I am so lucky, so blessed, to be inspired, energized, and moved to gratitude by so little.
Oh it’s not that I don’t love witnessing grandeur. The Redwood Forests, Grand Canyon, the Mighty Mississippi, and a sunrise in Fiji, all moved me to tears.
And it’s not that I always remember to look for inspiration in the really small or mundane things.
But when I need inspiration, It shows up for me in amazing ways….
Like the sunset last night…first time I’d seen the smoke-hidden city and the Olympics in 10 days. Inspired me to keep holding on…
And these lovely, end of season flowers have been such a joy. I can only have flowers in my house in one location, the bathroom. My otherwise, well-behaved cats insist on dumping vases, just for fun, and the bathroom is off limits to them, because they also climb shower curtains!
My junior high school boyfriend, and his son, paid me a visit a few weeks ago from clear across the U.S. We’ve stayed in touch all these years, which inspires me to value shared history, and to refuse any limiting definition of “friendship” .
Spotting this lovely on my car inspired me to consider deeply, the hand-painted beauty of Nature!
This, in my yard…
And these at the local Farmer’s Market yesterday, inspired me to eat healthy, even though otherwise disgusting treats are extra tempting during this Covid Lockdown time!
Speaking of produce…this guy moved me to a huge Belly Laugh! At first I saw a large- nosed cyclops with a tail. But then I realized the tail was an arm…still on a big-nosed cyclops.
During our 8 or 9 days of Smoke-from-Hell, due to West and Northwest Coast fires, I had to be doubly sequestered…behind drawn shades, closed curtains, air purifiers blasting 24/7, and no daylight. So seeing the return of our usual beautiful blue skies was more than inspiring. It gave me the determination to hang on.
This morning in my unused office-group therapy room, I spotted this plant. At first, I thought “tears”…but then realized it could mean “abundance” (of water).
This one, you may have to think about for a minute, but seeing the two things side by side inspired me to remember…everything is relative, and I can choose different perspectives on things as time passes. (Forgive my rare derogatory, political comment, but seriously, have you ever seen a more condescending smile???)
Seeing that last one, I am moved, energized and inspired to encourage everyone I cross paths with to VOTE!!!
I’ve written a lot of posts that contained embarrassing self-disclosures, but this one is a stretch, even for me.
First of all, I’m not clear who to credit for this challenge, but since perspective is one of my driving, life-force words, I’ve decided to just write and share photos anyway.
Here’s the story.
I have been photographing a tiny piece of mystery debris on my street for over a year. No idea why. Can’t really justify it except I spotted it, and became intrigued, and over the months, it evolved into a mild obsession.
I have thought at length about why in the world I would become so interested in this scrap of trash, and the only thing I can come up with is my Dad. It’s his fault really. He taught us very early on that boredom was a sin against Nature, and that if we used all of our senses, and just changed our perspectives, we could always find at least one miracle.
“Just look at the ground”, he would say. “It’s covered with magic!”
(I wrote about this in a story, with working title The “Ruler” and the Torn Screen or One Square foot and posted it on on V.J.’s Weekly Challenge #40 “Things my Father said”)
I guess what grew from that particular Dad-Lesson was a life long habit of looking down at the ground, always in search of treasures! No surprise one of my favorite activities in life is Beach Combing. I have huge collections of rocks, shells and beach glass! I have even been known to collect tiny treasures right off the street, especially if it’s been too long since I’ve had a trip to the ocean.
I’m fairly easy to please.
I have photographed what I am walking on many times…
Even modern day litter…
So spotting this one piece of junk on my daily walk was not the surprise. It simply stood out. Unidentifiable, it caught my eye.
The surprise was that I started looking for it every day. Every single day. I became more and more curious about why it never, ever moved. Its location was on a high-traffic part of the street. With all the cars, bikes and people passing over that very spot every day, it should have been run over…repeatedly.
So I decided to actually start tracking it…on purpose…and taking its picture…
Uh oh, I had bonded with a fragment of litter.
Seriously, and now, over a year later, and I’m even writing a Post about it.
But wait , as Paul Harvey used to say, here’s “the rest of the story”…
Last week on my regular morning walk, I got to the top of my street, where my Scrap lives…and it was gone! GONE!
I figured a car tire had finally knocked it off to the side, but after a long, elaborate roadside search (yes, a search) for my missing piece of rubbish, I had to accept it was over. My mystery remnant was truly missing.
In a world of uncertainty, a tiny, but predictable piece of my daily life, was gone. Sigh.
Believe me, the symbolism and the underlying explanations for this attachment are not lost on me. Been thinking about it all week. The pandemic. Being locked in my home, except for this daily walk, for 142 days. Reminders of my Dad, and wondering how he would have looked at today’s confusing, emotional, frightening new normal, ETC.!
I tried to find a replacement touchstone, something more permanent, and spotted this whale (or maybe it’s a country in Europe)…
But when looking through photos for this post I discovered this formation, permanently embedded in the street, had been there all along.
Anyway, this morning….I’m on my walk, approaching the former location of, you know who, (my reliable and familiar bit of trash), I decide maybe one more look around…
And there, well off the pavement, directly in a beam of early morning sunlight, I see this!
I was disproportionately happy!!
And YES, of COURSE I brought it home with me, and put it in the cabinet with all the other treasures! It’s just not safe out there for such a vulnerable little guy.
Yep, I’m glad I’m so easily entertained. Thanks Dad!
What a delightful challenge for this starting-to-seem-endless, cooped-up time. It comes from:
I am especially blessed these days by my father’s powerful teaching and modeling. His most strongly held spiritual belief was that boredom was a sin, and an insult to Mother Nature. He taught us to always look for that big surprise. He believed we were constantly surrounded by miracles and could find one anywhere, anytime.
Nothing cancels out boredom better than a miracle.
Being trapped in my rooms for so long has been mostly OK because of this exact philosophy. But I have to admit, I almost get to the point of boredom sometimes. When I find myself feeling that, I know it’s time to get outside. Even if just in my country-like, suburban neighborhood. Rain or shine, day or night, peopled or not, the miracles abound.
Here are some recent Surprises!!!
First, water, early morning sunlight, and shadows…a great combination for surprising beauty.
Next, the bunnies are still around, which means the Coyotes, Owls and Hawks are probably well-fed elsewhere…for now.
Surprise! The baby Apple Tree has its first baby apples!
Next, very early sunlight sometimes messes with my mind. At first I thought these lovely plants had been attacked by some strange blight, only to discover on closer examination, was surprised to see it was the sun slipping through the cracks in the fence!
I love experimenting with things that close-up, are mysteries….but a step back reveals the origin of the surprise.
And this one surprised me because I didn’t notice until writing this post, the shadow, light and colors from the Hummingbird feeder look remarkably like a Hummingbird!!
And lastly, though I’m not sure it will actually work to post this, I had a long-awaited surprise just this morning.
I love my local crows and have been feeding them everyday for many years now. I wait each year for early summer, hoping to capture the Teenage crow “Feed Me!!” phenomenon.
They put on quite the show for me today!! The video is long-ish, and kind of bumpy, but if you listen closely, you’ll hear the reason for the camera jerks.
You can hear Miss Lucy, purring her competitive little heart out, and see the results of her head-butting my camera.
What a wonderful, surprising challenge today!!
Go here to see others’ creative interpretations of “Surprise”!
Life and the world have been a bit distracting of late. For a while there, even I, the self-appointed champion of uplifting things, had a difficult time finding stuff to share.
But here are just a few things that hopefully bring you a sliver of beauty or a tiny laugh or little piece of inspiration to hang in there…yep, even longer than we had hoped!
I have enjoyed the wildlife in my yard lately.
This guy is relentless!!!
Brazen intruder in Bellevue
And Bunnies everywhere!!
And of course, flowers!
And my favorite, the Birds…
But of course, also the indoor wildlife…even though it’s often hidden…
Where is that silly cat now???
OK, Nancy Merrill’s challenge to share photos this week that represent “Just for Fun!” reminded me to get back to the Spirit Lifters series I started.
So here are some photos for Nancy, and then, some uplifting things for you to check out for yourself.
(Like how I am always giving you something to do? Pretty clever distraction, eh?)
Here are 3 photos of what we call around here, Spring Snow!
Next, I write a lot about the beautiful street I get to live on, but don’t say enough about my really FUN neighbors.
These folks always have something fun for every holiday, including a small tractor that pulls little kid-filled carts behind it, decorated and driven by Santa for Christmas, and someone scary for Halloween.
Apparently, even the city workers are getting bored though. I came across this fun scene yesterday…
And one of the more uplifting, fun (and reassuring) beings in my household is Lucy, the Woodpile Cat. She is, as are many cats, such a creature of habit. I can count on her every morning, to take a shower in the kitchen sink…
And to demand her exercise time every afternoon…
But do not be fooled. She is not all sweetness and light. The only place I can have fresh flowers in my house is the bathroom as she does not frequent that room.
And THIS Blog, by my sweet friend Lisa, is really worth a visit! Look what she found for us! It is wonderful!!!
Lastly, here is Episode 3 of John Krasinski’s SGN. It can take your mind of all bad virus-related things!
PS The photo at the top was fun…or funny, at least to me. I had just committed to fewer eggs in my current campaign to keep my cholesterol levels healthy. Cracked open my one egg and….well, you see it….TWINS!!
I’m tired of no words!! I want some words!! Apparently, because I am so visual and kinesthetic, (NOT very auditory), I need way, WAY more WORDS than most. (Probably one of the things that makes me a good therapist.)
I mean these Zoom meetings, and SKYPE Sessions with my clients are great, actually modern day miracles, in my elderly opinion, but I want to TALK with someone, lots of someones, and be able to use the rest of my senses in a conversation!!
I miss walking arm in arm with someone. I hate that the little kids in my neighborhood that usually run up and hug my legs (I’m everyone’s Grandma on my street), are now coached (appropriately so) to stay far away from me. I miss comforting a neighbor, friend or client with a hand squeeze, a shoulder pat, or a big, long, juicy hug!
Whew! Glad to get that out!
Now, onto my WordlessWednesday post.
Spirit Lifters; Day 34 of being “grounded”
WORDS WORDS WORDS
Lots of them in the Comment section!!
I guess these are selfies? Kind of? But taken of the mirror so I could send them to my long-time hair stylist. I liked what she did and wanted to thank her. She’s helping me grieve (and sort of hide) a dramatic, medication-induced hair loss the last couple of years. THAT has sure given me a lot to reflect about…
Next just a simple series of puddles. I grew up in San Diego and puddles were extremely rare, so now I am apparently fascinated by them..
And last, some surprise shots of one of our family’s kitties! He was recently very ill and is in his own form of quarantine, (NOT the “virus”!) so this is my main way of connecting with him for a while longer. He has grown so much in just the two weeks we have been separated! Can’t wait to feel that air-like fur again!!
Oh I love this one. I do love Reflections so I may have to do another post on it…sharing some more recent photos.
This is a re-blog ( I think it’s called) from LensArtistChallenge #25. I was proud of that one so I am sharing it again. Hope that’s not cheating.
I love reflections. I like to mess with photographing them because there can be surprises you don’t see when looking at something directly.
That makes me think of how different things can look, depending on where you stand, where you focus and what you are feeling.
I took these photos for the theme Blue, but discovered the trees and clouds afterward.
This is two shots of the same glass, just me deciding which perspective to focus on. (I’m sure there is a “glass half empty or full” reference here…)
I have this great photo hanging in my group therapy room that reminds me to always look at tough situations from different angles before I conclude anything.
Flipping this upside-down sure changes the feel of the photo, doesn’t it?
I’m so grateful to my Dad for teaching me that there is always, ALWAYS more than one way to look at something.
Here are some other posts I did about Reflections… Let me know what you see.