When I focus on my breath in yoga, I visualize the sea.
Breathe in, waves recede.
Breathe out, waves wash the shoreline.
Its natural rhythm calms me, draws me into the moment, and brings with it all the soothing qualities of the beach.
It is a reminder to slow down and go with the flow, to let go and ride the waves, so to speak.
The ocean is my motivation, my inspiration.
One of the things I love best about photography is that it forces me to pay attention to the details: the way the light casts shadows; the contrast created by differing backgrounds; or the flowers that have fallen from the plant.
While photographing a brilliant red Canada 150 planter (Happy Canada Day!) on my parents’ back patio, I looked beyond the flowers to the table and spotted these dropped blossoms. Instantly, I was drawn to the mix of textures and colour created by this composition. I much prefer it to the photos I made of the flowers themselves.
The first “flowers” of spring: dandelions.
They pop up along foundations, between crevices in sidewalks, bordering curbs. They are the first splashes of colour, and then they, too, disappear. Seemingly overnight, they change into fluffs of white, pompoms dotting the fields. A breeze picks up the pollen and sends it on to new destinations.
Change is inevitable.
*Please bare with me while I catch up on many missed blog posts over the next little while. 🙂 Summer vacation is here, and with it, more time to write, photograph, and create.
Forsythia and Other Garden Discoveries
Until very recently, I had no idea what grew in my garden.
We moved here in the fall, when I was starting a new teaching position and spent all my spare time unpacking and planning. There was no time to explore the yard, and soon the plants were buried in snow.
Spring came late this year. Now, though, I can enjoy the bursts of colour coming up. Crimson tulips, pink rhododendron, and bright yellow forsythia. Soon, I will have blossoms on the apple tree and hydrangea. I’m almost certain one plant is an astilbe; another I think is a dahlia.
Nature provides much beauty, but in spring it’s the flowers I enjoy the most.
Things that give me energy:
- Light (sunlight, truthfully)
- Salt air
Two pink doors, side by side, simply begged to be photographed.
For starters, I have always been drawn to the colour pink. Pink in any shade appeals to me: coral, champagne, or watermelon. So when I spotted these doors, the only logical thing to do was to make a picture.
They are almost perfect symmetry, twin doors separated by stripes of white and blue with identical silver knobs. Salt air and rain have aged them separately, however. It seems one has been more affected than the other.
Soon, these doors will open to ice cream and summer breezes. Sand will be tracked over their thresholds. They will be witness to sandcastles and sunburns.
I can’t wait.
Testing my Patience
April is the ultimate test of patience:
Shivering in spring jackets, because we can no longer stand to layer ourselves in winter wear; fingers icy because we refuse to wear gloves for even one more day; wiping snow off the car with our sleeves because, frankly, we are fed up.
Watching the snow melt, only to wake up to earth covered – once again – in snow; waiting for the ice to break up in the bay; driving deliberately through puddles so the spray scatters onto snowbanks in the hopes they will melt just a little bit more.
Patience brings rewards, too:
That first glimpse of salty water under the bridge and rivers beginning to flow once more.
An edge of lawn; a blade of green grass.
Sand and waves and a single piece of sea glass.
April can be a cruel month, but the rewards are worth the wait.
There is potential for art in so many places.
In the winter months (and in Northern New Brunswick, it still looks very winter-y outside my window!), I find this most challenging. Gardens and beaches and backyards are my go-to for photography. While there are plenty of beautiful possibilities in the snow, I much prefer the opportunities brought by warmer weather.
Indoor photography is a great place to practice awareness. It is a challenge to notice the tiny details of daily life, to appreciate the the normally overlooked compositions in the home.
This silver paperclip stood out from the rest, catching a glint of light coming through the window.
Art is everywhere.
Connecting the Years
In my daughter’s collection of doll clothes are a few items kept from my childhood.
This tiny embroidered dress is one of them; I can clearly remember dressing my own dolls in it when I was her age.
I’m happy I kept it. It somehow connects her childhood with mine, the years in between disappearing for a moment. It is also a connection of how many of the things I loved have become the things she loves.
Fresh flowers are beautiful, without question.
There is a certain allure that comes with age as well. Forgotten flowers, with their papery petals and crinkled edges, are no less beautiful. Faded hues turn sepia and thin veins become more evident. Their layers are compressed, holding on to the last drops of moisture, the last moments of life.
Time is a fragile beauty.