RETREAT..

It feels like the world is spinning out of control. America is divided and at a cross roads and the pandemic rages on. Trying to find solace, a place to retreat from the angst and the storms, feels impossible. The vibration of discontent lurks in the shadows and at times it seems we are being devoured by strife and sorrow.

I refuse to give in to the pull of anger and vitriol. I am a fighter and my first instinct, always, is to battle the forces that are seeking to undermine me and indeed, our nation. Still, I’ve decided on a different course this time. Perhaps it’s getting older and hopefully wiser. Perhaps it is the people who came before me who understood violence only begets more violence. Even more importantly, perhaps it’s simply because using the gravitational pull of kindness, respect, and empathy will gain all of us so much more.

Looking to reset my own angst, doubt, and worry, I sought out the woods where my favorite trees thrive and reside. The sinewy paths that lead to new discoveries and the hidden treasures of the woods with pine needled coverings sprinkled across the path, is a luxury all its own. On this walk I found this amazing little camp where utilitarian design, beauty, and community collide. Cabins strewn about the forest, creating a circle, safety, and inviting everyone to enjoy a respite in this hectic and frantic world.

I was reminded of my days at summer camp where the slap of the screen doors to the mess hall and slap of bare feet on the docks, and the echoes of excited kids ready for the days adventures ahead. Running, splashing, crafting, hiking, fires, laughter, stories, and a reliance on each other to create a community where each person played their individual role. Each person responsible for themselves and for providing a community environment where success depended on everyone.

Here is a slideshow of my return to the woods, to silence, resilience, respect, and growth. I could hear myself think, and the wind whistling and the earth speak and for awhile I was able to push the rancor and antipathy away. I was happy to listen to the forest breathe and with each gust of wind I inhaled gratefully.

I thought I would share a piece of the peace that I found. Enjoy!

Retreating to Nature

No Destination Required…

The summer flew by melting everything in its path and scorching the green ground beneath us. While September dawned, the acrid heat of summer lingered and fall snuck surreptitiously in the back door. The air is autumn crisp and it crackles with seasonal suspense. The winter is coming but first a display of the magnificence blazing colored leaves, dotting the horizon, a feast for the senses and artists alike. There are roads to be explored and adventures to be had around each corner. 

And so this summer began with my oldest son getting his driving permit. We practiced daily and for any reason, “out of bread? need air in the tires?”. It was disconcerting to find myself getting in to the passenger seat, watching my son navigate the roads with ease, and confidence, (it’s the confidence that scares me), and having no control. My youngest, urgently sensing the unforeseen benefits of his own looming freedom, suddenly became more interested in the mechanics and responsibilities of driving.

The sands of time had fallen one granule at a time and I found myself in the role of the wise (I’m going to leave the word “old” out for obvious reasons) sage. I sat transfixed, listening to my sons talk, unprompted, about their school, friends, hopes and dreams. If we had we been sitting at home, in our usual routines, I might have gotten a few grunts between bites of food, perhaps a head nod or two. But here in this magic car, in our own cocoon, seeking out unknown routes and looking for adventure, and most of all new places to eat, we were having conversations. We rode in comfortable silence, or debated philosophy, politics, religion, and relaxed while the countryside and it’s farm stands flew by. 

In these quiet moments of concentration, watching my sons driving, becoming young men, I sat back in silent gratitude and soaked in every moment. I prayed I would always remember this hot, hazy summer of their budding independence and hopeful dreams. The future, once far away, and out of reach seemed impossibly close, as if it was just around the next corner. I’ll cherish the memories of the smell of the freshly mowed grass as we drove by. Or the sticky ice cream cones that melted in their hands and made the two of them laugh like little boys. There were unexpected water fights, the ever-present eye rolls, non-stop suggestions, and the awkward hugs that feel more like small body slams by Olympic wrestlers wrapped in Axe body spray, than a soft place to land. 

The picture doesn’t look  how I imagined it one year ago but I do think my aunt would be pleased. I’m still looking forward to aimless magical rides throughout the seasons, on roads I have never been, looking for new adventures only now it’s with my sons. I have come full circle. No words necessary. No destination required.

Happy Thanksgiving Day!

Reflections
Reflections

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving day filled with family, love, laughter, and Joy.

Today is a day for reassessment, reflection and resolution. To look around at the blessings in our lives and to be thankful for those who sit at our beautifully decorated tables, to be aware that some people have no table to gather around with their loved ones, and for those we’ve lost, whose spirits now reside beside us at our table of gratitude and love.

Thanksgiving is a perfect reminder that though our lives are often filled with challenges and strife, our numerous treasures are always closer than we think. Today, hopefully we are sitting across from all the people we love and whose presence in our lives are the real gift of this season.

I wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving and I am thankful for the guidance, lessons, art, laughter, joy and love I have received from each of you. I will keep all of you in my heart as I say Thanks.

 

With Peace and Gratitude.

#Gratitude

Under the Bridge
Under the Bridge

Happy and Frightful Halloween!!!

A gypsy fire is on the hearth,
Sign of the carnival of mirth;
Through the dun fields and from the glade
Flash merry folk in masquerade,
For this is Hallowe’en!
~Author Unknown

Halloween  Fright Night!!
Halloween Fright Night!!

 

Halloween Town..
Halloween Town..

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Halloween's Crystal Ball!
Halloween’s Crystal Ball!