Mindfulness Challenge Week 8: Simplicity

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This is Simplicity

This photo was taken a number of years ago.  Rather than making a new one, I chose to use this one as it represents simplicity to me on many levels.

I’ve always taken pictures, but this is one of the first photos I took with my DSLR.  Even though the camera became more complicated, my style did not.  Photography for me has always been focusing on a few simple details, cutting out anything that does not add to the subject matter.

A daisy is that most common flower, found growing wild, picked by children who pull the petals off, and gathered by women in wedding bouquets.  They are grown without fertilizer or fanfare.  Daisies represent purity, innocence, cleanliness – perfect for the theme of simplicity.

In art as well as photography, a palette of black and white is also simplicity itself.

This photo is  a reminder to pare down the elements in a composition; a reminder that sometimes, simple is best.

She Sells Seashells…

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In a jewellery box on my dresser, I found this forgotten sand dollar.  It has been tucked away for a number of years now, in a tiny wooden box along with a piece of sea glass given to me by one of my children.

With time, the tiny specks of colour splattered on its surface have intensified.  Like so many other treasures, its beauty has grown with age.

I decided to crop the photo square, to focus in on the floral shape and cut out unnecessary background.  In doing so, I’ve found that it looks like a quilt square.  What a perfect beach blanket this could make!

Finding this hidden sand dollar in the middle of January – while the snow covers our sandy shores – brightened my day.  I’m counting down the weeks until beach weather…

 

Snow White

backyard-snow

Our first significant snowfall coated trees and lawns, turning our world white.

Admittedly, I am not a fan of winter – I’m a summer girl, through and through.  But the magic of the first snow is hard to ignore.

The golden shades of November disappear under this fresh layer of frosting; the barren branches are bright and new.

For now, at least, winter is a welcome sight.

 

Into the Woods

into the woods

Some days my son disappears into the woods.

Armed with nothing but his imagination and sense of adventure, he heads into the woods behind my parents’ house, often with his cousins and friends.  He’s done this on gorgeous summer days, drizzly evenings, and crisp snowy mornings.

I’m never exactly sure what he does there, nor do I care to go investigate.  I hear the occasional shout and the hard crack of wood against wood, so I know they’re safe.

The woods are the setting for untold stories, and the fallen trees are material for a fort. The darkness is a filter from the rest of the world.  There is just enough distance between this forest hideaway and the watchful eyes of parents to allow him freedom to invent without boundaries, to play without rules.

I can’t see my son when he’s in the woods, but this is what I know:  I know he is developing his independence, his creativity, and his appreciation for our natural environment.

He may come back to the house bug-bitten, scraped, or splintered, but he comes back happy.

Later…

I got to see the efforts of the boys’ hard work.  They proudly led me through the woods to their fort, and I was so impressed I went back for my phone so I could share what they had built:

Once a Maritimer…

This summer we came home.

After a year in Ontario, a move we made to be closer to “opportunities” for ourselves and our children, we have returned to the Maritimes once and for all.

As it turns out, the opportunities we sought were neither abundant nor worthwhile.  Instead, we have chosen to come back to the small town we came from.  Family, friends, the quiet life, and the beautiful beaches drew us home.

And so, I am back to sitting in the sand, listening to the waves, and searching for sea glass.

This is my happy place.

seaglass

 

Thankful

I’ve never seen anything like it.
Coming from the Maritimes, I’m used to snow.  Last year at this time, it was piled higher than my kitchen window.  I’ve seen blizzards that have dropped over a Metre at once.
But yesterday was absolute insanity.
We got about 40 cm of snow in Southern Ontario, and I drove home from work in the middle of it.
The first time I got stuck was pulling out of the parking garage downtown.  Luckily, there were two men shoveling across the street who quickly pushed me out.
The second time was at the grocery store.   I’d barely gotten in my car and someone showed up to give me a push.
The third time was the challenge.  Our subdivision never got plowed because the plow itself either broke or got stuck (I heard both versions) and hadn’t budged for hours.  But two women and a man helped me for over 30 minutes, until I managed to get into the driveway of yet another helpful neighbor.
Not once did I have to ask for help.
I am amazed by the kindness of Kingston.
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