wikipedia

“Resilience is what gives people the psychological strength to cope with stress and hardship. It is the mental reservoir of strength that people are able to call on in times of need to carry them through without falling apart.
(Kendra Cherry)

From the moment I saw it, this displaced tree symbolized resilience and overcoming adversity. Beyond resilience, it captures the spirit of creativity – objects that we do not normally associate as belonging together found a symbiotic union thereby transforming and evolving into a work of art.

The DP Weekly Photo Challenge: Resilient.

About Beauty Along the Road

A blog about discovering beauty in all its ordinary and extraordinary manifestations.
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53 Responses to A Resilient and Creative New Year!

  1. asqfish says:

    What a beautifully creative post on something so significant as resilience, especially in the current climate when hurricanes are ripping through our lives……

    Liked by 1 person

  2. bythebriny says:

    Lovely shots…this is like the beach version of Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great intentions for the new year Annette. To creative resiliency!


  4. shoreacres says:

    This is wonderful. I have a little artificial tree I decorate every year with artifacts from Texas: shells, fossils, tiny bits of ball moss. It’s great to see someone else decorating nature with nature — a gesture that affirms values quite different from those held by many. A happy new year to you, and every good wish for a creative new year.


    • I really like what you are doing and I bet it looks great! I did that with a homemade wreath – decorated with found materials and a few traditional ornaments that I still had packed away. I found out that since I took photos for this post, more “ornaments” have been added to the tree branch. Happy New Year to you, too!


  5. Claudia says:

    I love this! I am looking forward to your New Year and your world of Resilience and Creativity!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Dahlia says:

    What a marvelous find – especially to capture the before (which in itself is quite a sight) and after versions. I think my comment didn’t get posted.


  7. Has been interesting, learning resilience in my 60’s. So very lovely to have company.


  8. Sha'Tara says:

    Lovely photography and wonderfully stated intents.


  9. Ratio says:

    Amazing work!! Please check out my site if you get a chance. I am really looking for some feedback from more experienced bloggers. Thanks! https://ratiowrites.com

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Annette, this post touched me. Here’s to a new year filled with resilience, creativity, and hope.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Beautiful photos and profound message about the alchemy that transforms tragedy into a work of art through loving creativity.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. kutukamus says:

    That decorated ‘tree’ reminds me of a painting by Salvador Dali 🙂


  13. Aggie says:

    What a beautiful synchronicity! I love that you found this.
    May your 2017 be full of wonder. Love, Aggie


  14. tillytheblogger says:

    I agree decorating nature with nature is amazing ! These pictures are awesome and they really showcase your talent and the talent of person that took the time to do this !

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Ah ! Finally the nature symbolizer

    My love for nature and searching symbols is same as yours . So I am not the only crazy in the gang 🙂

    One lovely post , with nice flow of words
    Something of my view , I write about these things:)

    Liked by 1 person

  16. That is beautiful! I live in SC as well and while I’m in the upstate we still had a little damage. A patio table was shattered by a fallen tree branch and yard decorations became missiles, but it could have been a lot worse. Resilience…I like it.


  17. Angela says:

    I love what you took away from that moment, and seeing that sad little tree branch so lovingly decorated. I get it. Resilience is a fitting word for me this year too.


  18. Decorating that limb is also a symbol for how we help one another when times are tough. Friends and resilience…. The staples of life. Brenda


  19. Reblogged this on The Beauty Along the Road and commented:

    Resilience and Creativity continue to be important guiding values especially now, as the “driftwood” of Hurricane Covid-19 affects all of us, no matter where we are in this world. Blessings for a healthy new year to all of my readers!


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