Friday, September 28, 2012


I've been thinking a lot lately on what home actually means to me.  My town?  My country of birth?  My family?  Nostalgic memories of the past?  My current address?  Where my heart is (and just where might that be?)  Yes, all of that, but more than that.

I remember studying a poem in school years go, maybe when I was 11 or 12 years old, or perhaps just 10.  More accurately I remember just two lines of it:
    "home is the sailor home from the sea
      and the hunter home from the hill"
Those lines struck a cord with me years ago, and still do.  I googled them this morning and came up with two poets who included these lines in their poems.  A.E Housman, an English Classical scholar born is 1859, wrote 'Home is the Sailor', and Robert Louis Stevenson, the Scottish poet, wrote 'Requiem'.  I think it was the Stevenson version we studied, but its not really relevant.

I have traveled quite extensively and I'm not currently living in the country of my birth.  Each time I step on 'foreign' land I quickly begin noticing plants, rocks, trees etc which I believed indigenous to my birth country existing comfortably thousands of ocean miles away.  It was then I started realising that people are more similar than I'd imagined them to be also, and I could comfortably live is any one of these countries.  The boundaries in my mind began breaking down.

Now I feel 'home' is more of a concept than a place.  Home is where I find my nourishment, its more of a feeling than a place. 

I am very happy to call this Earth my home.

I'm linking this to Friday My Town Shoot Out!

Friday, June 29, 2012

It's Lavender Festival Time Again!

How can one charming little festival bring me so much joy?

Simple pleasures are not so easily appreciated these days, I find.  We have become way to complicated in our daily lives, and far too sophisticated in our needs, wants and desires.  The 8th Annual Lavender Festival, Highland Springs, California, addresses this phenomena in an amazingly satisfying way for me. There is nothing like wandering through rows of lavender shrubs, listening to classical music while sipping on an icy lavender lemonade to sooth my soul and ground my spirit.

This snapshot speaks to me of what the Lavender Festival is about
Lavender is such an interesting herb.  The very fragrance is soothing calming and relaxing, and supposedly able to relieve exhaustion, irritability and tension headaches.  With that in mind it really isn't surprising that the crowds flock to the two weekends a year of total lavender immersion. The body knows what it needs to heal even when the intellect is beyond distracted.

Deliciously creative meals are available for purchase from various vendors, and then I get to sit at a picnic table in front of a stage where performers offer classical music, country songs or Irish Dancing depending on the day, to be entertained while I eat this organically produced lunch.

On a hay ride with a history lesson is where I'll be while the lunch is digesting.  Can't wait for tomorrow - heck, I'm already feeling like a little kid again!

 I'm linking this to Friday My Town Shoot Out!!  The theme this week is a picture that tells a story.  Please follow the link to see more great pictures.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Rare Experiences and Rapid Repairs

"Bringing to light what's right in the world" is the feeling that has inspired the creation of this blog.

Today those rays of light shone brightly in an unexpected area: Ultimate Motors in Yucca Valley! 

I am new here, and my older car, while usually very reliable, began reminding me it needed some attention to the radiator.  Knowing word of mouth is the best advertisement I canvased anyone I came across who's car, er, appeared to have long out lived it's manufacturer's warranty, and asked where they had it serviced.  The same name kept coming up so when my Camry started running a little too hot I gave Ultimate Motors a call.

I now have a new radiator and I'm radiantly happy and, no, it's not because I have money to throw away.  Nope, something a whole lot better. I had the rare luxury of a pleasant experience at an auto repair shop.  Those boys diagnosed the problem, gave me a reasonable estimate, and then....drum roll, please ... fixed another problem I'd not noticed, completed the work more rapidly than they'd anticipated and came in under the estimate!!

Yes, there is always some good to be found in this world and if I can spread it I will. 

Roxy is relieved to have her ride back.

I'm linking this to ABC Wednesday.
Follow the link to more R's.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Desert: An Experience in Polarities

For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

Isaac Newton figured this out years ago, but I seem to need regular reminders.  It is too easy for me to get bogged down by over thinking the details in life and forget that there's also the opposite - allow it to be easy.

While walking this morning I stood on quite an impressive cactus.  Impressive in that it had the ability to go right through the sole of my shoe, bringing me down to earth abruptly.

I took this picture while precariously balanced on one foot.
 I could have used this less than pleasant experience to be hyper vigilant and keep my eyes down for the rest of my walk.  It probably would have been quite a sensible thing to do, really, at least until I was through the worst of the cactus area. 

However, had I been more than moderately cautious I would have missed this beauty about eight feet above my head.

A species of Columnar cactus.

My question to myself this morning is whether I want play it safe or aim for the stars, or perhaps, find some safe middle ground?  No, I'm not liking any of those options.  Too limiting.

How about aiming for the stars and knowing every so often I may be brought to earth, but knowing I don't have to stay there?  That feels better.

What would you do?  How do you feel about these options?

Think is my first link to  Favourite Photo Monday.
Of course, my favourite photo of the week in the flower not the prickly footwear :)

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Moving at the Speed of Spring

Spring in the desert.

Amazing. Beautiful. Surprising. Rapid.

The cactus is the most surprising.  For 364 days of the year it looks like this:

Hedgehog Cactus

A lovely species, but not particularly colorful or welcoming.  It seems quite self contained, requiring very little from its environment, however, it is carefully awaiting the opportunity to spring to life for just one day......well, more accurately, each flower lasts for the duration of the day.  Within in a day or two the cactus shuts down this beautiful, delicate magenta display for the year.  Often longer than a year if the climactic conditions haven't proved to be ideal.

It really didn't take much for me to figure out what the World wanted me to notice this time: when the conditions are right move fast.  Take advantage of the moment, don't hesitate and give it everything I've got.  Life never seems to offer us just one opportunity, but it may be a while before the next one rolls around.

Linking to:
Rambling Wood's weekly Nature Notes

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Spring Quickening

It's been a long and varied year for me and my inner fire had become more of an inner smolder, my vision clouded.  I've been finding it hard to get back on my path again.  Have you ever had a big ball of twine in your hands and not been able to find the end?  That's what it has felt like.

Lots and lots of unexpected good things have come my way during this time, and I have so much gratitude, so I'm thinking I just needed some down time to refocus.

Marsh Trail, Big Morongo Canyon Preserve

I can now see, in the distance perhaps but definitely there, light at the end of the tunnel. I've found an end to my ever revolving ball of twine.  Perhaps its the quickening that comes with the onset of spring, but  I know, as always, when I have my camera in my hand I'm more plugged into nuances of the Universe.  And now it's time for me to step out once again and see what messages the World has for me.  I'm ready.

I'm linking this to Straight out of the Camera Sunday

Sunday, February 5, 2012

'Inviting' verses 'Capturing'

I was sitting in the warm sun on my patio this morning with my coffee beside me. My camera was poised in my lap as I idly watched the wild birds engaging in their a.m rituals.  Hoping one of them would come close enough to allow me to take a picture, I sat quite still. Quietly I began pondering why I have always been vaguely disturbed by using the word 'capture' when referring to getting that opportunistic shot.  It's certainly not as if I'm harming anything, I would only be capturing a fleeting moment in time, and yet I prefer to think of it as 'inviting' the critter to 'allow' me to take the shot.  Why was that?

A cactus wren moved in close and allowed me to take several pictures of it as it contemplated whether to chance grabbing stray crumbs from the dogs' bowls within 15 feet of my chair.

As I watched the wren came to the decision that breakfast was a viable option. 

We both got it!!

The wren got food and I got understanding.  For me, before a capture there must be a chase or a hunt.  That energy of competition doesn't sit well with me and I'm sure, because of this, the animals and birds I'm trying to 'capture' will also pick up on that energy and move away.  Oh sure, I set an intention to come home with some pleasing shots, and then I just let go of expectations and invite subject matter to materialize.  I'm usually not disappointed.

This is exactly the message the World had for me today, confirmed by these bonus shots I was offered just  as I got up to move inside:

That little wren felt safe enough to invite it's partner close to that annoying clicking camera.  I've never had the opportunity get a photo of the pair of them before. I am honoured.

Linked to SOOC Sunday, for Straight Out of the Camera Sunday.  All pictures have been cropped slightly and the two bottom ones sharpened slightly.

Linked to Camera Critters.

Please click on the links above to see more entries.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Switching Trees

 "it's an ill wind that blows nobody good"

I've always prided myself on having loyalty and integrity.  It seems lately, though, I've really had to reconsider exactly what loyalty means to me. 

Being loyal to my family, my friends and my place of employment are codes of conduct I've embraced all my life.  Lately it has been dawning on my that perhaps I've been leaving out a very important part of the equation:  Loyalty to myself, my own inner promptings.

As I've been mulling over a situation in my life of late I have really made me aware of the contradictions in my belief system.  I was being challenged whether I was going to go with the conditioning of the tribe or the urgings of my heart - loyalty to the tribe or try something different.

Quite appropriately we've had a huge windstorm here a couple of days ago and it seemed my inner turmoil was matched only by the outer turmoil, and when the wind finally settled the answer came, as it usually does, from the World, through my Lens.

 Palm Springs Library taking a hit.

I drove around the neighbourhood, being re-routed on several occasions, noticing all those beautiful trees that had been blown down by the 70mph winds. Strong, robust, seemingly invincible eucalyptus, the aromatic pines and the luxurious English evergreens laying on their sides a-waiting the chainsaws.  The tall slender palms, however, had swayed their way through the worst of the winds and were still standing.

There was my answer.  I can stand strong and rigid in the face of adversity, like I've always done, and risk getting face planted like those trees, or try something different.  How about I stay grounded and be flexible to the breezes of life just like those palms?

Linking to:
ABC Wednesday - 'B' is for Blow, Breeze, Beautiful
 Nature Notes

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Angel on the Mountain

On the west end of California's  Coachella Valley, gracing the steep slopes of Mount San Jacinto above Palm Springs, is the unique rock formation known as the Angel on the Mountain.  It is visible, when you know where to look, of course, from a great distance and adds credence to the belief of many that the Coachella Valley is a sacred and spiritual area.

Even the name, Coachella, has some spiritual history behind it.  Some believe the word is derived from the Spanish word, caracola, meaning conch shell.  After all, many years ago the valley was at the bottom of the Salton Sea and as the water receded conch shells were exposed.  Others believe the word predates the Spanish Explorers and is, in fact, an Indian word meaning hand of God.

No-one knows who first noticed the Angel, though I imagine the original inhabitants, the Cahuilla Indians, were aware of it, and the Spanish Explorers also.  At the turn of the twentieth century white settlers to the area were building their dwellings facing the Angel.  Perhaps for good reason as the Coachella Valley is also well known for have the infamous San Andreas Fault-line running the length of the valley.  Now that is a story for another day.

The stone formation of the angel with it's wings spread out it directly above the word 'Angel'.
I've added a closer up view.  Unfortunately the pictures aren't of the quality I'd like as the mountain is huge and my lens only moderate, so I've had to crop quite aggressively to be able to see the figure.

The figure is to the left of the word this time.

I'm linking this to ABC Wednesday.  Please click on the link to see more interesting ABC's.

And Nature Notes at Rambling Woods.  Happy blog birthday, Michelle!  Keep on blogging, I love what you have to say.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Enter 2012

A beautiful orange sunrise confidently announced the arrival of the new year.  A rich, saturated orange - the orange of the sacral chakra, the chakra of creativity, of joy, of enthusiasm.

And yet, at every moment we are free to choose creativity, joy and enthusiasm.  We don't have to wait for the new year to restructure our lives.  Our power to create the life we choose is always in the present moment.  This moment! Right now!

This glorious sunrise was another reminder to me from the World, through my Lens, that I have all the tools I need to create the life I want one moment at a time for I am part of the Divine Creator.

And so are you.