Cactus on a Beach

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I will go to the beach until I can no longer go to the beach.

Wind, rain, cold – they don’t stop me.  Only when the snow covers the ground for the winter and makes climbing down to my favourite beach treacherous do I stop for the season.

On this bright, crisp, sunny day I dressed in layers and headed out.  I had checked the tide times, packed my bucket and my camera, and carried a snack in case I got hungry.  This time, I even remembered to pack tissue – if anything can send me home early, it’s that or the lack of a bathroom.

I expected to be alone on this chilly day, but when I arrived, a couple was already there.  With a bucket.  A large bucket.

My heart sank.

No doubt they were searching for sea glass.

I took a breath and went down anyway, hoping they hadn’t cleaned it out.  It took seconds to realize they were serious sea glass hunters, however.  The tracks always tell:  footprints woven up and down the shoreline showed they had covered every inch.

Sighing, I decided to make the best of it.  I had my camera, after all, and it was a beautiful day for a walk.

I didn’t find much sea glass.

What I did find was a tiny plastic cactus, swept up the beach by the tide.  I couldn’t resist a few shots of it standing on the sand, the irony of a cactus seaside not lost on me.

The cactus stands on my kitchen windowsill, now.  A reminder that sometimes things don’t go as planned, but if I keep my eyes open, I might find a fun little unexpected detail.

 

Mindfulness Challenge Week 26: Stillness

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Life is never truly still.

Slight movements surround us, always.  There are interruptions to our meditations, sounds and distractions.  Breath means movement.

While practicing using my neutral density filter, I left my camera focused on the pool for a few minutes to go help my son clean the car.  I had just tripped the shutter on a 30-second exposure when he called for me.

My daughter, thinking she’d be funny, attempted to capture a selfie on my camera while I was gone.

The stillness of the shot captured her movement in front of the camera, a faint purple haze in front of the pool.

When I was choosing a photo for this entry, my initial thought was to use this first image, as I felt it showed stillness well:

pool 2 w

However, it occurred to me that the challenge of being still is to accept the constant movement surrounding us.  Instead of ruining the image, my daughter inadvertently created a metaphor.

Nothing – not even stillness – is perfect.  I wouldn’t have it any other way.

#createmindfulness2017

Mindfulness Challenge Week 25: Texture

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Around here, it is not unusual to see ATVs rolling by at the beach.  The expanse of shoreline and lack of crowds make it possible to travel the shoreline this way.  For a moment, the quiet of the beach might be interrupted by the passing of a driver; however, it is a moment only and I have yet to witness anything less than respect in this activity.

Wet sand lends itself to changes in texture.  These tire tracks are probably gone now, washed away by the tide.  If I hadn’t been paying attention, I might have missed the intricate pattern created by this brief moment.

#createmindfulness2017

 

Mindfulness Challenge Week 19: Change

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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.

#createmindfulness2017

*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.

 

Mindfulness Challenge Week 16: Patience

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.

 

#createmindfulness2017

Mindfulness Challenge Week 15: Awareness

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Art Everywhere

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.

 

#createmindfulness2017

Mindfulness Challenge Week 14: Connection

connection

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.

 

#createmindfulness2017

 

Mindfulness Challenge Week 13: Beauty

beauty

Beauty, Unexpected

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.

Mindfulness Challenge Week 12: Perspective

salt perspective

Salt

Photography is all about perspective (as is life).

Mundane objects can become surreal art through a macro lens.  Tiny details, normally overlooked, take on new possibilities when studied and appreciated.

The morning sun on the kitchen table changes colours, creates reflections, and lights up salt shakers.  Suddenly, salt is art.

Salt is also an accidental self-portrait…  Look closely.  🙂

#createmindfulness2017