The water lily is perhaps the most poetic flower that exists and is known as Nymphaea; an aquatic plant in the family Nymphaeaceae. They are opulent with iridescent colors and dream their hours away in their watery gardens. Some water lilies open under reflected sunlight and sink beneath the water at twilight, while other species such as the Egyptian white water lily seek moonlight. Should you be so fortunate as to view one in perfect bloom it will intoxicate you with its bewitching beauty and leave an indelible watery impression of the other world upon you.
The water lily was inspired by the nymphs of Greek and Latin mythology and the lotus often appears in Hindu and Buddhist stories as well. Terra-cotta plaques from the 12th century depict the goddess Asherah holding two lotus blossoms. Ivory panels from. Long ago show the god Horus seated on a lotus blossom. The sacredness of the flower is illustrated by its frequent reference to Buddha. When Buddha walked the earth he left lotuses in his trail instead of footprints. The phrase "Om mani padme hum," which used in meditation means "the jewel in the lotus" refers to the Buddha or to the mystical union of male and female energies.
The water lily studies that I am presenting in this series were captured in 2014 at the: UC Botanical Garden, San Francisco Botanical Garden, The Pool of Enchantment outside of the De Young Museum and The Conservatory of Flowers, SF.
This is the supreme lotus, generally reserved for the highest deity, sometimes confused with the white lotus it is the lotus of the historical Buddha.