Lake Powell, AZ Sunset

Lake Powell, AZ Sunset

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A Memory of Trees

BC Hwy 7A between Coquitlam and Port Coquitlam.
A few years back we were living in Coquitlam, BC. There was a small park I loved to walk in that gave access to the banks of the Fraser River. The park was just off the 7A Hwy, a shortcut between Coquitlam and points east.

One day I ran into an elderly lady and we talked as we walked the trail. She told me she had been coming here for many, many years. She said the whole area use to be much nicer.

I asked what she meant.

"Well, for one thing, there wasn't that noisy monstrosity up there!", she said, pointing to the four lane divided highway above us. "That use to be a nice little two lane road that hardly anyone used. It was always lovely, but it was magnificent in the fall! So quiet. So peaceful! And the whole way along you were surrounded by such vibrant colors!" She sounded truly regretful for what had been lost in the name of progress.

Jump ahead to the fall. One day I was driving over to meet friends in PoCo just before sunset. As I said, the highway is divided above where the park is located. I was on the lower level and glanced to my left. The shadows of the naked trees immediately brought to mind the earlier conversation. I was so struck with the "Memory of Trees" conversation and the shadows I was witnessing that I went back home, got my camera and came back to shoot this scene.

I was late meeting my friends but you know what? It was worth it!

Friday, August 13, 2010

If I Only Had a Brain ...

Dana's Red Shroom
That's the song refrain I woke up with this morning. Sometimes, nah, make that "a lot of the time", I drive my poor husband up the wall with the songs I find in my head each morning. Sometimes they're okay but more often than not they're just plain nuts. Like the day I awoke to "Old MacDonald"! Never having had children, this was not high on his list of appropriate musical accompaniment to his morning coffee.

Anyway, this morning it was "If I Only Had a Brain" from the Wizard of Oz. Go figure. I know why the theme was there. I'm feeling a bit out of sorts and useless lately. When that happens it is inevitable that old tapes from childhood return to torture me. "You are not pretty. You are not popular. Being smart will not get you friends or make you popular." ad nauseum. Thank you Mommie Dearest!

For too many years I believed her. It took a lot of personal growth, unfortunately fairly late in life, for me to figure out that was her opinion, but that it didn't necessarily make it true. So the lesson of the day is, don't believe everything you hear. Search out your own truths!

What does this have to do with a red mushroom? Not a heck of a lot, I guess. I found it in my friend's yard yesterday and thought it was pretty. I've never seen one like it before. Like me, it's unique. Like me, it's unusual. Like me, it may have hidden value. In any event, it made my day better for being in my world, for me to enjoy. Hopefully that is something else I have in common with it.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Point of View

Shaman Smiles
Our happiness, our sense of well being, our perception of our place in the world or society, are all determined by our personal point of view. No one else can make us feel anything unless we allow them to do so.

Remember a few days ago I wrote about the Native American and Buddhist beliefs regarding nature and how we should learn from it? My friend Shaman, shown in this photo, is a great example of that. He was always ready to believe the best of everyone he met. He never seemed to anticipate that anyone he met was less than good.

Not to say he was anybody's fool! If a new acquaintance "smelled wrong" he recognized that fact. Depending on how "wrong" they smelled, he would proceed to either ignore them or quietly warn them away with body language or a low growl. I never saw him act aggressive without provocation.

His personality was beautiful,  loving, lovable, full of joy. He just naturally expected the best ... and he usually got it! Close to a hundred pounds of muscle, fur and teeth bounding at you can be pretty intimidating yet even people who were afraid of dogs embraced him!

He was an embodiment of "thoughts are things!" His attitude guaranteed that he he would be loved and respected. His point of view set the tone for his life and that of those he interacted with. Why can't we humans do the same?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

From A Distance ...

Old Rocky Mountain Homestead in Colorado
Remember that song? It was Bette Midler who sang it and part of the refrain was "God is watching us, God is watching us. God is watching us from a distance."

What does this have to do with today's photo? It was the first photo that came to mind when I woke up this morning. As I was resizing it to insert in the blog, "From a Distance" was running through my mind. 

Come on! In my bio I did tell you that my husband calls me Ricochet Rabbit!

Taken from a distance, this scene seems pretty deserted and lonely. When I allow my imagination to wander, I imagine this was once a thriving homestead. What became of the occupants? I prefer to believe that they lived a good life here and then moved on to other, greater, opportunities with the wealth they earned in their years on the homestead.

Not likely? Says who? Anything is possible! After all, we're all connected and God IS watching ... from a distance.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Thoughts On Strength

Oregon wolf spooking through the woods.
 Both Native Americans and Buddhists teach we should learn from nature. We should always interact with nature in the most growth positive way. 

But how do we apply what we learn to developing a way to work best with our fellow man? Especially if the majority of them seem to be at odds with what we perceive to be the "right path"? How can we best affect change while nurturing ourselves? Or should we follow our own path and let the rest of the world be damned?

Observe weeds. They are often perceived as useless. But we can learn an important lesson from them. A weed will take the opportunity to root itself and grow in any crack in the pavement that is large enough to give it access to soil and nutrients. They will even take hold in a depression in a seemingly impervious medium where enough soil has accumulated and where rain will offer them the moisture they need to flourish in that soil.

By doing this, the weeds are able to gain the strength they need to affect changes in the surface which in turn allows them to drop their seeds and propagate their species. The pavement seems to be the stronger of the two things. It seems that it should be impervious to the influences of the weed. Both seem to be relatively inanimate. Yet the weed overcomes the pavement if left alone. This is partly because the weed is a living, growing entity while the pavement is not only inanimate but by it's very nature and composition, only capable of degeneration.

What can we learn from these observations that are relative to our own lives?

Like the weed, we individually are not as weak as we appear. We can affect change in the mass consciousness simply by being ourselves and being careful to always nurture ourselves and those around us. How? Be open to knowledge and potential activity as it comes to us from any and all sources. Determine if that knowledge and/or activity nurtures us. If it does, accept it and use it to keep ourselves in "growth mode". Just by being ourselves, by setting an example to those we come in contact with, by sharing our knowledge, we are nurturing them.

If the people around us are sentient, growth oriented beings, our influence will nurture their growth ... and in that nurturing we effect change in the larger world. If they are not growth oriented beings, they will not recognize our value. They will pass us by ... but by that very act of non-recognition they enrich us ... by leaving us free to follow our own path and be available to those we can benefit. The non-receptive ones around us become like the soil in the depressions in the pavement ... inanimate (close-minded) but still allowing us to maintain a foothold on the surface of the pavement of society. Eventually more enlightened people will come in contact with us. As they observe and/or interact with us we will have the opportunity to enrich their lives and their understanding of the world.

No effort is ever wasted. It just may seem that way because we are not cognizant of how we have touched the lives of those around us.

Monday, August 2, 2010

When You Can't See the Forest ...

Birch forest in Banff, AB, Canada
All too often we become so involved in the details of our lives that we lose sight of how truly fortunate we are.

TJ, Lady and I have recently relocated to the Upstate (read "north western corner") of South Carolina. We had quite the trip across the country from where we had been visiting our son & his fiancee in Colorado Springs. It rained. In fact in a few places it DELUGED! The motor home overheated a few times. After a while we were getting pretty cranky. Until we had a thought ...

We realized how fortunate we are! We live in the United States where we don't need a permit or passport to travel from one state to another as we would if we lived in Europe, Asia or Africa. We own our motor home free and clear. How many people today are struggling to keep a roof over their heads? We may be in the 55+ age group but we're both pretty healthy and mobile.

You get the idea. Pretty soon the rain and overheating stops didn't seem to be such an inconvenience. Rather, they were an opportunity to literally stop and smell the flowers, really LOOK at the area we were traveling through. Take the time to appreciate all the beauty and diversity that is here for us to embrace.

In short, we stopped concentrating on the inconvenient trees in our way and broadened our outlook to allow ourselves to see the forest!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

In the beginning ...

Every time I think, "Okay. Enough. I don't need to keep up with technology any more. I'm retiring from all that stuff." something comes along that changes my mind. I think I need to give up retiring!

So this is the newest iteration. A blog to share my creative endeavors and hopefully get feedback that will help me continue to grow in my art. Also, if you see anything you like, I do sell prints of my photographs.

Jump on in. Tell me what you think. No, really! Tell me!