Spirit of Dragonflies

Guide to Awakening Your Inner Self – Begin Your Creative Journey Today


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Place in the World – WPC Challenge

For this week’s photo challenge, explore what it means to find your place in the world. Where’s your safe space? Where do you go when you need to feel inspired or cheered up? Do you prefer to feel cozy and comforted in a smaller town or do you thrive on the buzz of a big city? If landscapes aren’t your thing, you can even explore portraits by playing with scale or fashion.

Nature is not a place to visit, it is home. ~ Gary Snyder ~

My place in the world is anywhere outside in nature. If I could find a way to live outside all year I would. Maybe one of those round glass houses where you can see nature all around you even during short winter days.

In the meantime I live as close as possible for now – trees standing tall outside the windows, birds play in the bird bath, listen to leaves rustling in the wind as the sheer curtins dance in the windows, wake to the birds’ morning songs and listen to the owl’s story in the evening hours. Whenever possible, I am outside and barefoot weather permitting.

Forget not that the earth delights to feel your barefeet and the winds long to play with your hair. ~ Kahlil  Gibran ~

It is important that my grandchildren learn to love nature as my children have before them. All three are tree huggers, sun gazers, prefer walking in barefeet, and the newest additions will be as well.

Nature – Our Home

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“What we are doing to the forests of the world is but a mirror reflection of what we are doing to ourselves and to one another.” ~ Mahatma Ghandhi ~

Do you enjoy spending time outside in nature? If so, where is your favorite place?

Let’s all do something to preserve and protect Mother Earth. We will only ever have one and as Mother Day approaches let’s take some time to appreciate the Mother that gives life to all.

Love and Light!

If you would like to view other photos for this week’s challenge or would like to submit your own, click on the link below:

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/place/


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WPC – Lines

This week, share a photo with a composition dominated by lines — hard or soft, straight or curvy, vertical or horizontal, or made in nature or as part of a cityscape. We look forward to seeing your interpretations!

At the Saratoga National Cemetery the tomb stones are lined up right to left and front to back. Depending on the angle they will appear in a straight row or sometimes line up in a V. In the photo on the left, can you find the V shape of the stones and trees in the background. How many V shapes do you see?


Boardwalks, piers, store fronts, picket fences, grocery shelves, and clothes lines – if you disregard the object and just notice the lines you will find interesting models to draw. In my youth drawing lines of houses, hallways, and arrows were some of my favorites. I would practice drawing straight lines without using a ruler until perfected. It has been many years since and, although no longer perfected, lately arrows are once again finding their way into my notebooks.


There are many shapes found in nature which are also interesting to draw. The shadows of trees and all the shapes they create on the ground are always interesting. While walking on the beach in Santa Barbara we found a structure someone had made of sticks they found on the beach. It was an interesting structure and as we were leaving I wondered how long it would stay on the beach before the ocean waves came to claim it.

As a child I loved drawing trees. Our Art Teacher, Mr. Notke, taught me how to draw trees when I was in grade school. I began drawing them daily in my notebooks rather than taking notes on Math, Science, and English. The photo above would have been one I would have loved to add to the notebook because there are so many different shapes captured in the branches.

Pulling all of these photos together reminded me how much I loved drawing in the past. So this weekend I will gather my drawing pencils and sketchbook once again. You may see my drawings in a future post. Maybe you will be inspired to create this weekend as well. Whether you have ten minutes, an hour or an entire day take some time for a little creativity – drawing, photography, writing, knitting, crocheting, wood working, painting, dancing, or whatever your pleasure. Finding a little creativity time is a healthy way to live and relight that spark within.

Do you enjoy finding shapes in ordinary objects? What about in tree canopies or shadows on the ground?

If you are interested in viewing more photos or would like to submit your own, please click on the link below:

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/lines-2018/

Love and Light!


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Earth Day Celebration at Kripalu

“What’s the use of a fine house if you haven’t got a tolerable planet to put it on.” ~ Henry David Thoreau ~

Earth Day should not really be celebrated one day a year – it should be something we celebrate and give thanks to every day. Mother Earth is our home – we should honor and care for everything she blesses us with knowing life would not be without her blessings.

Feeling grateful to have shared in The Language of the Earth program at Kripalu. We spent the weekend exploring nature, hugging trees, learning how animals interact with nature, and planting a tree.

“Keep close to Nature’s heart… and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.”  ~ John Muir ~

“A true conservationist is a man who knows that the world is not given by his fathers, but borrowed from his children.”  ~ John James Audubon ~

“In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.”  ~ John Muir ~

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In the center of the tree you will see markings on the tree from squirrels. It was interesting learning how to read the animal signs in nature.


There were so many places where people visiting Kripalu stop to meditate, relax, and hold rituals. Such a peaceful location to visit and spend a weekend or week.

“He that plants trees loves others besides himself.” ~ Thomas Fuller ~

We each wrote a note to Mother Earth and buried them with the tree. Can’t wait to return to see how the tree is growing over the next few years.

The view of the lake from Kripalu was beautiful and the two little birds came to visit me this morning while I was drawing a tree while sitting at the table.

DSC_0818.jpg“Time spent among trees is never time wasted.” ~ Anonymous ~

During our last adventure in nature today I noticed this tree growing out from a fallen tree. This is why it is important to leave fallen trees as they continue to feed other trees in the forest. Old growth forests should be left alone and unfortunately they have been destroyed over the years due to ignorance. It is time to pay attention to the message of nature. Trees are sentient beings – A sentient being is one who perceives and responds to sensations of whatever kind – sight, hearing, touch, taste, or smell. Sentient ultimately comes from the Latin verb sentire, which means “to feel” and is related to the noun sensus, meaning “feeling” or “sense.”

“Away, away, from men and towns,
To the wild wood and the downs, —
To the silent wilderness,
Where the soul need not repress its music.”
—Percy Bysshe Shelley

Did you get out in nature on Earth Day? Do you feel peaceful and relaxed when walking in nature?

I am planning a sharing of Forest Bathing with a small group of people in a local wooded area in the near future. If you are interested in experiencing this wonderful event please send an email to spiritofdragonflies@gmail.com.

Love and Light!


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Awakening – Spring is in the Air

This week, show us an image of an awakening. I’ve chosen a photo of a fiddlehead, the structure that rises from the ground, eventually to unfurl into the leaves of a fern. Those of you in the Southern Hemisphere are headed into autumn, and your environment is preparing for a winter rest. Your interpretation doesn’t have to be botanical in nature. I’m eager to see what you all share.

“Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson ~

Spring and new awakenings. Love witnessing plant life reaching out from Mother Earth ready to greet the sun. I feel the same way. Awakening from the winter slumber ready to reach out to the sunlight and connect my bare feet to the earth once again.

“The sun does not shine for a few trees and flowers, but for the whole wide world’s joy.” ~Henry Ward Beecher ~

“Nature is not a place to visit, it is home.”  ~ Gary Snyder ~

And, this little guy with a lightweight coat ready to try out his new wheelbarrow. He is ready to get outside and hug trees, make mud pies, and enjoy the renewed greenery of spring. I am sure he is ready to go barefoot once again as well.

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Looking forward to some more warm days with windows open, sheers dancing in the breeze, sunlight decorating the floor, and long walks in nature.

If you would like to view additional photos or would like to enter your own, please click on the link below:

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/awakening

Love and Light!


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WPC – Smile

This week, show us a smile (yours or someone else’s), make us smile, or both. Share a photo of something that has brought a moment of joy into your life recently, or focus on the outcome of that joy. If you’re not feeling particularly cheerful at the moment — it’s still 2018, after all — no need to fake your way into the challenge, either. Smiles come in all shades and flavors, including the half-hearted, tired, bitter, and resigned (to name a few). So whether the emotions you channel in your photo are full of cheer or not, I can’t wait to see your take on this theme.

This week with all that is going on in the world and so many people feeling there is nothing to be happy about it seems appropriate to share some photos of happy times over the last few years and how we help the little ones find their smiles and how they bring out our smiles as well. I’ve also added some other photos that make me smile. Hope you find your smile while viewing the photos.

Children learn to smile from their parents. ~ Shinichi Suzuki ~

Smile, it is the key that fits the lock of everybody’s heart. ~ Anthony J. D’Angelo ~

Isn’t that the truth. I would like to think that in our family we have smiled enough to show our children that there may be rough spots on the road along the way but you can always smile, be a little silly, and enjoy life.

We only get one life – at least this life – so why not smile more, laugh more, and just enjoy every moment. Be aware of the energy you share with others. Just as a smile will spread, the same is true for a frown so turn that frown upside down and share some loving energy with all you come into contact with. When someone smiles at you doesn’t that bring out a smile for you as well. Smile at everyone you meet because you never know what is going on in their life and your smile may brighten their day.

Dare, dream, dance, smile, and sing loudly! And have faith that love is an unstoppable force! ~ Suzanne Brockton ~

Love and Light!

If you would like to view other photos for this week’s challenge or would like to submit your own, please click on the link below:
https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/smile/


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WPC – Rise/Set

For this week’s photo challenge, share your favorite photos of a sunrise or a sunset. If you’re an early bird, try to capture what dawn means to you. Is it a symbol of hope? A reminder to get going? Do you have any special early morning rituals that you do as the sun rises in the sky?

For night owls, share a snapshot of the day coming to an end. Show off the vibrant colors of sunset and the peaceful calm as the moon rises or any twilight rituals you may have. Get creative and show us the sun in all of her fiery glory.

I am a night owl and love watching the sky fill with vibrant colors as the sun sets over the horizon. Sometimes the night sky looks as if it is on fire and other times it sets slowly filtering rays of light through clouds and trees. There are never two sunsets that are exactly the same so one never gets bored watching this amazing natural event. Every night when the sun sets it reminds me of the fragility of life and to always end the day in gratitude for all of our natural blessings.

 

The sky takes on shades of orange during sunrise and sunset, the colour that gives you hope that the sun will set only to rise again. ~ Ram Charan ~

Sunset off the coast of Skagway

Sunset off coast of Alaska

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Perfect happiness is a beautiful sunset, the giggle of a grandchild, the first snowfall. It’s the little things that make happy moments, not the grand events. Joy comes in sips, not gulps. ~ Sharon Draper ~

When in California a favorite activity to experience with my grandson is watching the sunset. It is a wonderful experience and one that he enjoys as well even at the age of 4.

 

When I lived in California, after work I would sit on a bench south of Laguna at a beautiful location called Treasure Island. Many people would visit the same location to witness the sunset. We would sit quietly waiting patiently for the sun slowly slip beyond the horizon. Once it made it’s decent, we would clap and enjoy the moment. Some would get up and leave as soon as the thin line along the horizon disappeared others, like myself, would sit and wait until darkness filled the night sky and then we would slowly make our way back to our cars.

Sitting with strangers enjoying the same natural event was quite moving. It cost nothing and actually gave more enjoyment than any expensive amusement park. No one had to say a word, when eyes met we communicated at a deeper level as we shared the same life experience. I can still feel the loving compassion and joy.

My grandson is naturally drawn to sunsets. When he was two sitting at dinner with his parents he said, “Look at the beautiful sunset.” My daughter and her husband looked out and had to agree – it was amazing. Sometimes in our busy lives we ignore the natural pleasures we are blessed with daily. Children can help us slow down and open our eyes to ‘see’ our world anew and become grateful for those daily blessings.

If you would like to view additional photos or would like to submit your own, please click on the link below:
https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/rise-set/

Love and Light!


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Favorite Place – WPC

What’s your favorite place, near or far? Share an image in a new post!

Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul. ~ John Muir ~

This weekend I was fortunate to visit one of my favorite places, Pumpkin Hollow Retreat Center, where I volunteered to help out in the kitchen and share in Karma Yoga (the discipline of selfless action without being attached to the outcome – being in Union with God.) This is the place that I go to for healing, to strengthen my body and soul.

When not helping out in the kitchen I had the opportunity to wander through the woods on my snowshoes. This was the first time this year that I had the opportunity to use them.

Let me take you on a little tour and you can check out Pumpkin Hollows website: http://www.pumpkinhollow.org

Living simply and in tune with nature’s rhythm is my favorite place to be. Add in some wonderful people living in a healing community and it all makes life a little more pleasant. This morning’s meditation was very powerful and a great start to the day. On the way to meditation there was a fine snow falling and it was a beautiful site from the windows. At the end of the meditation the snow and stopped and the sun came out to say hello.

The meals are vegetarian and always delicious. If you have a group that would like to visit give them a call. If you would like to get away on your own, give them a call. Remember, this is not a resort where you will be waited on, all who visit give willingly and share in activities. Love gardening, they are always looking for volunteers to help out in the garden. Do you like carpentry, plumbing, cleaning? Give them a call. If you would like to walk through the woods to the labyrinth, sitting by the waterfall, exploring nature in between helping out and/or participating in group learning sessions then this is the place for you. All who come return as this will become your second home just as it is for all those who have visited before you. Day visitors are welcome to explore, just check in at the desk to sign in before taking a walk.

If you are interested in learning more about Pumpkin Hollow Retreat Center and the history of this wonderful location please check out their website. All are welcome.

Love and Light!
If you are interested in viewing other posts for this week’s challenge or would like to submit your own, please click on the link below:

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/favorite-place/