Wednesday Vignettes: The Path

november-15-2016-parkway-051

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“All we have to decide is what to do

with the time that is given us.”


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Gandalf

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november-15-2016-parkway-052

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“Courage will now be your best defense

against the storm that is at hand-

—that and such hope as I bring.”


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Gandalf

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“For even the very wise cannot see all ends.”

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Gandalf

 

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Halfway Creek

Halfway Creek

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“This is your realm,

and the heart of the greater realm that shall be.

The Third Age of the world is ended,

and the new age is begun; and it is your task

to order its beginning and to preserve

what must be preserved.

For though much has been saved,

much must now pass away;…”

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Gandalf

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Jamestown

Jamestown

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“However it may prove,

one must tread the path that need chooses!”

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Gandalf

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Photos by Woodland Gnome 2016

 

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“He that breaks a thing to find out what it is

has left the path of wisdom.”

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all quotations from  J.R.R. Tolkien

 

 

 

The Road Ahead

November 12, 2014 golden day 011

 

The road ahead feels rather dark and murky at the moment.

It rained in the night, and when I opened the slider to let our cat out on the deck I was met with a blast of frigid air.

Not freezing yet, and for that we’re grateful.

 

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But cold enough.  And its windy today.  It was 38 on the  car thermometer when I climbed in this morning.

This is when November gets down to its task of sweeping another summer away.

I think of November as a great, fastidious janitor sweeping down every leaf and flattening everything it can;  cleaning up after summer for another year.

 

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The road ahead leads us into the valley of winter; frosty beauty found among the remains of the year just passed.

Winter brings deep silence, especially here in our forest community.  Lawn mowers, blowers, and chain saws oiled and blessedly put away for a few months.

 

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Winter brings  time to read, to plan, and to rest.

Winter brings twinkling holiday lights, colorful wreathes and ornamented trees.

And winter often brings clarity. 

 

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An opportunity to see clear through to the bones; whether to the structure of the garden, the skeleton of a tree, or the outlines of one’s own road ahead.

 

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Those of us well north of the equator, and especially those of us in North America, are traveling this road towards winter together.

As the days grow shorter and our gardens fill with snow and ice, let us find a warm and comforting place to wait it out.

 

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Those who don’t want to live in darkness need only light a candle, as the proverb tells us.

And we can light candles for each other, offering the warmth of love and friendship to those sharing this bit of the road with us.

 

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Roads go ever ever on,

Over rock and under tree,

By caves where never sun has shone,

By streams that never find the sea;

Over snow by winter sown,

And through the merry flowers of June,

Over grass and over stone,

And under mountains in the moon.

Roads go ever ever on

Under cloud and under star,

Yet feet that wandering have gone

Turn at last to home afar.

Eyes that fire and sword have seen

And horror in the halls of stone

Look at last on meadows green

And trees and hills they long have known.

 

 

                                   J.R.R Tolkien,  from The Hobbit

 

November 12, 2014 golden day 109

Photos by Woodland Gnome 2014

 

December 13 2013 poinsettias 003

Holiday Wreath Challenge 2014

 

WPC: Adventure!

September 5, 2014 phragmites 027

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“I am looking for someone to share in an adventure that I am arranging, and it’s very difficult to find anyone.”

“I should think so — in these parts! We are plain quiet folk and have no use for adventures.

Nasty disturbing uncomfortable things! Make you late for dinner!”

J.R.R. Tolkien

 

*

September 5, 2014 phragmites 062

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“Where did you go to, if I may ask?’ said Thorin to Gandalf as they rode along.

“To look ahead,” said he.

“And what brought you back in the nick of time?”

“Looking behind,”  said he.

J.R.R. Tolkien

*

 

July 28, 2014 pond 020

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“The road goes ever on and on.”

J.R.R. Tolkien

 

Weekly Photo Challenge:  Adventure!

Slow Progress

September 3, 2014 garden 002

 

Do you ever feel like the progress you’re making towards a goal is much too slow?

 

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It is such a frustrating feeling.

I’ve had several conversations with friends and family this week about that very thing.

 

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When we’re in the midst of a journey, especially one we didn’t choose for ourselves;  it can feel painfully, frustratingly  slow as we take the steps to move ourselves forward.

 

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The key here, is directing our energy into taking those crucial steps.

 

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However slow, however difficult, we just keep making an effort to move in the direction of our happiness and well being.

 

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Like this little praying mantis I spotted while watering this morning.

The sun was growing hotter by the minute, and he wanted to get into the safety and shade of the pot.

Every step was extremely slow and careful.

 

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Can you imagine how challenging it must be to coordinate such an awkward and intricate body?

But he kept climbing.  Even as he was aware of me watching him, and the concern that must have caused for him.

 

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He kept moving upwards until he disappeared under the tangle of vines into moist shade.

And he succeeded. 

I hope he was richly rewarded with a constant parade of mosquitoes and other little delicacies to feed on today.

 

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When is our life not a constant series of challenges?  Some we choose for ourselves, others find us.

How we make the journey defines the quality of our life and the joy of our relationships.

 

Virginia Creeper

Virginia Creeper

“If you fuel your journey on the opinions of others,

you are going to run out of gas.”

Steve Maraboli

 

But journey we must. 

And each day of our lives allows us to make a little progress forward towards our own fulfillment and happiness.

I hope the journey has been good to you today, and that you have found the energy to keep on moving forward.

 

“It is good to have an end to journey toward;

but it is the journey that matters, in the end.”

Ernest Hemingway

September 3, 2014 garden 015

 

Words and Photos by Woodland Gnome 2014

“Not all those who wander are lost.”

J.R.R. Tolkien

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