Spirit of Dragonflies

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


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WPC – In-Focus and Out-of-Focus

This week, show us your favorite in-focus and out-of-focus moments.

“When things feel like they’re not working out, focus on what’s working right.” ~ Karen Salmansohn ~

“Life is like a camera, just focus on what’s important and capture the good times, develop from the negatives and if things don’t work out, just take another shot.” ~ Ziad K. Abdelnour ~

“When you focus on problems, you get more problems. When you focus on possibilities, you have more opportunities.” ~ Zig Ziglar ~

If your life seems out of focus, change what you are focusing on and begin again. Today, focus on possibilities and enjoy all the opportunities that present themselves over the next week, six months, year.

If you would like to view other photos or enter this week’s photo challenge, click on the link below:

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/out-of-focus/

Love and Light!


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Volunteering and Sharing in Natures Gifts

This year started with a weekend retreat enjoying time with new friends at Pumpkin Hollow Retreat Center. It was that weekend that I decided to return and volunteer at the center monthly whenever possible.

So far this year I have had the pleasure of Karma Yoga cleanup and prepping for meal. Both were wonderful experiences with the benefit of participating in classes, mediations and enjoying nature.

This past weekend volunteers gathered to share in cleaning cabins and preparing the garden for planting. All furniture was pulled out of the cabins and then each cabin was cleaned top to bottom. Furniture was then cleaned and returned to the cabins. With two volunteers assigned to each cabin it didn’t take long to finish yesterday. The afternoon and this morning were spent enjoying working the earth in the garden to prepare for the seedlings.

The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others. ~Mahatma Gandhi~

The meals were delicious and well deserved by all. New friends were met and existing relationships were strengthened as we came together for karma yoga. It is amazing what can be accomplished when a group of people come together to share in loving service.

Of course, my camera was nearby for some nature photos. Love capturing some hidden treasures.

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Dandelion

While exploring this little greenery was discovered in a tree stump.

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Growth in the center of a stump

Lamb Ear decorated in morning dew, new growth on trees, and a bird’s nest above the entrance light.

Here are a few treasures hidden in the flower garden.

After cleaning out the cabin I noticed rain drops on the grass. As I was crouching down to take the photos the ‘rain’ began to rain down on me, except it wasn’t raining anywhere else. Debbie said it was only raining where I was and then we realized it wasn’t raining, there was a leak in the water line. It did result in some lovely photos. The drops of water look like crystals decorating the lawn.

Preparing the garden was quick work when you have several volunteers pitching in. The ground is ready for planting in another couple of weeks and the seedlings are being prepared in the green house. These photos were from Saturday so the rest of the crew are missing from the photos.

While on break I took a little walk to the waterfall and on the way stopped when I noticed the unfurling of the ferns. They are amazing to witness. Along with the fern were an assortment of flowers of many sizes. Then, with some patience, I sat and tried to capture bumblebees with their constant movement on my camera. It was a pleasure watching them buzzing in a swarm, as they enjoyed the spring weather after a long cold winter. After focusing and waiting patiently I was able to captured a couple in flight. It was a nice way to practice mindfulness. Time seemed to stop while I focused.

Nature is something to be treasures for ourselves and future generations. Everything in nature seems harmonious and interconnected.

“Not a single bee has ever sent you an invoice. And that is part of the problem – because most of what comes to us from nature is free, because it is not invoiced, because it is not priced, because it is not traded in markets, we tend to ignore it.”

Pavan Sukhdev, United Nations report, The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity.
Overall it was a wonderful weekend filled with friends, meditation, gardening, cleaning, good food and nature. This morning, before the short-lived thunder-storm, I had the privilege of providing one of the volunteers with a Therapeutic Touch (TT) session near a tree. It was an interesting experience for both of us and I hope to provide more treatments in nature. It is a perfect place for clients to feel grounded and release their anxieties and stressors in life. During the storm another guest had a treatment in the freshly cleaned library. Providing TT sessions was another highlight of the weekend.

Remember in nature, as with life, there are many hidden treasures if you take time to look a little closer. That person who may seem to rub you the wrong way may be a hidden gem in your life if you slow down and take time to get to know them on a deeper level. As with the camera – go from the macro lens to the micro in every area of your life and you will never have a dull moment in life. You may even learn something about yourself.

Love and Light!

 


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WPC – Wanderlust

“Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.” ― Dalai Lama

This week, share a photo that represents travel to you. Whether you’re crossing borders or visiting a nearby neighborhood for the first time, we would love to see how you capture these new environments and interactions!

“because he had no place he could stay in without getting tired of it and because there was nowhere to go but everywhere, keep rolling under the stars…” ~ Jack Kerouac ~

Wanderlust – A strong desire to travel or wander. Yep, that’s me. I have lived in five states, over twenty apartments, owned and sold three homes and one mobile home. You might say I was born with a gypsy soul.

My dream has been to visit all 50 states. A few years ago my sister and I had the opportunity to travel together on a cruise ship to Alaska, our first time traveling together since childhood. Alaska was the last new state to mark off the list leaving only 8 more states on my list to explore. While visiting this beautiful state we shared many adventures – snorkeling, a train ride into the mountains, seeing a glacier, zip lining and many more.

“When we get out of the glass bottle of our ego and when we escape like the squirrels in the cage of our personality and get into the forest again, we shall shiver with cold and fright. But things will happen to us so that we don’t know ourselves. Cool, unlying life will rush in.” ~ D. H. Lawrence ~

 

When I discovered that I could zip line through the canopy of Tongrass National Forest I was so excited. Once at the top of the platform, looking out into the temperate rainforest, tears filled my eyes. It was overwhelming to know that I was actually experiencing such an adventure. I had been zip lining once in the Adirondacks but nothing as exciting as gliding along the rainforest canopy.

When on an adventure, time has no meaning. We stood in line for over a half an hour to buy a coffee at the original Starbucks – my sister doesn’t even drink coffee. To entertain you while you wait, young people rotating to share their talents on violins, guitars, and singing. We also stopped at Pike Place Fish Market to watch employees throwing fish to one another. There were many times we both were overwhelmed with emotion and I shall never forget the experience shared with my sister.

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

//dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/wanderlust/

Love and Light!

 


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WPC – Surprise

Much of photography is about discovery, and with discovery may come a surprise.

This week, share a surprise with us, as you see it through your lens. We’re excited to see what you share with us!

When visiting my granddaughter and her boyfriend in New Mexico this past weekend I was greatly surprised by the views and many sites along the way. Bandelier National Monument held many surprises along the path.

I was quite surprised when I actually made it to the top of the 1.5 mile trail that led to the top of the mountain. As you can see the people below looked like ants. After the climb up the mountain we went back down and continued along the path across the stream which lead to the waterfall and additional surprises like the view of the Rio Grande in the distance. I called everything we saw eye candy. What a beautiful state New Mexico is and what surprises around every corner.

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

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/surprise-2

Love and Light!


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WPC – Repurposed

Show us something that you’ve recycled or repurposed, or an object for which you’ve discovered a clever new use.

Thinking environmentally friendly, I love this week’s challenge. Looking around my home I discovered a few repurposed items. When I owned my own home this was a common theme in my house. Repurposing fences, old sidewalks long-buried under the grass, old stone bricks from my aunt’s home that became a walkway to my backyard. Lately I haven’t really been doing this as much as I like so this has rekindled my creativity. My children are very cleaver in this respect and they have repurposed old doors into tables, dresser with mirror into a chalk board and kitchen cabinet plus many other creative adventures.

 

The seat of the chair was covered in material from a dress I was no longer wearing. Ice cream containers with lids are a great repurposed item. I have reused them in the kitchen for spices and also to hold homemade bath salts. The little stool was a small table I found at a flea market. The top was scratched up so I went home and added the material and studs transforming the table into a cushioned bench. Then on my desk I have repurposed a wooden candle mold into a pen holder. The desk scarf is actually a Pashmina scarf.

This year I repurposed grocery bags and items from my creative box into lovely wrappings on Christmas presents.

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My daughter gifted me with the dragonfly mobile that hangs in my kitchen window and chimes when the furnace kicks on. This treasure is crafted from knives, forks and spoons. I also have a dragonfly stake for my garden made of the same.

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In the village where I grew up, the local library once housed the Episcopal Church. One of my sisters was the last to be baptized in the church and now my niece is the librarian.

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This was a fun photo challenge and it is now challenging me to be more creative. Time to go and find something to repurpose. What are you going to recycle or repurpose?

To see what others have re-purposed, click on Weekly Photo Challenge.

Love and Light!


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WPC – Nostalgia

“I’m terribly nostalgic, but I’m with the Elizabethans who thought nostalgia was a disease. It’s a dangerous place to be because you can get caught up in it.” ~ Mark Gatiss ~

I think Mark Gatiss is correct. Being nostalgic is fine to visit however you don’t want to get stuck there.

Every time I visit my brother-in-law’s hunting camp a sense of sadness fills my heart. At the same time I feel filled with love and happiness from the wonderful memories shared at camp. The women would vacation at the camp in the summer. When fall arrived only the men were allowed. Over the last several decades the older family members have died and my brother-in-law, sister and their daughters have relocated to Florida and Kansas. Now, I just go and sit outside or walk to the pond to enjoy the view.

 

When I was a child they didn’t have a bathroom or toilet inside the camp. The earlier outhouse had two holes so I would go inside with my sister or mother. It was very dark at night in the Adirondack Mountains and before they installed electric we used oil lamps and  flashlights. My brother-in-law’s brother and my sister had hours of fun building Tee-Pees and running through the woods playing freely in nature.

 

Out behind the camp was a path to the pond. The red shed is still standing along the path. Once a well-worn path, now it is covered in grass due to the lack of use. The view of the pond is still as beautiful as ever especially in the early fall – before hunting season begins.

In the early days they pulled water from the pump. Now it is more decoration than anything however if it is primed water will still flow. We get our drinking water from the fresh water pipe down the mountain from camp. Non-potable water is now pumped into the camp from the creek for washing dishes.

Before I leave it is always a special treat to see the creek and remember the uncles fishing. They would wear long sleeve shirts, even in the heat of summer, hats with netting, long pants and boots. We may not see them for the entire day. We were always allowed to share in the fun, even though I didn’t eat the fish. Sitting by the creek I felt their presence. The photo to the left is from the left side of the road and the one on the right is behind the camp. Sitting near the camp, listening to the flowing water takes me back in time. I can’t linger too long because the memory can bring sadness knowing that they are all deceased – Mom, Dad, Johnny, Adam, Winnie, Betty, Mike and many more. The best thing about camp is all the memories we shared there in my youth and then while I was mother to my own children. They are wonderful memories and one of the reasons why I find being in nature is so soothing.

“We could never have loved the earth so well if we had had no childhood in it.” ~George Eliot, The Mill on the Floss, 1860 ~

When my older two children were young, they loved to run outside in the woods, fish in the creek, swim in the swimming hole across the street and build Tee-Pees out of sticks as we had when children. My older daughter took her first steps at camp. My son celebrated his 13th birthday and my nieces gifted him with naked playing cards. Poor Joe was outnumbered by all of my nieces and they enjoyed embarrassing him.

My youngest daughter spent hours in the woods pretending the area in the photo below was her home. She set up a stove, chair, and used small twigs and leaves in the pan for food to share with any willing adults who visited her.

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“Nostalgia for what we have lost is more bearable than nostalgia for what we have never had, for the first involves knowledge and pleasure, the second only ignorance and pain.” ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic’s Notebook, 1960 ~

I am grateful for the wonderful memories of pleasurable times with family and friends. Even though no longer part of my life, it is such a great feeling knowing that my own children were able to share some of the same memories from my own childhood. It would be great to have similar memories to share with my grandchildren. They may not share in the camp memories however we are sharing nature in different ways and building our own memories.

If you would like to view other photos or would like to submit your own, click on the link below:

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

Love and Light!


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WPC – Fun!

This week’s theme is simple: share a photo of something fun! Let’s all shake our booties, literal or figurative.

This week I had the privilege of having some fun with my two year old grandson in San Diego. We went for a walk to Rite Aid so I could pick up a pair of flip flops and my grandson wanted an ice cream. Two year olds love colorful ice cream so we went with the Bubblegum flavor. San Diego is experiencing a heat wave which resulted in some melting ice cream as soon as we left the store. Two blocks later this was the little face under the cover of the carriage. Oh what fun Tanner had. Check out his nose:)

 

Later in the day we headed to the water park for some fun in the water and a picnic.

Tanner had fun running in the water while his mother and I had fun watching him experiencing running through the water. As he became a little more comfortable with the water fountains he climbed up and stood over the water flow. Pure joy and fun was had by all.

While watching Tanner, Channel 9 San Diego newsman stopped to ask me my thoughts on the heat. As I was in the moment, the heat was not really bothering me and coming from high 90s in upstate New York, the 80s in San Diego wasn’t bothering me. Not sure my response was the response they were looking for as they were discussing the heat wave across the country. Guess if you are in the midst of having fun at a water park you don’t really think about anything else.

There is a time and place for everything. Sometimes in the midst of having fun it is better to release thought about problems that you haven’t any control over anyway. Do you live in the moment? Or, is your mind always focused on what you have no control over?

It has been such a fun week visiting my daughter and her family. I look forward to more fun for the remainder of the week!!

If you are interested in viewing additional photos for this week’s challenge or submitting your own, click on the link below:

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

Love and Light!