Sunday’s at the Rescue: the Kiss

So fellow travelers, I spent some quality time with my rescue friends, both the 2 and 4 legged variety, yesterday.

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Our volunteer photo ninja, Caroline Booth Murphy has an eye for capturing the heart and soul of the dogs, as well as the great team of humans who work with them.

This haiku came from a comment she shared with me about a special moment, one I myself have been blessed to experience.

Quick lick simple kiss
Shy soul reaching out past fear
Cherished gift of trust

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Although Caroline’s moment came with a different pup, this shot she took of a staff member and a newly arrived rescue dog captures it perfectly

Walk gently on the path my friends and may adventure find you ready.

Editorial Note: Sunday’s at the Rescue is a series of posts about my experiences working with rescue dogs. It is named for Sunday, a sweet young dog who came through the rescue where I volunteer, stole a piece of my heart (as so many of them do) and got herself adopted into a great home.

Sacred Spaces

So fellow travelers, I have been in a bit of a haiku slump. So much so, I posted this from Facebook on my creative tribe’s page.

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At least I’m laughing while sitting in this writing ditch.

 

Then this morning a single ray of light cracked open the ice dam.

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First Light golden gift 

Morning bird songs sing of spring 

Treasured sacred space

 

I have many little altars around my home, my yard,  even in my camper. Sacred spaces to remind me of the precious gifts of life and time. I am often blessed to come upon them scattered along the trails I will soon wander again.  Spring approaches ever so cautiously as it does in this snowiest of cities. I am certain it will be here soon.  I heard my first bluebird song of the year.
May you too discover Sacred Space Without and Within on your journey.

Walk gently on the path my friends and may adventure find you ready.

In The South Field

A poignant and beautiful tribute from an amazing writer and rescue angel someone I am honored to also call friend.

tales you win

Look south

The big horse, tired and confused, peered out of the back of the trailer. Another new place. More new horses to meet. Another struggle to find his place in the pecking order.

Heaving a deep sigh, the strawberry blonde Belgian draft gelding stepped out of the trailer and into a patch of thick, still-green grass. The fall air was crisp and swirled through his mane, bringing scents of the farm to his flaring nostrils. One step at a time, thought the horse, and he dropped his head to hungrily enjoy the first green grass he had seen in months.

Ah, what a treat. Enjoy it while you can, he thought, who knows how long this will last. And so he grazed greedily, ripping up mouthful after mouthful in case the woman holding the lead rope attached to his halter decided to bring his feast to a sudden end.

Oh sure, with his mass…

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Focal Point

So fellow travelers, after several weeks of unseasonably mild weather, winter has delivered quite a sucker punch timed to hit right at the beginning of  winter break.

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A not so Happy Valentines Day          turned rosy with some photo effects

It started with two days of bone chilling sub zero temps and wind chills, with a side of sneaky lake effect snow bands guaranteed to create thrill rides on the local highways for those of us who had reasons (like welcoming a transport of fifty new rescue dogs) to be on the road inspite of travel advisories.  Then, not content to simply let temperatures rise above freezing, Crotchey Old Man Winter decided to crank the thermostat back and forth so a meandering cold front – warm front border brought us snow, sleet, rain, slush (yes coming down in clumps from the sky not just forming on the road) and more snow. Lather, rinse, repeat for a good eighteen hours.

Worst of all, the light has gone completely flat and grey, so shooting photos of the snow and ice covered wonderland out there has resulted in disappointing images.

winterlakeview              notsosparklesnow

A  favorite trail view looked flat and sparkle snow (the best of dozens of exposures) fell far short of what I saw.

 

I found myself stuck in a grey puddle of mental slush, feeling stifled and uninspired.

And then this morning, while Delilah and I ventured out between snow drifts, I managed to catch a few images, ironically not with my DSLR but using my phone camera. When I downloaded them I found this little gem.

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The joy of getting just one great image after days of disappointment was an amazing rush. Suddenly things on my bucket list which have been missed take on a new life.  A guided birding trip to a local nature reserve where raptors have congregated this year in record numbers postponed for a few weeks?  Great, gives me time to brush up on my telephoto lens skills.  A special concert was rescheduled to next month?  Oh good, I have now have a couple extra hours to edit photos.

Finding the Right Light, feeling joy, capturing the awe in every day life it really is right there if I look.  It’s all about what I choose as the focal point in the lens of my daily perspective.

Walk gently on the path my friends and may adventure find you ready.

 

 

 

 

Hearts and hounds

A wonderful post on the gift of giving love on Valentine’s

Quilt of Missing Memories

“Set your heart on doing good. Do it over and over again, and you will be filled with joy.” – Buddha.

I was told to take a small piece of paper from a basket as I walked into the studio room for an exercise class last Sunday.

“It’s an affirmation,” I was told by the smiling instructor. “Take one if you’d like.”

I did, and I slowly unfolded it.

“Seek joy,” it read.

A good one I thought for a bitter cold week.

Especially since  I wasn’t feeling sweet at all.

The Valentine’s Day holiday can do that to a girl, especially when you’re buying your own chocolates.

My rational side knows it’s just another Hallmark holiday, so I was happy to re-focus on a quest for joy.

Still, I mailed a few Valentines to friends and family.

And I addressed a box of playful kitten and puppy Valentines for…

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One Song

So fellow travelers, mid winter weather has neutralized the sky canvas which inspired so many recent photos.

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Delilah and I scurried along wind swept fields on our walk hoping to dodge the bands of lake effect snow blowing in ahead of an arctic cold front. Now I remember why I usually do not shoot many photos in the winter.

And then I heard the distinct trill of a single bird sheltered in a tall pine tree.  Soon after, we came across a brush pile all a twitter with a small flock of  sparrows hidden within.

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Look closely, you’ll see the brave ones keeping watch as dozens more shelter deep in the brush pile.

My thoughts turned to the way a creative community recently regrouped after a period of contentious interactions with a key leader. It was an eye opening experience which raised many questions. There were few, if any, positive answers to be found until someone opened a door to a sanctuary where all voices would be welcome.

Sometimes all it takes is one person shining a Light on the path, one clear voice to sound the call to awaken. Like a lone bird singing it’s heart out before a winter storm.

The light has gone grey
Despair settles on the land
Until one bird sings

Walk gently on the path my friends and may adventure find you ready.

The Sunday Sun

So fellow travelers, watching the sun paint colors in the sky at day’s end has become a cherished ritual for me.

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In this year of acclimating to being a long  distance Mom to both my daughters, the milder weather has been a blessing. It allows me to tarry longer and really take in what I am seeing with newly attuned vision. Delilah certainly appreciates the chance to roust out critters under the snow as I stand lost in thought.
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Often those thoughts weave themselves into poetry.

 

The Sunday sun sinks slowly west
setting the winter weary woods aglow with golden hope
Distant robins sing unseasonably early
Joy awakens
My heart smiles, knowing
it is Monday morning where you are now
and the rising sun greets you with my love.

 

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Walk gently on the path my friends and may adventure find you ready.

Art Class in the Sky

So fellow travelers,  the sky has been a wonder this winter.

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Whether I’m  lingering longer on our daily walks because of milder temperatures or there is some atmospheric magic afoot, most days have offered breath taking views. It’s impossible not to be inspired by what I see at day’s end.

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I recently treated myself to an impromptu painting class, a Paint and Sip event at a favorite independent coffee house. Attending meant I was supporting two local businesses while indulging in my love for really good coffee and artistic exploration.

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I used to take art classes in the summer. It was a way to take time for myself when our daughters were toddlers. Over the years my art supplies got tucked away or used for school and girl scout projects.

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My finished version of the “Northern Lights” project we created that evening.

The one night art session was so rewarding, I decided to start dabbling again, so in addition to fresh paint and blank canvases, I’ve been collecting images with my phone camera to study and use as references.

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This sky greeted me when I left work today.

Being part of a supportive creative community has empowered me to follow the whims of my creative impulses. I’m not going for a masterpiece, I’m going for experience. I am experimenting, having fun and gleaning some inner contentment along the way.

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A study of clouds, in acrylics;  playing with textures and shades. 

Of course there’s a haiku tucked among the clouds of the sky gallery I’ve been visiting.

Sunlight colors clouds
Ev’ry day new sky paintings
Gratefully received

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Tonight’s gallery: a blaze of colors and tantalizing tree forms .

 

Walk gently on the path my friends and may adventure find you ready.