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.
Things that give me energy:
- Light (sunlight, truthfully)
- Salt air
The Things We Touch
Every day we put on clothes, we pick things up, we cook, we slide our fingers across our keyboards and our phones – mindlessly. And yet, in each of these is a touch, a texture, a temperature. The fabric we wear is stretchy, silky, or soft; the dishes are cool and hard. Food has endless textures: bumpy, crumbly, or even slimy.
How often do we notice?
What if we paid as much attention to the water running over our bodies in the shower as we did the pillow we lay our heads down on each night? What if we were as mindful of the softness of the scarf we wrap around our neck as we are the tag that scratches at our back?
Here is what I do notice:
- A new book, its pages crisp and clean
- The warmth from my children when we curl up on the couch
- The weight and softness of the throw I cover my legs with while I relax
- The heat of a fresh cup of coffee
- A pair of fuzzy reading socks
- A hot bath
- The almost-spring sun as it heats the inside of the car
- Ice-cold water during hot yoga (and the grip of my mat during asanas)
- The smooth keys of the keyboard while I type
- The curved edges and ridged buttons on my camera
This mindfulness challenge began to help create more awareness in my photography; it is helping to create more awareness in my life.
In honour of Valentine’s Day, I decided to switch this week’s theme with one I had planned to do in a few weeks: Love.
Love is a Pink Door
We recently redecorated our master bedroom: new bedding, new lighting, and new paint. The walls are now a soft grey, the quilt a quiet cream. I chose a neutral palette for its serene appeal as well as to appeal to my husband, whose style is about as far from flowery as you can get.
The door to the balcony was dark brown, so it needed to be changed as well. I had the idea to paint it pink, but figured it would end up being white. When my husband asked me what colour I wanted to paint the door, I threw out the pink idea, expecting it to be shot down instantly. To my surprise, he said, “Try it.”
To my even greater surprise, he didn’t mind it.
(Although he did suggest the room needed a Metallica poster to put some of him back into it!)
I was so happy with this pink door, this little bit of pretty pastel.
Then, my dear husband surprised me again: He came home with a pink orchid to go with my pink door.
Love it generosity and comprises. Love is romance and little surprises.
Love is a pink door (and an orchid to match).
Happy Valentine’s Day!
I am a High School English Teacher
There are many things I could have chosen for this week’s theme, so many things that make me happy. But what stands out for me right now is that after many years of being in not-quite-right jobs, I am in the right job for me. This is the most content I’ve been in a job, ever.
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.
I had no idea how I was going to start.
I’d created this list of themes to help me be more mindful in 2017. Deliberately abstract, I’d begun to wonder if I’d be able to even come up with a subject for my first photo: Focus.
It had been on my mind for a few days.
Then, yesterday while shortening curtains for my newly painted master bath, I was focused on stitching a straight seam. I guided the fabric, and I was literally focused on the moment: listening to the whirr of the machine, watching the tiny stitches draw a row of tiny dashes along the edge.
It occurred to me that this would be a perfect photo the first week of my mindfulness challenge. It is focus in the moment, focus in photography.
This, then, begins 52 weeks of #createmindfulness2017.
I’ve fallen away from my photography a little lately, so I’ve been looking for something to spark my creativity in 2017. There are so many 365 challenges (too ambitious for this teacher), and 52-week themes available, but none were quite what I was looking for.
This past summer I began practicing yoga regularly and absolutely love it – and want to benefit even more from the practice to be more mindful.
It’s nearly 2017, so a little late, but I wanted to share what I came up with today: “Mindfulness Challenge: 52 weeks of mindful themes for photography, poetry, journaling, and creating”.
Please feel free to print/try/share. If you’d like a PDF version ($1) – and an editable PowerPoint version, please click on the image below and you will be taken to the link:
Enjoy, good luck, and Happy New Year! Wishing you and yours health and happiness for 2017.