Monday, May 31, 2010

God Provides

"They all depend on You
to give them their food
as they need it."
Psalm 104:27

(Canon Rebel Xsi; 250mm lens, +4 close-up, cropped)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Accepting the Storms and Expecting the Sun

The sunsets after rain are extraordinary. This evening, I  am sure it must have resembled heaven.
The turmoil of rains and wind for several days, or even hours, with the added darkened gray color of light, makes the world around me, and even my own soul, feel weary. I have experienced much loss because of or during rain and wind storms. However, when it stops...and it always does stop...there is a relief and a definite sense of quiet sure lifting, of new beginnings, of life coming out from under cover to spread its wings.
The sun bathes the rain soaked, the wind beaten with a warm, reviving golden glow. Peace fills the misty air and soaks beneath the surface of every living thing that was exposed to the harassment of the storm, transforming what was chilling and shunned into something  which is readily drunk - deeply. No matter how long the storm endures; no matter how weary I may be; no matter how late in the evening before the sun triumphs, when it does, I am energized, encouraged, infused with the peace it lavishes on me.
I have come to accept the storms. That doesn't make them any more pleasant than before. They are not less damaging or less wet because I accept them. But, I have come to accept them because I have learned to expect that, after the storm, the sun will come out. After the soaking and the beating of the wind, the mist, which is left on the heels of the storm, will fill me with the peace it is made of. Peace that can only come from the One who created it. Those peace-filled moments surpass everything that happened during the storm. 
(Photos taken 05-2010; Canon Rebel Xsi; 250mm lens, f 8.0; ISO 1600; -1 exposure)
(Thanks to Michael Nelson who photographed the mountains from the roof! I photographed the sunset and blossoms)
(As always, click each photo for enlarged view ;)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Passwords for Progress

I came up with an idea a couple of months ago. I needed to change some passwords and it can be difficult to come up with things that are memorable. I've used the common choices, i.e., a family member's name, birth dates in part or whole, street addresses, etc.
But, a couple of months ago, I thought of a phrase - just a two-word phrase - and every time I log into my email account, it's like a little pick-me-up! It reminds me of my direction in life! It has been an incredible source of encouragement at the moment I'm typing it in, and also in the cumulative - reminding me of where I was, where I am, and where I want to be!
If you would like some ideas, here are a few (no, I'm not going to tell you what mine is!)
-getting better
-be happy
-moving forward
-choosing hope
-getting out of debt
-smiling daily
-joy 101
-dream big
-God can do it
-all will be well
I've written these as separate words to make them understandable, but in your password it would be written as a single word - Godcandoit.
Go ahead and try it! Think about how many times you log into an account everyday! I think you'll be surprised the difference it will make in your daily perspective and in your overall attitude - Cheers!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Tomorrow is a New Day

As the sun has set, bringing the end of another day, I think about what I have done.
Could I have done more? Probably.
I will try again tomorrow.
I will awake with anticipation of filling the day with
focused thinking,
productive actions,
and hope.

(Please excuse the electrical pole in the center of this photo. The photo was taken in 2006 - a long time ago. I wasn't thinking about things like that back then!
Anyway, this is an unedited photo - except for minor cropping)

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Olympics After the Rain

May 17th, 2010 Canon Rebel Xsi
250mm lens, f 11, ISO 400
cropped and lightened

Thought for Today

Today -
I will focus intently on each task I am doing. It takes self control to keep the mind from wandering from the present, to thoughts of the past or the future. Focusing on the moment also helps to keep myself in motion and from getting overwhelmed. I will pay attention to what I am doing right now - the laundry, taking a photo, cleaning the kitchen, job interview, cooking a meal, writing a post, painting, or visiting with someone.
When I pay attention to the present moment, all of my senses and intellect will be ready to give and to gain from whatever I am doing. I will experience the moment fully. I will be conscious of doing the best I can. All of my energy is there for the task at hand, so, I will exert a little more - go one step farther - to better myself and to keep moving toward the goal.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Where There Is Life...

...there is hope
(04/2010 Canon Rebel Xsi, 1.4 lens, cropped and contrast adjusted)

Friday, May 14, 2010

Sweetness in the Shadows

No matter how stressful, hurtful or ugly things may be at any given moment, I've been blessed so many times to catch even a glimpse of something beautiful, peaceful, or enriching. 
Lately, I've been taking my camera everywhere - making and taking the opportunity to practice my photography skills. One of the bonuses is that I can capture some of those special moments, also. 
This morning was a bit grueling. I didn't get much sleep last night and I had some major errands to do in Port Angeles. There is so much in bloom and I appreciate all of the color this time of year, but today it was a bit of a blur, until...
I was famished and pulled in to a drive-through for some lunch. Car sounds and exhaust, buildings, metal, concrete and glass seemed to exaggerate the weariness I was feeling. Have you ever noticed there is no comfort in things that are not alive? 
When I went to place my order, I looked just past the speaker post, and there, tucked in the shadows was this sweet little blooming rhododendron. It may as well have been an entire forest of rhododendrons, because it was so refreshing for me, at that moment. I grabbed my camera and took a few shots. In a way, I was able to freeze that moment - keep it as a reminder to look in the shadows for the spot of life that will refresh my body and soul.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Mother's Day and Mother Bird

Sunday afternoon - Mother's Day 
Two of my kids and I headed to Port Townsend. The first stop was for coffee and with the Arts & Crafts Fair in town, it was a miracle we found a parking space right away! 
Spirits were high as I parked the van. We had been listening to happy music and chattered most of the way there. The sunshine made Water Street look like it had been splattered with fresh primary colored paint. Balloons, flags, t-shirts, and flower planters danced in place. The kids were excited - giddy - and I was ready for a great afternoon of taking photos. 
As soon as I stepped into the street, with my camera bag over my shoulder, I could hear the familiar and nostalgic sound of "city sparrows" - as I had come to name them from childhood. I associate their song with happy times when we would visit my mother's relatives in the city. (I've learned since that they are called "house sparrows." )
I looked up in search of them, and there in the dark corner of the second story window, I saw a hole in the brick wall and there was a house sparrow trying to satisfy the noisy, demanding hatchlings. I raised my camera, but missed the "perfect shot." She was done in a second and had sat down to rest a while.

At first glance, you wouldn't guess that a bird's nest was there. I am impressed with the bird's determination and ability to chip away at the mortar long enough to make a hole just big enough to get in and out of. It is so well hidden, safe from enemies and weather. There is even had a ledge where the mother bird can rest in the sun, for a second or two, before heading out again for another mouthful of nourishment for her babies.
I thought of myself in the nest and God as my Rock (as the psalmist refers to Him) - a high, safe, huge rock that keeps me hidden, safe and protected. 
I thought of myself as the mother bird and God, my Rock, as a strong place to hide, defend and provide for my children. 
I thought of myself finding the moments of rest I need to carry on, as this mother sparrow did, on the ledge, in the sun.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

New Snow on the Mountains in May

One foot of new snow yesterday on the mountains - another 8 inches forecast for tonight.
Morning minutes are a valuable commodity these days. I looked at the mountains and could not resist getting the camera in spite of my time frame. Two shots was all I had time for this morning - and thankfully, when I checked them this evening, I found they came out ok.
I am registered in the CNA Training Program at Peninsula college -8 intensive weeks and employment almost guaranteed after graduation.

(photo taken 5-4-2010: Canon Rebel Xsi 250mm lens, ISO 400, F 5.6)

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Sunday Thoughts

"What a waste it is to be surrounded by heaven,
by a sky 'made white by angels' wings'
and to be unaware of it.
Perhaps the first step
is that we really should want
to unearth God
in our midst...
[to] let the mundane
become the edge of glory,
and find the extraordinary
in the ordinary."
Esther de Waal

"To find not perfection,
Nora Gallagher

(Self-portrait photo taken, edited and designed by my daughter - an ordinary girl (?) filled with the extraordinary - not perfect, but loaded with possibility - writer, music composer, lyricist, deep thinker, pianist, horse whisperer, eyes open, heart beating, feet running, growing and changing faster than I can keep up with. I love you Leyah. )

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Random Raindrops Reflection

The perfection in the "happenstance of nature" amazes me. For instance, how and where raindrops settle, and, even more so, what they end up reflecting. The three raindrops, above, look like cut gems in their settings at the base of these leaves.
In the reflection of this raindrop, you can see the sun, but the other images are distorted. I can't tell what they are. And while it reflects white objects, the other two raindrops reflect blues. In this pool of raindrops, there is a refection of a raindrop (actually two single raindrops) and it is very difficult to tell where that raindrop actually is. I think it is on the petal (which I cropped), to the right of the pool.
I have to wonder, "Is it sometimes challenging to find the source or the reality of what I'm reflecting when the random raindrops pool together in my life?"
(05-01-2010: Canon Rebel Xsi, 1.4 lens, cropped only)