About Michael Doran

I have been encouraged and inspired by many throughout my life, and seek to do the same for others. My blogs and photographs reflect who I am and what I am thinking or seeing at the moment I post something. I hope what I share brings pleasure and meaning to others. Thank you for viewing my posts.

A Cardinal Moment

IMG_2435 (2)

 

Much can be said about the beauty of our feathered friends. The variety of shapes and sizes. The tail feathers. The varied beaks. Wing spans. The chirps and the songs. Their flight patterns and eating habits. Nest building and mating. Food choices.

The more colorful, the more timid (at least in our neighborhood). Cardinals are one such bird. They are a delight to witness when they choose to appear. Cardinals always seem to be in pairs. As in many of natures species, the male is the brighter of the two, but certainly no more important.

 

IMG_2438 (2)

 

It is unusual to find a Cardinal perched on a feeder. They normally forage on the ground or in trees and shrubs. For this male, the temptation must have been too great to be relegated to bottom feeding. As for the female, she chose to dine with company !

 

IMG_2430 (2)

 

Photograph disclaimer: These two were shot through a glass door and with zero-time to prepare which translates to not-so-vivid images. We enjoyed them anyway. Always a blessing to see God’s handiwork in action.

 

May you find color in life today.

Thank You

autumn-morning-10-20-12-006

 

 If the sun refuse to shine                                                                                                                       I would still be loving you                                                                                                             When mountains crumble to the sea                                                                                         There will still be you and me

Kind woman, I give you my heart                                                                                                      Kind woman, nothing more                                                                                                                

 Little drops of rain whisper of the pain                                                                                          Tears of loves lost in the days gone by                                                                                           My love is strong, with you there is no wrong                                                                                 Together we shall go until we die                                                                                                       My, my, my inspiration is what you are to me                                                                                 Inspiration look, see                                                                                                                            

 And so today, my world it smiles                                                                                                         Your hand in mine, we walk the miles                                                                                               Thanks to you it will be done                                                                                                               For you to me are the only one                                                                                                           Happiness, no more to be sad                                                                                                             Happiness, I am glad

If the sun refuse to shine                                                                                                                      I would still be loving you                                             

A Whiter Shade of Pale

 

20180726_170717-1

 

The Procol Harum song from 1967 is full of skillful instrumentation and some mystical lyrics. It is an iconic song as far as rock ‘n roll is concerned and many people know it well. I thought of this song as I searched for this photograph of Carson, our Westie, which I took in the summer of 2018. Carson was indeed white when clean, but took on various shades of pale, especially after digging in dirt which was almost a daily ritual for him !

The song’s meaning is full of conjecture and possibly some unpleasantness. My intent is only to focus on the title which fits the image I chose. Our world is full of questions and much conjecture due to the pandemic. We read and hear daily of one-sentence snippets of hope and encouragement for which I question their benefit. On the flip side are the purveyors of doom-and-gloom forecasts. I doubt these are helpful to anyone.

So, we exist in a time where there seems to be a lot of pale and very little white which I equate with truth and purity (not about skin color). This much I feel is certain…our world will not be the same once we are rid of this virus and its devastating effects. My purpose is to look at the positives that will come (and are currently taking place) out of this uncertain experience. Hope is an essential ingredient, as is a real dose of unbiased reality. Remain vigilant in staying engaged and find an anchor to hold onto to. Mine is Jesus. I hope you stay secure. Carson was.

 

The Best of Times, The Worst of Times

Iris Rising

Something about Spring awakens the deep senses within us. Beauty sprouts from a long Winter’s rest and the soul becomes renewed.

I think of Charles Dickens 1859 novel, A Tale of Two Cities, and recall his famous opening paragraph wherein he states, ” It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity…”.

It seems to me that we are living in a somewhat similar time as Dickens’ described  London and Paris during the French Revolution. Rather than referring to cities and war, I suggest this pandemic has changed people everywhere. From immense generosity and sacrifice to political pandering and greed, all is exposed.

My hope is that we may see more generosity, sacrifice and kindness each and every day, and become such people ourselves.

Social Distancing Nature’s Way

IMG_2257 (3)

 

Does it seem ironic that much of the world is experiencing this viral pandemic during the Spring season? At the very least most people can step outdoors and inhale fresh air, take a walk and enjoy the beauty of God’s colorful creation. Contemplate the advent of this virus in December and carried on through the winter months. I submit to all that that scenario would create much greater stress than the present. Don’t misunderstand, I do not minimize the current situation, but it could be worsened by the season.

Nature hasn’t seemed to be affected by COVID-19; grass grows, flowers sprout, squirrels play, birds build nests and lay eggs. In more remote areas, lions still roar, monkeys swing in trees, whales traverse the ocean depths and reptiles catch their prey. This lone morning dove has chosen to do what comes natural every year…lay eggs and hatch them. Social distancing is a natural thing for much of the Animal Kingdom.

To be totally honest, I am a bit tired of all the overused buzz words we hear a multitude of times each week. Words and phrases like: new normal; N95 masks; six foot rule; zoom meetings; essential services; sanitize; hoarding; scamming; isolating; etc. All apply, but to what degree? Job loss is real. Businesses will fail, millions will be unemployed in the future, just as they are now. Yet, I see so many folks treat this pandemic like a holiday. I work in an essential service industry and DIY projects are the “thing” right now, but this will pass as the virus continues to reek havoc in our world. People will really suffer if this pandemic continues for many more months.

On a more positive note, I am encouraged by the sense of unity, cooperation, sacrifice, ingenuity, beauty and positive social change which is taking shape around the world. We truly have become a global community. Wouldn’t that be grand if this dynamic continued after this germ is eradicated? Until then, look to nature for inspiration. My dove has distanced herself far enough to be kept from harm, but close enough to be seen and heard. May we learn from her.

 

 

ETHEREAL

 

20160829_165639

“Extremely delicate and light in a way that seems too perfect for this world.” (adjective)

These clouds represent the definition rather well. Have you ever experienced this dynamic essence? Sometimes ethereal is an object (such as these clouds) an animal or even people; sometimes it is a situation; and sometimes it is an indescribable experience.

However one encounters the ethereal the moment is difficult to forget.

Recently, I was awakened at 2:30 am by the sound of a screeching child wailing outside of my house. I sprang out of bed to see what was occurring, and to intervene if necessary. My heart pounded as I awakened to the reality of someone being harmed. Once I neared the front door I cracked open the window blind to see what sounded to be very near. Much to my surprise, I witnessed an adult red fox standing ten feet from my door, facing toward the house and screeching without abate. Bizarre.

I was not aware that foxes screeched. I knew they “barked”, but was not familiar with this sound. It was an ethereal moment, and one I won’t forget. I looked up a definition of the sounds a red fox makes and this is what I discovered…” The cries of the red fox can sound surprisingly similar to a human in distress. Males give a short scream in aggression, and females shriek as a mating call.” National Geographic

Facing the door and shrieking leads me to believe this fox was a male. Why he targeted my house is a mystery, but it may have to do with the fact that I once had a dog and this animal sensed him. I so wanted to snap a photo of the beautiful creature, but he ran off just as I raised my cell phone. The picture is indelibly printed in my mind.

 

 

 

 

Monochromatic by Nature

IMG_2214 (2)

 

Well, almost monochromatic, but close. “Where have all the people gone?”  So goes the 1970’s song sung by Joni Mitchell. It is a question that had serious implications (given all of the issues at stake in America and the unrest at that juncture of time).

I looked out my sliding glass door after a light snow, and this is what I found. It was peaceful, and oh, so white. However, as often comes to mind are partial lyrics of days gone by…this happens quite often.

So, I study the Adirondack chairs. And, I study them a bit longer. I wonder where have I gone? What has happened to my life? I feel uncomfortable. But, to not question is an affront to introspection and character. Somehow, I must determine the reasons as to why I feel this way.

Can anyone relate? Lots of questions. So few answers in and of myself. There is One who has all the answers. As I study scripture, I am drawn to conclude, as did James, the brother of Jesus, that “Life is but a mist that appears for a little while and vanishes away”. If that is true then who am I to go through life without considering what is next?

I often look to the future, but of almost equal importance, I look at here and now. I wish I could change many of my past behaviors and consequences, but I cannot. Nor can anyone else. Regrets? Yes. Defeat? No. Healing? Yes, but it takes time. May we all be patient. Don’t forget the power of hope. And, dream in color !

 

IMG_2218 (2)