11-5-14 019 Early morning, several weeks ago, I took a walk through one of my favorite parks. There is an asphalt trail which winds its way over a thirty mile stretch of NE Kansas terrain. It traverses a pond in this park which has a loop around it. The Autumn leaves were a brilliant orange in the awakening east horizon. It rained a bit the night before and there were puddles of water helter-skelter. When I came upon this particular stretch of asphalt and beheld the radiance of the reflected maple trees, I stopped instantly. I gazed at what I saw in the water. A reflection to be sure, but much more. I saw a season coming to an end. I witnessed a transformation. I felt as if I were walking on holy ground.

As usual, I had my Canon with me and I took the shot. This is what I saw…what I stared at for several minutes. The reflection was transforming. Water reflecting light. Light illuminating color. Black framing the subject without any particular order. And, a slight breeze which the camera did not capture, but which was a part of this scene. Only when the sun rose higher and the angle of light lifted from the water puddle did I move on. I felt different somehow for witnessing this brief dynamic of nature unfold before me. Winter was clawing at the door of Fall like our Westie claws at a mole hole-hoping to find his prize instantly only to be disappointed that it takes time for success to occur. I then drove to work hoping this colorful season would last a bit longer than expected. Winter can be so cold and drab. Strive to resist the exterior veneer of gloom…it has a way of creeping into one’s soul. Don’t let it in. Be positive, and reach out to another in need.

Sun, Sea & Serenity

Just returned from a brief vacation in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. For five days we experienced 84 degree (29 C) days with plenty of sunshine, gentle rolling waves, warm sandy beaches, and a peculiar sort of serenity amidst many vacationing souls.Cellphone Pics to 11-18-14 076This post really isn’t about all of the luxuries associated with taking such a vacation: great location, wonderful resort, delicious food, terrific pool and beach, awesome views, breath-taking sunsets, pleasant people, and even cleaning by others. What else can I say, except we were very blessed to have experienced all of this.Cellphone Pics to 11-18-14 018No, this is about something less tangible, but much more important.SL-1 153This post, and this trip, have to do with the benefits of simply changing scenery in order to relieve tension and regain a positive perspective. Two things immediately come to the surface: cost and time. In our case, the cost was relatively minor due to frugal planning, but one doesn’t have to go to exotic locales to gain a fresh view. Nor does one have to allot a lengthy period of time to gain that much-needed change in perspective…although we wouldn’t have minded staying longer. The most important factor in conjunction with the change of scenery came about due to a conscious choice to stop the stress by getting off the hamster wheel and simply just be. I have become increasingly more in-tune with the importance of simply being. Perhaps this comes with age, and perhaps with wisdom. Or, it may be borne from necessity, but whatever the reason, less doing and more being is going to become a part of our daily agenda. I will readily admit that sitting in a lounge chair on the beach, munching on fresh guacamole and chips, sipping a Corona and watching the waves wax and wane sure made ‘being’ a bit easier than if we were at home !SL-1 100Photos by Cheryl & Michael via Canon SL-1 and Samsung Galaxy 3.

This Old Barn

Misc. 10-25-14 008 I chose to shoot this barn a few weekends ago when the sun was rising in the east and burning off a rather thick drapery of fog. By the time I arrived, the fog was little more than a thin illusion. But no matter, as the brilliance of the sun’s rays began to illuminate the old barn minute-by-minute, it was like watching a video image brought into focus. The closer I walked towards the structure the more I understood that I was treading on hallowed ground (quite literally).Misc. 10-25-14 012This old barn has served her purpose. She sheltered her livestock and hay alike, provided storage for the master’s tools, encouraged folk to sit on her porch after a hard day’s work, and with her proud silo she stored the treasure which was harvested. But now she is in a state of disrepair, but not forgotten or she would have been torn down years ago. No, she has accepted retirement gracefully and awaits her final fate…the same fate that awaits us all. Whether one is seven, twenty-seven, fifty-seven or eighty-seven, all will end up retired. Not in the sense of investment advertisements, for they paint a picture that is foreign to how we were originally wired. Rather, retirement is a matter of accepting what is inevitable and responding in a positive manner-regardless of what difficulties may exist or await us.Misc. 10-25-14 035