Nature

in the gloaming.

I spent the day at a used bookstore yesterday with my Dad in Mount Airy, NC called Yesterday's, and had a blast spending hours digging through old books, magazines, records, and other memorabilia. This is our idea of heaven... I joke that I am slowly buying back all my treasures from childhood! Happy

I found this 40+ year old National Geographic for my nature loving friend (Nat'l Geo calls to me, with great memories of my Dad's vast collection in the basement of our NY house growing up), and I loved the in depth piece on John Muir.

Muir's adventures and significant impact on our natural world are highlighted, along with photos and quotes of these parks and landmarks, and a peace settled over me just reading about his legacy.

"Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.” ~ John Muir


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The gloaming, dusk, has always been my favorite time of day. It is magical.

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on attitude & perspective

Attitudes are self-created. You are free to choose to be victimized by circumstance or people, or you can choose to look at life with an open mind and be victorious. No one else can choose your attitude for you. Your perspective and choice of attitude gives you the power to be in control. That is the essence of true freedom. ~ Irene Dunlap


This was one of my favorite quotes I hung in my cabin when I was a camp counselor at Camp Oasis, a camp for kids with Crohn's and Colitis. There were others too that I brought with me to decorate the walls and the girl's minds, wrote with markers on colorful construction paper that my mom and friend John helped me make, some that I still have hanging on my wall in my office below, reminding me of that experience.

I paid over $1000 to volunteer at this camp, all told, in the summer of 2006 in St. Louis, MO- now that is saying something! They say you should ask yourself what you would do for free, or if money was no object- and whatever it is, do that. I've certainly volunteered for a lot of camps over the years, so it will most definitely be a part of my what-I'm-going-to-be-when-I-grow-up plan!

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the gift of the present.

I feel alive. Present. For the first time in quite a while. I have a migraine, and vision in my left eye is blurry. But this is mostly a big nuisance- I still feel this clear feeling. It's a lovely summer evening, 8:25pm, and I've got the front door open, shades up on the window, and have reached out to neighbors I've lived next to for years and haven't officially met. I'm putting myself out there, and am more available than I've been. It is an energy shift. A happy one!

Maybe it's because I'm on the cusp of finally digging into the thing that my life has been waiting for me to do. It's finally time, and I have arrived at the place where I'm ready to move forward, instead of just wondering and thinking about it.

One thought is that there are NO MORE DISTRACTIONS. It's interesting how some of us have to push ourselves to the brinks to launch the change we have been desiring for long periods of time. I have no financial distractions, because I have no money to spend. It's peaceful in a way it hasn't been previously. I know that it is leading to the next step for me. I have no relationship distractions. As I've mentioned in a recent post, my life has been eerily quiet (my cousin, recently visiting from Spain, called Greensboro "Spooksville" Happy!

This is the first time in I don't know how long that I am home at a reasonable hour, no where to rush off to, taking the time making a semi-proper evening meal for myself. I found a bottled spiced apple cider in the fridge, and am making a club sandwich. Seems crazy I'm sure that these things would be remarkable, but most of the time I don't slow down long enough to breathe. I'm appreciating the little things that could be taken for granted, and it's a really nice feeling. The absence of some things makes other things more apparent.

My club sandwich
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Tonight's view from my back steps
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surf.

I've developed a voyeuristic interest in surfing and surf culture lately, spurred somewhat from the inspirational story of Bethany Hamilton in Soul Surfer, and have watched other films since then, such as Chasing Mavericks, Blue Crush and Beautiful Wave. Cheesier depictions perhaps, but good enough for me. I've researched the stories of these legends, and have been endlessly fascinated with the way they live their lives.

I was considering what interests me about it, since I've never surfed, and I'm not sure if I plan to. I'm a strong swimmer and have always loved the water. I love sailing and boating. I've bodysurfed plenty, mostly as a fearless kid with my Dad in the cold Atlantic ocean, and have felt the panic of being knocked down by sets of waves at a time, discombobulated, not knowing which direction is up. I've lost my bikini top as a teenager, crawling out of the water on my stomach, so embarrassed and awkward. I've waited, heart pounding, for my Dad's bald head to bob up in the water as a sign he is OK. I've lost my nerve as I've gotten older and have become more risk-averse for sure, opting to stay on the shore most times, or just getting wet.

Mostly though, I just have a love affair with the ocean. It is one of my most favorite places to be, where I feel so small, and yet incredibly grounded and peaceful. I love the color. I like hearing the waves and smelling the water and the salty sea air. Also there's such mystery and power in its vastness. It breeds adventurers and seekers. The fact that there are people who spend the majority of their time in the water chasing their bliss as a hobby is thrilling to me, and something I feel like supporting.

I picked up
surfer magazine recently, and I gotta say I love reading it. I actually know many of the names mentioned now and can understand and visualize most of the descriptive jargon. Seeing jaw-dropping photos of big wave surfers in their element is like art I want to hang on my wall. In fact, I've torn out a couple particularly breathtaking pages to stare at. Surfing world, please welcome your newest fan.

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