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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Tour Guide of My Childhood Home – WPC

Share with us an image, or two, or three, (or more!) of where you live. For bonus points, tell us what it is about the photo(s) that you love. I can’t wait to go on a fantastic virtual tour of the world, courtesy of photo challenge participants. Away we go!

As I am not really attached to where I currently live it seems quite fitting to give you a little tour of the town and village of my childhood. The same place where my mother and her 13 siblings were raised, many remained to raise their own children near the family home in the village. It is also where my sisters and I raised our own children and my granddaughter spent her childhood living there as well. Stillwater is near and dear to my heart and I visit weekly, still participate in a monthly non-fiction book club, and return for walks in the Saratoga National Historical Park and National Cemetery (Both are actually located in the town of Stillwater located in Saratoga County).

Here we go on our tour:

As you pass through Mechanicville on your way to Stillwater the first sight that captures a passerby should be the truss bridge spanning the Hudson River. The colors change with the seasons, time of day, and weather. When I would travel home to visit my mother, the first thing that felt like home was the bridge. Just like an old friend spanning the river waiting to say “hello, welcome home.”

As you drive into the village of Stillwater stop in to visit my niece at the local library. Grab a cup of coffee or tea and sit in a comfortable chair with a good book. You may find me there on a random Saturday morning facilitating a Vision Board class. There is fun to be had by all ages.

In the summertime there may be a small parade heading down Hudson Ave with children, firetrucks and possibly kids rides and games at the American Legion after the big event.

After the library you could walk over to check out the Stillwater Blockhouse Museum. After learning about the history and viewing photos, take some time to sit on the bench and enjoy the view of the peaceful  Hudson River.

If your interested in learning more about the Stillwater Blockhouse Museum or the Stillwater Library, click on the links below:

On the way to north on Route 4, heading out of the village toward Schuylerville, stop by the Saratoga National Historical Park. It will be well worth your time no matter the season.

If you are interested in learning more about the Saratoga National Historical Park, Saratoga Battlefield to us, check out their web page here:

After Saratoga National Historical Park, stop by the National Cemetery. There is a quiet, sadly peaceful atmosphere. The grounds have been set up to be beautiful in all seasons. The spring is my favorite. As you drive, or walk, through the trees are all in bloom and it brings the cemetery to life with birds, squirrels, deer and other critters roaming in from the surrounding woods. Last weekend while I was walking someone was firing a rifle – maybe a firing range but not sure. All these brave souls laid to rest with guns being fired nearby makes me think of the waste of lives guns can bring upon families.

If you are interested in learning more about the National Cemetery check out this website:

Population in the 60s was just shy of 1,300. In the 70s and 80s it grew to around 1,500. As of 2000 the population fluctuates between 1,700 and 1,750. There are still some farms that have not been turned into ugly condos and some forest still exist even though Luther’s Forest of my youth is now housing with roads named after the trees they deforested. The aunts and uncles that watched out for us in our youth are now all deceased. Many cousins have moved on to new horizons as have two of my sisters and most of the nieces and nephews. I feel fortunate to have my sister living in our childhood home and my niece living nearby the family home. Stillwater is fortunate to call her their local librarian. It is nice to know that I can still ‘go home.’

If you are looking for excitement and adventure, Stillwater is not really the place to visit. Just as the name states – still waters are what you will find. Mainly rundown now since all the factories closed in the late 70s, early 80s. It is a sleepy town and most of the residents travel a half hour or more to work every morning and afternoon. If you are looking for a little peace and quiet then stop by. People are friendly. You can always stop to Pat’s Sub for a bite to eat or the two/three local pizza shops. Fill up your car at the Stewart’s Shop and your within a short drive to Schuylerville, Schaghticoke, Saratoga Springs or Clifton Park.


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Winter’s Silence

How would you capture silence in a photograph? Is it a positive image like this one, showing a much-needed break? Or is it the opposite, revealing the lack of communication in a friendship or the dangers of not speaking out? Show us your interpretation in a new post.

 

“Deep within the winter forest among the snowdrift wide, you can find a magic place where all the fairies hide . . .” ~ Author Unknown ~

 

 

“Silence is an empty space, space is the home of the awakened mind.” ~ Guatama Buddha ~

After a nice walk in the silence of winter I love to go inside and pour a nice hot cup of tea and enjoy the silence of my warm peaceful home. I feel blessed and privileged to live this life of mine and to balance the peace and quite of home with times of interactions with friends, family and coworkers.

Love and Light!

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

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

 


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Just a Peek

This week, share a peek of something — a photo that reveals just enough of your subject to get us interested. A tantalizing detail. An unusual perspective. Compel us to click through to your post to find out more!

Here is a peek into some of my travels. What peeks out to you from these photos?

The little hidden home in the woods is the one that draws me closer, makes me want to stop and visit. Maybe have a cup of coffee and treat with the owner. I make up stories in my mind about who lives within those walls filling the home with happy memories.

It reminds me of traveling from California to New York. There were stops along the way in Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, and on to North Carolina before heading north to the Capital District. Evening travel meant lights were on in the kitchens of homes along the road. Many were decorated for Christmas with bright twinkling lights.  Sometimes I would feel a little forlorn as I traveled from my apartment on the beach back home to temporary residence with my mother.

My life was in transition from the role of mother to a single woman living a life of possibilities, travel, adventure yet the tug of Christmas past filled with children, home, decorations, shopping, family gatherings. During that time of travel, I wanted to stop in to visit the families in one of those decorated homes. I thought it would be nice to feel as if I belonged – even if only for a day. I would peek into the brightly lit windows of those homes and wonder what they were doing. Were they playing a board game, sitting together putting together a puzzle, or baking cookies. Were they sitting together at the dinner table as I had for so many years with my own family – first with my parents and then with my own children.  Those were passing thoughts of a night traveler. When the sun rose in the morning sky I felt alive, free, and ready for whatever lay ahead.

It was a wonderful trip across the United States with all the beautiful landscapes and a adventures along the way.

Have you ever traveled in the night and in your tired state of mind wanted to stop at a home you were passing by to get a peek into the life of another family?

Love and Light!

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

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


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WPC – Windows

Your inspiration this week is windows. Use a window to frame your shot. Show us what you see out the window from the place where you usually blog, use a window to give structure to your photo, or make a window itself your subject.

To get more creative, use the glass in a window to add texture to your photo. And if you feel like being metaphorical, go for it! Share an image focused on someone’s eyes (the windows to the soul, dont’cha know), or of a landscape or piece of art that’s like a window to another world for you.

People are like stained – glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within. ~ Elisabeth Kubler-Ross.


The view from the home windows change with the weather, each with its own unique experience. Sharing the experiences with grand babies make it even more special.

The sun porch is a special place to read, write or play with the little ones in the summer. In the winter the windows freeze over until spring visits once again. In the fall, the tree in the back of the house turns a fiery red inspiring my creative side. I love to sit at my desk to journal or write on my laptop. No matter the season, the windows of my home always look out to beauty – birds bathing in the bird bath, squirrels gathering nuts, snow or red leaves blanketing the ground, or green grass blanketing the earth after the snow melts – it is all amazing to me.

Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it. ~ Confucius ~

What do you see out your windows?

Love and Light!

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

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

 

 


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WPC – Corner

What kinds of images and emotions do corners evoke in you? In this week’s challenge, share a photo that plays on any of the word’s many meanings. Show your favorite street corner, or a cozy nook in your home where you feel truly at peace. Focus on a person or place that’s recently gone through a transformation — “turned a corner,” as we often say. Or stick to geometry and highlight the angularity of a favorite landscape or object.

Looks who Eric caught in the corner of the bedroom window. Two little boys checking out the passing train. Both of the boys started off fearful of the loud train passing by and who can blame them. The whole house trembles as it rumbles down the tracks. In the summer, the screaming whistle fills the house demanding cars to stop and wait.

To overcome their fear we would laugh as we grabbed them up in our arms on our way  to the window and wave at the passengers. Now they run to the window themselves or, if on the front porch, run to the little bench to watch the passing trains as they wave goodbye wishing them a safe journey.

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I read this quote by an unknown source and thought it appropriate for my grandsons.

“Don’t ask him to live in your world, visit his world instead.”

This is how I feel when with the little ones, always wondering what they are seeing and feeling as they experience the world anew. Around every corner a new experience awaits them. I try to see the world through their eyes and sometimes remember the hidden child within.

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

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

Love and Light!


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WPC – Order

This week, share your take on order, whether literal, figurative, or anything in between (and sure — showing it next to a healthy dose of messiness is fine, too). From library stacks to sock drawers and from ancient temples to modern train stations, let your inner disciplinarian take over.

Cleanliness and order are not matters of instinct; they are matters of education, and like most great things, you must cultivate a taste for them. ~ Benjamin Disraeli ~

Order can be found anywhere whether in store shelves, gardens, or homes. Chaos can be found in the same places. Chaos can also become orderly and some people live in organized chaos. This week I have chosen three different locations which order can be found.


While visiting my daughter in San Diego we stopped to browse in a salvage store. Everything was neatly organized and orderly for a customers easy view. It was fun checking out all of the items from earlier days, reminders of some deceased relatives homes that I visited as a child.

And, where is there more order than in a garden. If the garden is not planted by a certain time of year depending on your location you will not be able to enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Pumpkin Hollow Retreat Center in Craryville, NY has a very large garden and thankfully many volunteers. It was interesting to witness the order in which each row was set up and timing of planting each of the vegetables. When I’ve had gardens in the past, we started out with a plan and some kind of order in the planting however none of my past gardens were as beautiful or well organized as this one. They rotate location of crops yearly and do all possible to keep weeds at a minimum. This is one beautiful organic garden. Can’t wait to see the fruits of our labor.

There is a limit to the amount of misery and disarray you will put up with, for love, just as there is a limit to the amount of mess you can stand around a house. You can’t know the limit beforehand, but you will know when you’ve reached it. I believe this. ~ Alice Munro ~

Alice Munro said it perfectly, sometimes we don’t know until we are in the midst of it. I never realized how much I love order in my home until the time when it wasn’t present. I have read books on how to maintain home as sanctuary in my quest to find peace. Removing anything that doesn’t bring peace, love, and security is an ongoing process.

When there are less material items and only those that speak to my heart my home feels like a sanctuary, a place to feel peaceful and secure. A place to laugh easily, to be silly, meditate and enjoy a cup of tea in the sun shining through the window.

For myself, I love making the bed first thing when I rise, washing morning dishes and cleaning the counter prior to leaving the house. When returning home it is a gift to myself and anyone who visits to walk into a kitchen with clean counters.

What are your feelings on order? Do you function in a cluttered environment, an organized clutter environment, or in an organized decluttered environment?

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

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

Love and Light!