WPC: In Focus, Or Not….

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“When I fully enter time’s swift current,
enter into the current moment
with the weight of all my attention,
I slow the torrent with the weight of me all here.”
.
Ann Voskamp
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“Miracles… seem to me to rest not so much upon…
healing power coming suddenly near us
from afar but upon our perceptions being made finer,
so that, for a moment, our eyes can see and our ears can hear
what is there around us always.”
.
Willa Cather
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“Listen to the trees as they sway in the wind.
Their leaves are telling secrets.
Their bark sings songs of olden days
as it grows around the trunks.
And their roots give names to all things.
Their language has been lost.
But not the gestures.”
.
Vera Nazarian
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“Pay attention to the intricate patterns of your existence
that you take for granted.”
.
Doug Dillon
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Photos by Woodland Gnome 2017

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“Attention is a resource as abundant as sunlight.
It streams outward all day long
whether we choose to tap into it or not.
By developing conscious focus of our attention,
we learn to harness one of the greatest creative powers
available to humankind,
one that happens to be freely available
within ourselves at all times.”
.
Scott Edmund Miller
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For the Daily Post’s

Weekly Photo Challenge:  Focus

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Photos by Woodland Gnome 2017
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WPC: Solitude

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“If our friendship depends on things like space and time,

then when we finally overcome space and time,

we’ve destroyed our own brotherhood!

But overcome space, and all we have left is Here.

Overcome time, and all we have left is Now.

And in the middle of Here and Now,

don’t you think that we might

see each other once or twice?”

.

Richard Bach

~

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“There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not man the less, but Nature more”

.

George Gordon Byron

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Photos by Woodland Gnome 2017

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For the Daily Post’s

Weekly Photo Challenge:  Solitude

 

 

Grace

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Graceful

Effortless harmony

Fluid movement

Elegance in motion.

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Graceful beauty

Attracts our notice…..

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Holds our attention;

Mesmerizes.

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A spontaneous meditation

On the beauty of this world,

Nature’s portal to peace:

Grace

May be found within

and without….

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Gracefully, gratefully,

We join the dance eternal.

We feel nature’s rhythms of wind and wing,

wobble and wave.

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Gracefully, we flow in at-oneness

with our world,

Breathing, becoming, bestowing,

Grace.

~

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Woodland Gnome 2017

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“Grace is what picks me up

and lifts my wings high above and I fly!

Grace always conquers!

Be graceful in everything;

in anger, in sadness,

in joy, in kindness, in unkindness,

retain grace with you!”


.

C. JoyBell

~

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For the Daily Post’s

Weekly Photo Challenge:  Graceful

Sunday Dinner: Flow

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“Be like water making its way through cracks.

Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object,

and you shall find a way round or through it.

If nothing within you stays rigid,

outward things will disclose themselves.

Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water.

If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup.

You put water into a bottle

and it becomes the bottle.

You put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot.

Now, water can flow or it can crash.

Be water my friend.”

.

Bruce Lee

~

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We have watched more rain fall in the last two days than I can ever recall.  If  ‘we’ includes every soul from Jamaica to Maryland, then we have perhaps witnessed the most rainfall in recorded history.

It’s ironic that the Daily Post chose “H2O”  as the theme for their Weekly Photo Challenge on Friday, as Hurricane Matthew chewed up the Caribbean and the East Coast of the US.

Ocean swallowed land, breaking up buildings and piers like tinker toys.  Waves crashed over sea walls and battered against homes and hotels.  Historic, torrential rains have washed away hillsides and towns.

Here, the water flowed.  We are blessed with a topography which can handle rain.

But all around us  in Virginia and North Carolina, at the northern edge of this great storm, it rose.  We watched streets become ponds and roads float away, carrying so much of people’s lives and livelihoods on the rising tide.

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We watched this on TV and the internet, of course; here, we simply watched water run in sheets across the streets, fill the ditches  and puddle on the patio.

We drove to Jamestown late yesterday afternoon, watching the river rise to the top of its banks and the creeks and marshes fill like bathtubs.  Herons stood along the shallows,  gazing with curiosity at the rising tide.

Yesterday, the world was wet and grey.  The clouds hung low and spewed sheets of water from sea to land.  And now the storms have moved away.  The sun was out here by this afternoon.

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And with sunlight comes every beautiful color of the day:  blue sky, golden flowers, green leaves and shiny patches of lichen on the dark wet bark of trees.

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Water teaches the lesson of change.  As it changes forms itself, so it also changes everything it touches.  Judging ‘good’ or ‘bad’ sometimes begs more questions than it settles.  Even the lack of water, a summer drought, shows us this truth.

And so we learn to flow, like water; to adapt, to reflect, to adjust, and to persist.  And above all, to hope to nourish and refresh with  our very presence.

What can hurt can also heal; what can destroy is also the basic unit of every living thing.

~

September 5, 2016 Parkway 008

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Woodland Gnome 2016

 

 

 

For the Daily Post’s

One Word Photo Challenge:  H2O

Wednesday Vignettes: Transformation

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“Sorrow prepares you for joy.

It violently sweeps everything out of your house,

so that new joy can find space to enter.

It shakes the yellow leaves

from the bough of your heart,

so that fresh, green leaves can grow in their place.

It pulls up the rotten roots,

so that new roots hidden beneath have room to grow.

Whatever sorrow shakes from your heart,

far better things will take their place.”

.

Jalaluddin Rumi

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Photos by Woodland Gnome 2016

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“When you become the image of your own imagination,
it’s the most powerful thing you could ever do.”
.
RuPaul

What’s That Again?

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Yes, we had some flooding this weekend.  But I didn’t think it was this bad!

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Slowly, the water is receding; but what a difference a weekend can make!

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“There is no perfection,
only beautiful versions of brokenness.”
  .
Shannon L. Alder
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Photos by Woodland Gnome 2016

Sunday Dinner: Flow

August 19, 2016 birds 008

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“Have you also learned that secret from the river;

that there is no such thing as time?”

That the river is everywhere at the same time,

at the source and at the mouth,

at the waterfall, at the ferry, at the current,

in the ocean and in the mountains,

everywhere and that the present only exists for it,

not the shadow of the past

nor the shadow of the future.”

.

Hermann Hesse

~

August 10, 2016 River at dusk 048

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“Water does not resist. Water flows.

When you plunge your hand into it,

all you feel is a caress.

Water is not a solid wall, it will not stop you.

But water always goes where it wants to go,

and nothing in the end can stand against it.

Water is patient.

Dripping water wears away a stone.

Remember that, my child.

Remember you are half water.

If you can’t go through an obstacle, go around it.

Water does.”

.

Margaret Atwood

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Photos by Woodland Gnome 2016

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November 28, 2015 fall color 012

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“Life in us is like the water in a river.”


.

Henry David Thoreau

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Oregon's beautiful coast, just south of Depoe Bay.

The Gathering

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Golden sun sinks below the treeline

As  shadows gather and gel into darkness.

The air smells green and damp.

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Silvery mist glides across the water;

Softly blurring land and lake,

Lake and sky,

Twilight and night.

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A heron waits,

Still and silent,

For the gathering.

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Grey on green, green on grey,

Sky on water, night on day;

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Boundaries blur and fade

As emerald August evening

Pauses, lingers, but still slowly

Melts  away.

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Woodland Gnome 2016

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August 19, 2016 birds 019

 

 

CYW: What Color is February?

Sunset over College Creek this evening

February 16 ‘Indigo’ clouds over College Creek this evening

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What colors do you associate with February? 

My partner and I went out in search of color this afternoon, and found the world showing mostly shades of grey, brown, green, blue, and light.  I’m counting ‘light’ as a color as it was so wonderful to see the sun this afternoon!

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February 16,2016 sunset 040

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Yesterday was snow, sleet and freezing rain.  So we can add white and silver grey to our February color palette, too.  I wandered out in the late afternoon, when the storm had passed, thinking I might cut a stem of something, anything, for a vase.

I made a wet and sloppy circuit around the front garden, too disheartened by the thawing slush to even cut a tightly closed Daffodil bud.    I decided to wait for a better, warmer day when it felt ready to open on its own.  It was far too icy wet to explore further up the drive or down the hill in search of Hellebores.  That vase yesterday sadly went unfilled…..

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Our garden, yesetrday

Our garden, yesterday

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This is that time in February when we search for color. 

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February 16,2016 sunset 011

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Yes, one notices the thousand shades of green in pines, hollies, Magnolias and Ligustrum braving the cold.  One sees the first leaves of bulbs shouldering their way up through the frozen soil.

But where are the warm reds and oranges, yellow, pinks, lilac and blues of summer’s garden?  February feels so drab by comparison.

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February 15 'Inchworm' green and February 17 'Jazzyberry Jam' shine in this bit of turf beside the pond.

February 15 ‘Inchworm’ green and February 17 ‘Jazzyberry Jam’ shine in this bit of turf beside the pond.

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Jenny’s colors this week reflect a much more lively palette than this February day can provide.  We may find tints in the sunset sky, but the intensity of ‘Hot Magenta,’ ‘Laser Lemon’ and ‘Jazzberry Jam’ remain a distant memory in the depths of a Virginia winter.  Maybe we’ll take a rain check until May…..

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February 18 'Jungle Green' shadows surround this Great Blue Heron meditating on Halfway Creek.

February 18 ‘Jungle Green’ shadows surround this Great Blue Heron meditating on Halfway Creek.

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A neighbor’s wild Crocus patch along the road often blooms in February.  Perhaps those soft shades of lavender petals and bright orange stamens will break ground soon.  Our souls need color to see us through this next bit of cold and muck!

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February 20, Lavender Crocus which bloomed this day two years ago.

February 20, ‘Lavender’    Crocus which bloomed this day two years ago in the edge of a neighbor’s yard.

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But the sun shone brightly by this afternoon, and the clear sky reflected deep, brilliant shades of blue.   We drove out of the woods and spotted a pair of swans feeding along the edges of Jones Mill Pond.

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Our brilliant winter sun slid ever so slowly down the sky, playing hide and seek behind clouds heralding the next cold front slipping through here tonight.  We watched those purple tinged clouds grow fiery red, orange, pink and yellow as the sun sank towards the horizon.

Each day grows noticeably longer in February; one of this month’s few blessings.

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College Creek at Archer's Hope

College Creek at Archer’s Hope

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So Jenny, we weren’t entirely successful in our hunt for this week’s CYW color challenge colors.

But here is what we did find, and we find it lovely enough for this mid-February Virginia day.

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Wait, Could that be 'Laser Lemon' in this evening's sunset? February 19, scored.....

Wait, Could that be ‘Laser Lemon’ in this evening’s sunset? February 19, scored…..

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Thank you, Jenny, for sponsoring the Color Your World photo challenge this spring.  I’m happy to participate in Jennifer Nichole Wells’s new “Color My World: One Hundred Days of Crayola” photo challenge.

Jenny is working from the Crayola Crayon chart of colors, and offers a new color challenge each day for 120 days, beginning January 1.

I’ll aim for one post each week, sharing photos of as many of that week’s colors as I’m able.

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And finally, February 14, 'Hot Magenta' Hellebores give us that shot of color we crave so badly....

And finally, February 14, ‘Hot Magenta’ Hellebores give us that shot of color we crave so badly….  These, blooming in our garden before this latest snow…

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Woodland Gnome 2016

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February 16,2016 sunset 024

Sunday Dinner: Synchronicity

October 11, 2015 Parkway 011

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“I do believe in an everyday sort of magic –

– the inexplicable connectedness we sometimes experience

with places, people, works of art and the like;

the eerie appropriateness of moments of synchronicity;

the whispered voice, the hidden presence,

when we think we’re alone.”

.

Charles de Lint

~

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“Each man had only one genuine vocation –

to find the way to himself….

His task was to discover his own destiny –

not an arbitrary one –

and to live it out wholly and resolutely within himself.

Everything else was only a would-be existence,

an attempt at evasion,

a flight back to the ideals of the masses,

conformity and fear of one’s own inwardness.”

.

Hermann Hesse

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“We do not create our destiny;

we participate in its unfolding.

Synchronicity works as a catalyst

toward the working out of that destiny.”

.

David Richo

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“All of us, whether or not we are warriors,

have a cubic centimeter of chance

that pops out in front of our eyes

from time to time.

The difference between an average man and a warrior

is that the warrior is aware of this,

and one of his tasks is to be alert,

deliberately waiting,

so that when his cubic centimeter pops out

he has the necessary speed,

the prowess, to pick it up.”

.

Carlos Castaneda

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Photos by Woodland Gnome 2015

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