I suppose it's the fervor of summer that brings romance to the air. The sun warms everything from cocoons to blossoms, revealing eager butterflies and colorful flowers.
I come home from vacation to find much progress in the gardens. As a stunt, played by a jealous jester, I swear the weeds grew in generous proportions to the time away.
I must admit. June is bounteous.
Longer days. Warmer temperatures. Enticing color palates. Not to lack mention of the bountiful floral fragrances because to do so would seem an obvious omission.
You get it. The list is long.
It appears this plot to seduce me to the outside works.
How can I resist?
Like romance, it's alluring.
I gather the camera and slip into sandals.
Before I even consider what is happening, I fall prey to summer's spell. He knew I would. The bright ones are continually cultivating plots. All the while, tending their seeds.
The warm sun is not shy either; provoking me to linger longer and longer.
With proof that I overstay, I eventually return to the house with twenty-three images.
It's funny the way this happens, time-and-time again.
Like an adolescent lost in the trance of her first love affair, I am unable to explain why or how it takes longer than it should. On the other hand, what is the hurry anyway?
The flowers do return each year; perhaps in varying shapes, sizes, and positions but I can accept this.
In likeness, love returns, as well.
The motivation for this happy life never ceases to amaze.
I choose to remain a girl servant to this ever-evolving, never-uninteresting life. Because it is true, amidst quiet patience and genuine intentions, all things are possible.
It is chilly and rainy. However, in more ways than one, the cozy, stillness of days like this one feels entirely natural. It attracts me, even.
My daughter, Kandice, married the love of her life, Tim, on Sunday.
Our hearts are full.
As does any well-adjusted Mother of the bride following her daughter's wedding celebration, I welcome the comforts of a little solitude this morning.
Oh, how I have missed sharing not only photography but words, as well.
I greatly value not only the quietness of this recently returning free time but also our visits, sharings, and friendships. I need our time together; it feels like one of those tender bonds that fall right back into the well-friended space between two people that can't do anything less than feel just right.
I charge the camera this morning, make coffee, and walk through the house. I offer up a little giggle to the family room floor, as I remove my sandals. Why not return to the comfort of bare feet? All houseguests left already, and my toenails are a sparkly, silver shade offering more proof of a recent wedding.
It's obvious the time quickly passes because the camera is ready to enjoy; full battery and shutter button under an eager finger. I'm smiling through my eyes and out the lens.
Click, click, and click.
Even if I only get a few feet from where I start, it doesn't matter. The enjoyment is monumental.
I pause, move a little closer and to the right just a smidge.
This image is the one. I can tell.
The coffee table grouping is ordinary, on the one hand, but extraordinary on the other at this moment. Does that make sense? I hope so. To me, it does. I love noticing the beauty in simplicity.
The dried rosemary aroma wafts through the air just long enough to remind me that it still has an offering to share.
The tiny bird atop the candle snuffer reminds me of the gentle love that brings a daughter to gift something special to her mom on Mother's Day. Kandice is thoughtful like this; noticing heartfelt details that matter to others.
I press the keyboard and finish up my message to you this morning, all the while feeling appreciative for this opportunity in which we come together across the cosmos.
I'm thankful for you and your offerings.
I feel humbled, by the inspiration that erupts, from living fully alive.
If we didn't have darkness, would we ever notice beautiful shadows and bouncing lights?
We all see.
I want to see the good in every person and situation.
It's an exercise.
After all, there are times when this upside down life challenges our vision.
Photography helps bring clarity, for me.
What is your clarifying exercise that you pull from the ceiling in times of need?
I've met a few dogs, in my life.
Long haired ones.
Short haired ones.
Good smelling ones.
Others that sniff for what seems like hours of their lives.
All make willing participants for photography, even if they look the other way.
They are excellent listeners, too.
Did I mention that?
... find a muse, a source of inspiration.
Storytelling imagery is my muse.
What is yours?
Do you see a bad apple in her hand or an ever-so-small bad spot in the otherwise fruitful treat?
It could go either way ...
... write your story.
Is the girl a doll?
Is the doll a girl?
If we see ourselves as reflections of others and vice versa, would we respond accordingly?
We are in this upside down life together.
Why not take a moment or two and look at a few things upside down, sideways, or
from another person's perspective?
In this upside down life, there are many things for which to be thankful.
I see many opportunities for each of us.
It begins with insight.
Until next time, xo,
I love the adventure of wandering here and there. The sights, smells, and textures of new places are alluring. Even if the baggage is blue, it is small. That counts. Finding positive space for negative objects is an ongoing process.
From where did this want to remain actively optimistic come? I cannot answer that question, but I love the adventure of searching my mind to consider the seeding. As the years continue, I fertilize positive seeds and share the harvest. It feels right.
Inside my mind, the door pulls open and up to a visual world of creativity. The doorknob is different leading into each room but always unlocks if I am willing to give it a twist to open. At times, it involves a climb. I am ready to exercise that task because I know the result is spiritually rewarding. And I admit, the journey is the fun part. Right?
Creating mobile art fertilizes frames of infinite spaces, in my garden, to free the little things which are stuck inside. Expressing my little quirks, through mobile art, is therapeutic. I wouldn't say that I grow more confident because I don't. I would say that my garden expands, not without weeds on occasion, but nevertheless, it sprouts.
Do You Garden Under The Moon's Light?
Walks With Friends
The birds know that I have absolutely no willpower to miss an opportunity to spend time in their company. Leaving all other tasks patiently awaiting my return, I take walks with birds. If I ignore the invitation, the results are less than interesting. It's real amidst the winds of creating art; the scooping air on the way up, the hanging suspense of soaring, the relaxation of landing. You feel it. Right? The fleeting moments with gathering images, adding textures, lightening, darkening, are surpassed only by the sharing. True story.
The Gathering Arms
The way I see it, life is a continuing opportunity to erase and begin again.
Performed by the Brunette Nested Birds in synchrony with the Brush, Pin, Tease and Spray Quartet.
I gather the iPhone, tripod, and remote shutter, for the image, and go outside to the patio. The rains stop long enough to tender a little time to play, though the sky remains cloudy. I twirl, twist, and move about the small space until I capture several frames.
I rarely have a particular pose or plan. I rather let the artful moments guide the way. This ensures the results are as much of a surprise to me as they are to the observer.
After all, every garden needs rain.
Would It Look Like This?
If flowers flew like birds, would it look like this?
In the beginning, middle, and end, throughout the ever-changing seasons, be you.
As we embrace our differences, I hope we embrace our personal uniqueness and share it.
Sending much love and friendship, from my little garden plot in this life to yours.
Why not join me for lunch?
French Onion Soup is on the menu.
In order to begin, we need a few things.
An apron. After all, it sets the mood.
I love linen. Have I told you that?
The polite way in which linen holds each wrinkle, much like a blueprint of our daily activities, is impressive, thoughtful even.
Similar to laugh lines I see these trails, pressed into the fabric, as reminders that the things we experience are worth noting.
I sift through my thoughts, leave my linen distraction behind, and return to our list of ingredients.
This serves 2-4 people depending on your serving dish.
1 large white onion, sliced
1/4 cup unsalted butter (this matters, unsalted)
1 garlic clove, chopped
1/2 bay leaf
1 tsp thyme
1/4 cup red wine
1 pinch mustard powder
1 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 cup vegetable broth
salt and pepper to taste
bread of choice, small amount (I used large, oyster crackers, but a baguette would work perfectly fine, as well).
Add butter, onion slices, bay leaf, mustard powder, thyme, garlic, salt, and pepper to a medium pot. Cook until onions are tender and caramelized. This takes about 20-30 minutes. You'll know.
Add the red wine.
I give permission to have a taste, as well. It's important to make sure the flavor is just right, smiling.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for a few minutes. We want the wine to evaporate and the onions to dry. Remove the bay leaf.
Sprinkle the flour atop the onions and stir. Cook this for about 10 minutes or so, over medium low. This matters. You want the soup to have a little body but not taste like flour.
Now add vegetable broth, and let simmer for 15 minutes.
Add salt and pepper to taste. Careful with the salt ... just in case the crackers or bread contain salt.
Select your baking/serving bowl. One for all, is best.
Are you ready to eat?
If not, let your soup cool and refrigerate until you're hungry.
If so, preheat the broiler.
With a large spoon or ladle, add the onion soup to bowl(s).
Now, we need the crackers or bread. (I used crackers for no specific reason other than they are in the cupboard today).
Float crackers/bread atop the soup.
Now, we are ready for the Gruyere cheese!
Top with sliced cheese (I cross two in the center of each bowl). Then grate an additional generous amount of cheese and place atop the crackers/bread.
I head toward the oven and place the bowls, in the oven, to allow the crackers/bread to brown and the cheese to melt all over the place.
This is the good part.
The kitchen smells amazing, right?
We have a few minutes to clean up, before lunch is served.
If my camera could walk, she would find her way to the table, set a place, and join me for lunch.
It's time to claim this yummy concoction and decide if we have done well, in the kitchen, today.
A little higher, please, and leaving behind the unfinished cleanup, I take a bite.
Not a small, timid bite, but a big one. It seems necessary.
I go back for another bite, and then another.
Why judge, right?
With each swallow, my tongue doesn't shy away from salivating for more.
Num, num, and num!
Because this must come to an end, I leave you with a recipe for French Onion soup and an endless amount of friendship and a generous portion of sharing.
Thank you for joining me for lunch.
Let's do it again, soon.
Until next time, my friends.