nodding terms

“I think we are well advised to keep on nodding terms with the people we used to be, whether we find them attractive company or not.Otherwise they turn up unannounced and surprise us, come hammering on the mind's door at 4 a.m. of a bad night and demandto know who deserted them, who betrayed them, who is going to make amends.” 
― Joan Didion, Slouching Towards Bethlehem

The weather takes a turn and the rain eases up a bit. I spend time in the garden, moving plants and getting the vegetable beds ready to plant. The dog follows me and slips onto the old pillow I use to kneel on, when I am not looking. I decide to get him his own pillow one day and he seems happy with the arrangement. I take breaks and lay back on the grass and watch the sky. I follow a hawk as it  flies back and forth over our yard, and spot a hang-glider floating over our home. I close my eyes and try to count the different bird calls I hear. I find peace and quiet and gratitude and take in the warmth of the sun. I come in later, dirty and tired and happy. 

Where you come from is gone, where you thought you were going to was never there, and where you are is no good unless you can get away from it. Where is there a place for you to be? No place... Nothing outside you can give you any place... In yourself right now is all the place you’ve got.
— Flannery O'Connor, Wise Blood

It feels at times that the week drags on. The days seem endless and the nights long. At times, I feel as if I am just going through the motions of living each ordinary day. But by week's end I feel myself coming out of it; i am experienced enough however to know, that the waves will surface again and come crashing towards shore. But I am learning to not stand in the swell of the tide with a life-vest, but rather get myself safely out of the cresting upsurge.  

We take advantage of Acorn's free streaming and watch episodes of Doc Martin and laugh. 
Basil get's a clean bill of heath from the vet. 
I start this book and this one too, because they both come in from the library at the same time. 
I buy new dahlia tubers and he agrees to make me a couple of new beds for them. 
I get some seeds in the ground and pray they don't drown. 

“Happiness is anyone and anything that's loved by you.” 
― Charles M. Schulz

thanks for stopping by, 
xooox

Five Miles From Home

“I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.”
-Brene Brown 

                                                        

CONNECTION

I love Brene Brown's definition of connection. It is spot on for me, and the older I get the more important it is for me to surround myself with people who fit this definition. This does not mean we need to agree on everything, or do things alike, but rather listen, and value each other, without judgement. 

I have never been much for frivolous friendships; friendships based on location or common denominators. I have never been one to have tons of friends, but instead tend to gravitate towards a few close ones I can count on. With some, the connection goes deep, built on layers of camaraderie, support, laughter and holding each other through pain. Lately, I have found a few new friends at the gym, we workout together and might head out for lunch or coffee at times. These real life relationships are very important to me and I do my best to nurture them. 

I should come as no surprise, in today's world,  that I have developed real connections with other woman online. Most of these connections started out because of our mutual love for photography in some way shape or form. While we might use different cameras and turn our lenses on different subjects, this passion we have for photography bonds us.  Just like the connections we have with people fulfill us,  the connection we have with our cameras do the same. Some of us blog, or try a 365, some of us shoot weddings and births, some of us set goals to sell our work as fine art prints to hang on other's wall. What we shoot or what we do with our photos doesn't really matter. What does matter is that we make time for each other, don't pass judgement, listen, encourage, and find incredible strength within this connection. 

I found a kindred sprit when I "met" Donna. I first followed her during her 365 project. I soon tracked her down on Instagram and now follow her on her new site , which is full of simple magic and goodness. Her words resonate with me so and her photography style is simple and intriguing, making me wish at times that I lived in a small little town and not out in the boondocks. Some time ago we started bouncing around ideas about how we might collaborate on a project together. We decided to think on it for a bit and arrived at the virtual table with very similar ideas and goals, which seemed way to easy, and a sign that we should indeed give it a go. With one phone call ( where I was immediately taken in by her slight, beautiful southern accent ) we hashed out a few of the details and here we are. Five Miles From Home and Anywhere I Roam.  

We plan on posting every couple of weeks, loosely picking a theme and using that theme to shoot with intention. With eyes closed  ( no peeking allowed until both photos have passed on the internet highway ) we will pair our images up and write a bit about  the vision we saw, and the intention we sat with while shooting.  I am honored to be doing this project with Donna, grateful that she decided to take a change on me, and excited to do something a little different. I also like the mystery of it all.  We set no goals other than to have fun and to be open to where it might take us. 

Let's see if you can figure out which one is mine?  Then head over to Donna's beautiful blog and read what she has to say. 

Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: “What! You too? I thought I was the only one.
— C. S. Lewis

love, light and gratitude, 

cathy 

spring awakening

“And did you feel it, in your heart, how it pertained to everything?
And have you finally figured out what beauty is for?
And have you changed your life?” 
― Mary Oliver

spring teases us as we often wake to blue sky, only to get caught off guard
in a downpour of rain later in the day. 
overnight the earth changes, and if i pay attention, tomorrow i will notice
new blossoms have opened, and green shoots will have doubled in size. 
the dog and i spend time roaming the yard, and the ponds
looking for tiny miracles, and unlike the daily news, 
we are never disappointed . . . 
 

feeling more and more at home within myself, i wake with eagerness.
in my head is a list of goodness and curiosities so long, there is no way
i will get through it. no worries, i think, and i take my time to explore and ask
questions. for right now my world is open for the taking, and
i am old enough to know this can all change in a heartbeat. so i
treat each day as the gift it is . . . 

A day is precious because each day is essentially the microcosm of your whole life.
— John O'Donohue, Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom

there is a birthday celebration for one of the boys and we head up
north for a long weekend. as always, my heart overflows with love. 
i struggle to hold back tears of acknowledgment for just how full
their lives are. i stay steadfast in the moments, tucking memories away
for later. one night we all gather for dinner, drinking fancy drinks
and eating off each other's plate. i walk back to the car, arms entangled
with my kids and him, full of gratitude and maybe
a bit too much wine . . . 

cathysly_20180411_.jpg

the dog and i wake and walk the paths first thing each morning. 
we greet the chickens as they free range and watch as she cleans the coop
and gathers eggs. we eat them for breakfast the following morning with
cinnamon toast, done under the broiler. the top crisp and sweet, 
the bottom soft and warm. . .  

i bail on the 100 day project and choose instead to read poetry each morning
with my morning coffee. a bit selfish and unencumbered, i am able
to relax into the words, mulling them over in my mind,
and holding them throughout the day. 
i meditate, feed the dog, make summer vacation plans, go to the gym and
laugh with him. i put my energy into the tangible; saying yes to spontaneous lunch dates,
 and sketching out a vegetable garden plan. 

I would like not minding, whatever travels my heart.
To follow it all the way into leaf-form, bark-furl, root-touch,
and then keep walking, unimaginably further.
— Jane Hirshfield, Given Sugar, Given Salt

the waking of spring is welcoming, and much needed, and i allow the darkness
of winter to escape as it sees fit. tripping me up at times for sure,  but not
bringing me to my knees. i find just enough contentment to satisfy, but
not enough to squelch curiously and wonder . . . 

In beauty’s presence there is no longer any separation between thought and senses, between heart and soul.
— John O'Donohue, Divine Beauty: The Invisible Embrace

“The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.” 
― W.B. Yeats

 

thanks for stopping by today,

love, light and gratitude, 
cathy