Mindfulness Challenge Week 2: Gratitude

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Coming Home

There are so many things I am grateful for:  being surrounded by family and friends; having finally settled into a job that I love; a yoga practice that enriches and strengthens me; books that let me slip away; and little things like coffee and chocolate…  But when I started thinking about what I would photograph to show gratitude this week, what I realized is that right now, I am most grateful for being home again.

This is the early morning sunrise through my back window.

 

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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:

Through the Window

through window

When it’s cold, I often take pictures of the outside, from the inside.

With my zoom lens and some selective positioning, it is possible to create some interesting compositions.  This shrub is actually an odd shape and wouldn’t make great photos standing directly in front of it.  But when looking at it from inside, it worked quite well with the warm colours of the house behind it.

What Fall Should Be

leaves

This week has been absolutely gorgeous.

It is November, and we have had temperatures of 17 and 18 degrees celcius.  The sun has been shining, the breeze has been calm, and the fall leaves are hanging on.

Last year at this time, winter was in full force.  Our yard never got cleaned up before the snow because the snow came so early.  This is what fall is supposed to be like.

What a difference a year can make.

Shopping for Antiques

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My husband and I love shopping in antiques shops.

Lately, I had been looking for an old drawer/basket/suitcase to hold my cards at the next craft fair I am getting ready for.  There was no shortage of containers, but they were all too small, too big, too round, or too expensive.  Just when I had given up at our third stop of the week, I decided to take one last look around.  Hiding behind a shelf was this fantastic case, for only $10!

The lining is ugly, but the potential is great.

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I’ve torn out the stained maroon satin, and will reline the inside with paper.

It will be perfect.

Parrot Bay

leafy trail

My husband, my sister, and I enjoyed a morning walk along the leaf-covered trails at Parrot Bay Conservation Area.

The trails were entirely blanketed with golden leaves and pine needles.  Blue jays swooped past us (too quickly to capture), ducks and geese squawked at us from the water, and tiny chipmunks skittered by.

Only one creature paused long enough for me to photograph…

snake

We should do this more often.