What Silence Brings

My day of vowed silence was shattered by the thunder of horse hooves on pavement. I looked up from my knitting, previous experience around horses telling me that this horse had bolted and I was hoping that it was without a rider in tow. Within seconds the horse appeared, he was the familiar flea bitten grey that was sometimes boarded across the street from me, charging down the hill in front of my house. Thankfully it is a quiet road and even more thankfully there was no sign that riding had been taking place.

Action was of the essence, before I knew it I was jamming my feet into my muck boots and grabbing the nearest thing that could serve as some kind of lead; my favourite scarf. Out into the cool Autumn air I went, scanning for my quarry. He was a grey streak galloping up the neighbour’s driveway, handily heading to a place he has called home. In pursuit I went, scarf in hand, but as I got a quarter of the way up their driveway I stopped to contemplate. Their yard was practically made of paddocks, and at this point in their driveway there was a gate. Should I close it? With uncertainty I turned towards the road, wondering if the owner’s of the horse might be appearing soon.

In the moment of my hesitation a pick-up truck appeared occupied by a man full of intent, he pulled up and rolled down his window.

“Are you looking for a horse?” I asked, speaking for the first time that day. If one must speak on days like this, it may as well be with a line fit for a film.

“Yes, did you see him come this way?” Was the urgent answer.

The problem was that in the moments before my hesitation I had watched the horse gallivant into one of the paddocks and then promptly off into the woods. I told the man so.

“Take these treats,” he said shoving them into my hand, “see if you can get him to stay here if he reappears, I’ll go next door.”

With purpose I turned and continued my way up the hill, but there was the horse back in the paddock. Quickly I descended back to the truck.

“He’s back!” I exclaimed, and the man reversed his direction and pulled into the driveway.

Together we ascended on foot, hands crammed full of treats, the man explaining he thought we could try to get him into the outdoor arena. I slipped off to close one of the gates on the aforementioned space and then joined him up in the paddock. Slipping through the fence we approached the horse who stood staring at us, mainly me, which led me to wonder if he was a nervous sort and me being a new face could cause further alarm. Adding to this worry was the man standing some ways away from the horse, calling his name, and gently tossing a treat towards him, but making no approach.

So far I had ascertained that the horse belonged to his granddaughter, the horse had come from two houses up, and the horse’s name was Duke. I worried about overstepping my bounds with someone else’s horse, or plain just being in the way, but having seen his granddaughter when Duke was living across the street and knowing that she was younger, I decided to rely on an assumption (not usually a recommended method) that the horse was unlikely to be a wild steed and with my experience and comfort around horses, I would approach.

Duke may have been wild about treats, but no fits of rearing or head tossing were to occur and after a couple from both of our supplies he seemed inclined to follow the man he knew down the muddy hill of the paddock. That was until the last second before Duke was about to descend and he veered off and back into the woods.

To my relief I then discovered that the paddock had an odd outcropping into the woods and what may have held particular fascination was the animal sanctuary next door, with its intriguing cacophony of exotic animal orchestra. Be that as it may, neither of the humans were there for a concert and it was time to move on. It was time for The Scarf.

It has always amazed me, in both a sad and grateful way, that the large and majestic horse will follow the puny human on the end of a bit of rope. It is, of course, down to training (for better or for worse), but being given the gift of trust from such a powerful and gorgeous creature is something that should be cherished.

Having attracted Duke’s attention with another circle of crunchy goodness, I proffered my scarf for his inspection.

“Are you okay with this scarf?” I asked him letting him sniff and lip it before moving it against his sweaty neck. “And here?” I inquired further. Seeing as he was paying it no mind, but would rather I had him inspect another treat from my hand, I gently laid the scarf over his neck and held both ends beneath it.

Again the miracle occurred. With only the loosest definition of a “lead” Duke walked with me immediately. Down the muddy hill we went, us three previously unacquainted neighbours, and into the paddock Duke did trot. The man and I managed the gate and then stepped outside to assess our much less pressing situation. He called his son to explain where Duke had chosen to reside, and with him on the way we finally got around to introducing ourselves.

Names and histories flowed. Joyfully I learned that he thought the neighbourhood to be a most pleasant one (it’s always good to know that the place you’re stuck for the foreseeable future is a good one) and had lived here for some time before giving the house two places up from us to his son and his wife. Fascinated I listened to tidbits of knowledge about my house and its past. Somewhere in the midst of this the neighbour, who’s land we were on, appeared looking quite puzzled. Out of the paddock we climbed and back down the driveway we went to explain the sudden appearance of a horse and two strangers.

In the midst of explanations the son arrived with a much more practical halter and lead rope in hand. More introductions, explanations, and horse retrieval later the party went two separate ways. Father and son to ensconce Duke once again in his home, and make sure he stayed ensconced, while my other neighbour had offered to show me his new goat. Who can refuse meeting a goat?

~*~

Being friendly with neighbours is always something I hope for, but in the past have only had mixed success due to differences. Though we managed to remain mostly amiable, it always made me sad that we couldn’t have a stronger neighbour relationship. Perhaps meeting one’s neighbours in the midst of a mild crisis is the best way. Besides an excellent shared story we’ve begun to know each other by working together.

Here’s to hoping for a bright neighbourly future!

Day of Silence conclusion: Though my day ended up not being entirely silent I have still experienced much. Being that it is my first attempt at such a day I was unsure what my criteria would be, but you have to start somewhere. Today’s goal was to keep entirely silent myself, that I wouldn’t turn anything on to make noise (music, films, etc.), a kind request that no one else turned on any of those things before noon, and that I spend at least a little time in meditation.

Even with the sound interruption the fact that it was surrounded by silence made the experience all the more vibrant. Who knows if I would have even noticed anything happening if I had been playing music or the like. Otherwise I found myself more productive and certainly more thoughtful. My hopes to work towards restoring my emotional self after a long period of stress feels like it has moved forward. This is something I am hoping to do again and will be fascinated to see what happens.

 

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The Monotonous Life Of Chippy (A Mower Subject To A Human’s Poor Decisions)

DISCLAIMER: This is an entire post about mowing. I am so sorry.

This is the tale of a brave little lawnmower asked to tackle a job of ENORMOUS proportions. Or rather… an undertaking of moderate size and less than ideal conditions which probably don’t fall under Chippy’s job description.

“Take this wee mower and mow your whole acre field with it, BUT be sure the grass is too tall and very damp first.” The small engine seller did not say to Mason when he bought it. I guess that’s what I get for not having been there. For that is what I did. Poor Chippy.

You see, New England has been in a constant state of wet for weeks now. Not just drizzly wetness, but drenching downpours which leaves the ground over saturated and the roads washed out. With only a day or two of sun in between, there simply hasn’t been enough time to truly dry out the grass, but plenty of time for it to grow! All too soon the grass was going to be beyond Chippy’s capabilities and we are not yet in the market for a riding mower, so it was now or never.

Perhaps I should have been daunted from the start, but with the enthusiasm of a new home owner I ploughed my way into the field…

IMG_7101The problems began at once. With every one of these passes I had to stop, turn off the mower, and unclog the grass chute. This routine does not give one a sense of efficiency IMG_7102and accomplishment. Again, perhaps I should have had some second thoughts about my day’s plan, but I didn’t. THE FIELD WOULD BE MOWED.

Besides, I had all day, there was plenty of time and sun and everything would be great! Maybe I would even get the yard around the house done, too!

Using a tactic I despise every time I come across it in a novel I will say… “if only she knew how wrong she was and the terrible consequences her actions would cause.” (I find it ever so depressing to be repeatedly told of the doom awaiting the characters, while being fed a strong impression that perhaps the characters are also a bit dumb for making all these doom causing decisions. Maybe it just hits a little close to home.)

Signs of my enthusiasm waning started to show in the desperate shapes I began to make. Having initially mowed in methodical and efficient straight lines, I now found myself pushing Chippy in determined squares…

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I was already a few hours into this process, and I think this was the pitiful state of my amusement playing out, but I had also determined that perhaps I could make things easier for the mower if I mowed in a way IMG_7115that I didn’t have to re-mow the grass shot out of the chute. There is absolutely no proof that this did work because I had reached a section consisting of different grasses which were easier to mow. There was a new bounce in my step.

Until I reached the graveyard.

In one corner of the field the previous owners stuck sticks in the ground to mark where the rocks are for the unaware mower. Four hours into mowing I had reached this corner and as I struggled to navigate the plentiful sticks I couldn’t help noticing a certain likeness and wondering… what if these markers are marking markers?!

Well, it’s highly unlikely, but… what if it’s true?! I can’t know! My writer’s brain goes wild with ideas.

On a more cheery note, I also found this little guy in this corner…

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An Eastern Newt! This one was tiny, only the length of the tip of my index finger. These orange fellows are a familiar sight for me since my childhood, so are another newt of a duller green and yellow complexion which I’ve always seen in ponds, but in doing my research to figure out exactly what they were called I discovered both are the same newt at different ages! I have also discovered this fact is old news for a lot of people, but… better a late bloomer than never.

After FIVE AND A HALF HOURS my doom was before me. I had only managed to do just over half of the field. As for consequences… I may have exaggerated a little. Mildly frustrated by the lack of completion, a little sore, andIMG_7112 fairly tired pretty much sums them up. Boy was it a long day.

There’s nothing like doubt to undermine one’s mental stability in a situation like this. I just can’t help contemplating the human need to tame, tidy, and control nature. As spiders, crickets, grasshoppers, and newts fled before my munching crunching machine (I helped as many of them as I could) I had to harden myself to the situation to continue. On the other hand I am someone naturally prone to tidiness and my surroundings looking good feels important to me. I still haven’t solved that issue for myself. I think I’m hoping that when I can get animals they will eat down the grass and everything will feel like a more natural equilibrium.

And then I went and made this huge mess in my house! Ah well, the sky was still blue, the sun lowering behind the trees making the heat and humidity less unbearable; at least now I could go relax under the trees on this beautiful day.

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When Magic Pervades My Thoughts

 As is often the case when I settle in to compose a blog post I had set my mind on a likely topic, but promptly found myself unable to find the words… for days.

So I go with the flow. As I sit here now instead of my intended narrative about my month long journey from Nuneaton, England to Lerwick, Shetland (hence my absence here) I feel much more inclined to ruminate on magical children’s books, particularly of the late 19th to early 20th century.

There is no denying that this has much to do with the fact it was only hours before now that I finished my first reading of The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. It is not the first children’s book to leave me in a state of child-like wonderment, I have a growing collection of favourites on my shelf, not all from the same era, but they are more often less modern and technology heavy than otherwise.

The Chronicles of Narnia, Five Children and It, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, The Enchanted Castle, The Dark is Rising Sequence… The feelings these books leave me with is a swirling mix of desire to run across a meadow collecting flowers, building faerie houses, discovering a quest among the trees, taking delight in every little thing from acorns to the gurgling of a brook, having generally no concern for time, but I also feel inclined to sit myself down immediately and focus on the construction of my own story to enchant children and adults alike.

All of these things can be accomplished, in fact the latter would probably be better off with plenty of the former happening beforehand, but my first task must be the attempted civil conversation with my judgemental adult self about how it must loosen up. For Her High and Mighty Judgementalness has a tendency to accuse me of foolishness if I frolic and looks down on me with disdain when I suggest I might be able to write a story well enough someone might like to read it.

My intent to keep a shelf of these books is my attempt to keep myself inspired and reminded of that moment after devouring the last word on the last page, closing the back cover and staring at it entranced while my brain struggles to relocate from one world to the next. At that moment anything feels possible, perhaps I should toss the book aside and charge from the house to plant my own secret garden, or grab another book and quest out for a tree to clamber up and read in, or get in the car and drive somewhere new! Yet I have never done these things at this moment, and why? Because Queen Judgement says “Wasn’t that lovely. Now let’s do some dishes and then spend time worrying about some things that you actually can’t do anything about right now.”

Honestly. There is no reason to feel like I am leaving the magic behind. For here I sit watching the sun gilded clouds drift across a blue sky, while the trees stand in silhouette as the sun has forsaken them in its progress towards the horizon. While all below is a pristine white from the recent snow storm I had the privilege to observe in all its snow globe glory without concern for warmth or food. If all that doesn’t convince me of the magic around me then I shall just look at this photo…

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St Ninian’s Beach, Shetland – February 2018

… this beautiful beach may not be on my doorstep, but I have been there and it is of this world, and without a doubt it is magical.

All it takes is to notice it.

I know this is a reoccurring theme with me and I have mentioned it before, but it seems to be a lesson I am taking my time in learning. It seems so simple, but then life does have a way of rearing up its head and grabbing my attention away again.

In the meantime, I would gladly welcome anyone’s suggestions of their favourite magical children’s books. Whether the magic is obvious or just a feeling you’re left with. Please do leave a comment with your recommendations! Thank you!

The Magic Of Snow, One Sunday To The Next

Last Sunday morning I awoke at where I was house sitting to this peaceful, rural New Hampshire scene.

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Feeling like winter in Fitzwilliam, NH – December 2017

It was impossible not to feel its serene effects, impossible not to be in awe of the dawn over one of natures magical changes of season. Even though the day before had been so stressful it felt like I had lost years off my life. I do not enjoy driving in the snow.

That is the main reason for my struggle with enjoying winter. The potential for the IMG_5771harming or loss of life has never felt worth whatever I am driving to. Unfortunately, the day before myself and two friends had been vending at a craft faire 50 minutes from where I was house sitting when the snow started. It took us 2 hours to get back there with sorry sights of many cars off the side of the road. There are two strong mentalities about winter where I live. 1. That no matter how much it snows we’re from New Hampshire and we can drive anywhere in this stuff! 2. The first true snow with accumulation is always surprising and everyone forgets how to drive in it. Contradictory, I know, and neither safe.

I do realise that I have somewhat extreme feelings about the matter, and am definitely a bit of a worrier, but it is possible to also be extreme in the other direction, which I think happens sometimes here. The end of this tale of caution is that I managed to get us all safely back to somewhere to stay and I am grateful that this year I have been blessed to be able to arrange my life in a way that will require my driving in the snow less, leaving me time and energy to enjoy it as it falls from the sky.

My secondary struggle with winter is new to me this year. I have been experiencing a shifting in myself concerning the holidays. I was brought up with what is consideredIMG_5774 the usual around here, which is fine, I had many an enjoyable festive season in my life. Many shifts have been happening for me this year and as December has approached (and arrived) it has become very clear that the holidays are now on the board for consideration. Having been brought up without any religious influence I suddenly feel like I am appropriating someone else’s holiday. Besides the fact, if I am not celebrating the religious aspects of the season, I am only caught up in the materialistic take over that has happened to a sacred time. Materialism has never been in good favour with me.

This year has also been one for the strengthening of my spiritual side, and the connection I feel with all that is around me, especially nature. Which means this time of year is definitely one with a call for celebration, as the days grow shorter and your mind, body, and spirit struggle to find the light they need, or maybe it is just trying to find a new rhythm for the season and not fighting to uphold the ways of summer year round. Let there be beautiful lights in the windows to guide our happiness, may there be reminders that nature will be green again soon, pray there be warmth and love for all.

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Cinders wonders why there is an explosion of nature in the kitchen

And so it was that I decided to not encourage the chopping down of trees (plus not only would it be chopped, it would likely find itself down a few more times due to a certain wee beastie), but instead made an exchange for a few branches from a backyard tree for IMG_5802my decorations. It was another snowy day on Tuesday and the timing felt right for a little decorating. Now my partner is hard pressed to get me to turn on any actual lights, because I love living by the softness of these lights, perhaps with the flickering addition of candles.

I don’t know when this battle with winter began in my life, I certainly had no opposition to it as a child, but at some point that transition happened into adulthood and I swapped a little bit of joy for a little more stress. It is good to be responsible and not too risky, but it will do nothing for a person to lose joy. Besides, it is a losing battle to try and fight the seasons.

Nature is all flow and cycle, constant movement and constant change. It seems so obvious and yet why does the connection with it feel so far away? It is a focus of mine to find that connection again, for it seems to me to be full of sense and joy.IMG_5792So it was yesterday morning, a Sunday one week from the last, while I stood outside in the woods in a different location in Fitzwilliam, NH that something became apparent to me. Living in a small city has had its benefits, its experiences, and its conveniences (for which I am grateful), but I need to return to the woods and all the knowledge and energy it holds.

I wish a merry, happy, blessed time to one and all!IMG_5771

Fitzwilliam, NH – December 2017

Those You Know #1

I have this friend, she may seem “normal” (whatever that is) if you meet her in passing, perhaps a little edgy with her short black hair and bold lipstick, but if you get to know her “normal” (and all its overrated/superfluous connotations) goes flying out the window and I love it!

She is the maker of puppets, a cake decorating virtuoso, dinosaur enthusiast, last minute seamstress, and much more besides. Something I admire to no end is her work as a support staff for those with a more challenging journey through life. A profession I know I would never be capable of, but someone needs to do it, and she does so brilliantly. On top of it all she is a friend like no other whom I am honoured to have encountered on my own journey.

It was her birthday yesterday, and I am writing this post in honour of her completion of another year cycle and the beginning of a sparkling new one. Full of possibilities, surprises, and growth.

Now, as I mentioned before, she is a rather talented cake decorator. It’s more than that, it’s constructing as well. Over the years she has made a number of masterpieces for myself and other friends, but this year another friend decided she deserved a fancy cake of her own, so us “amateurs” decided to take a crack at it.

What followed was a myriad of back and forth emails about different desert features (we had decided on a desert landscape for the cake as our friend is rather fond of Arizona): cactuses (obviously), rocks, sand, what could we make tumble weeds out of, were we brave enough to try spinning sugar, how about the bones of dead animals that just didn’t make it in the heat of carrot cake land, and why not have mountains!

The time of the baking started with many shopping stops at grocery stores and sweet shops (I don’t suppose you have any candy bones?) Next the baking commenced motivationally accompanied by the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang soundtrack. We discovered that the opening song can really get one racing about the kitchen.

Honestly the whole thing went with surprising smoothness. From the start of shopping to the last dish being washed we were at it for seven hours. Okay, when I say it like that, it seems like an awfully long time, but for all that we accomplished it really wasn’t bad. Shopping, two batches of carrot cake, two batches of cream cheese frosting, three rounds of spun sugar (all with drastically varying results, I’m not sure we’ve got the knack of it yet), the piping of white chocolate bones (because, no, the sweet shop did not have any), moulding of fondant cactuses, construction, decorating, and cleaning up!

We had to de-construct, as it were, a layer of cake in order to make the canyon on top. I must say, it might be one of the most satisfying experiences in life to purposefully destroy a cake. Anyone who has had to invert a cake from its pan knows how nerve-wracking it can be. Satisfaction seconded by then eating leftover bits of cake dipped in extra frosting from a bowl.

In the end it was a success. Thank you to the friend who made it with me, and a huge grateful hug for the birthday girl. May your next year be filled with blessings and joy, and may it be everything you hope it will be!

I am proud to have a friend who is exceedingly excited to have a ribcage on her cake.

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The Cat’s Mrrrrup!

At least that’s the sound my cat makes. He just doesn’t get around to opening his mouth, instead he seems to roll an ‘r’ in his throat, it’s very cute. I feel bad sometimes though, because he will carry on for some time quite seriously in this manner and all I can do is giggle, then he looks at me like this:

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I sense a lack of amusement on his part.

It was only a matter of time before this post happened, and it won’t be the last time I cute cat my blog. I grew up with a cat in the house since I was three, and it wasn’t until a recently moved in with my partner that I was without one. After a little over a year without a furry friend in my life I found myself yearning for the company of a cat and to my surprise I found my partner was feIMG_5494eling the same way! Within days we had found this wonderful kitty at a shelter, his name is Cinders.

He looks very cute (in addition to sounding very cute), but he’s no timid beastie and when he plays his natural predatory behaviour takes over, much to the chagrin of my hands.

Still, the Great Hand Hunt aside, it has amazed me having had the comparison of not having a cat around how much of a difference it makes. Nothing against my partner, who’s company I enjoy very much, but there is much to be said for having a cat around, too!

The relationship between animal and human always amazes me. Granted I go through those mixed feelings about how we’ve domesticated so many animals and frequently the only reason they interact with us is because of that, but they still are animals that relate on a foreign basis from us human animals and yet we have an interesting coexistence.

On a daily basis I marvel at our interaction. Cinders is a more social cat then some I have known, but the fact that he seeks out our company tickles me pink. If one or both of us IMG_1056are home Cinders will hang out in whichever room we’re in, and follow us wherever we relocate. Unless he tires of our antics (a.k.a. trying to pet him because he’s being adorable) in which case he’ll find a different room void of annoying humans.

Perhaps it is because it feels like a human interaction. We humans are always happiest when we can relate something to ourselves, though I do try to think outside the box.

Whatever the reason, I know I am extremely grateful for his company and every time I come home and he’s waiting for me at the door (which he never fails to do) it makes my day.

First Snow

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First Snow in Keene, NH – November 2017

Today I had a moment to reflect on the ways I have changed my life. Having given myself more time in the week by working less I am finally falling into a rhythm of feeling like I have enough time to accomplish the menial things in life as well as pleasant projects I wish to spend time on. It never ceases to amaze me how much we try to cram into too little time with it being the average expectation for life. Hello stress!

No! Goodbye stress, I say! Which is why I must have been so leisurely about getting my autumn clean up taken care of, for I only tackled that process today! Though it is technically still autumn, it has been awfully cold here and definitely feeling like winter. A feeling only intensified as the first snow began to fall on the leaves I was raking.

For once in my life this was not an instigator of stress. Instead I stood and listened to the patter of tiny ice particles falling to the ground and marvelled at the change of season. I was grateful for the time I had to appreciate it, that I was able to complete my clean up just in time, and a sense of excitement about what the next season has in store.

Yet I shall endeavour to stay in this moment and season for now, enjoying this lovely subtle sunset, abstractly seen through a prism ball.

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Abstract Sunset – November 2017

Eleven Days Of Change

My awe of the elements and seasons never ceases. A mere eleven days since my last post which was full of colourful leaves and sitting out on the porch and now I have a completely different tale to tell. There is a greyer hue to everything around me and the leaves have all fallen, or at least lost their colour and reside upon their trees in a soft brown halo. The temperature is certainly cooler as well, which it’s about time as our autumn has been unnaturally warm.

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Mud Pond, Dublin, NH – October 2017

With this change of season comes something else, at least for those with a writing proclivity and a certain lack of sanity. National Novel Writing Month! As I write this now we have (at least in my time zone) officially entered the month of November and (in my case) the start signal to start writing 50,000 words! I have been waiting for this moment with great anticipation and it is with some effort that I stick to finishing out this blog post before switching to the novel I have been plotting and outlining for the past month.

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Mud Pond, Dublin, NH – October 2017

This year I was surprised to discover that I have been feverishly attempting to finish novels for TEN Novembers now! How the years do fly! Yet each year I am equally excited about the prospect of starting fresh on a new idea, and this year is no different. This year I have even more impetus to make something of my idea, for it is my hope and dream to make a living off of my writing and I have decided now is the time to try.

I owe so much gratitude to National Novel Writing Month (NaNo for short), its creators, and those who run it now. This simple self challenge has brought me writing inspiration, great times with friends, and the acquisition of new friends around the world! I am going to share the link to the website now because I would highly recommend participating to anyone with writing inclination. There is so much I could gush about, but I will spare you and let you discover for yourself here.

As a curious side note to this post, the pond in the pictures is one I have driven by hundreds of times, but I have never known its name… until today. Little did I suspect it had the eloquent moniker of Mud Pond. Someone was having a creative day.

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Mud Pond, Dublin, NH – October 2017

Here I Am Now!

This is an unplanned response to my previous post. A part two, if you will.

My success at being present in each moment and appreciating that which is around me has been limited… at best. There have been a few triumphs, but they are still outweighed  by a lack of presence of mind which is a shame because I live in a truly beautiful part of the world. Just now I experienced one of these precious triumphs and I wanted to share it because it was brought on by a very particular beauty of the region I live in. Autumn foliage.

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Temple, NH – October 2017

Here I sit under this spectacular array of colour on a pleasant Autumn day and it is magical.

It really is a shame not to appreciate this experience in which I live when many others travel from afar just to see it! (Dear Leaf Peepers, Thank you for coming! But would you mind pulling over to look at the leaves, it’s not safe to peep and drive! Much appreciated.)

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Temple, NH – October 2017

I’m not going to lie, I am currently in the middle of editing the last of my travel photos which is going to throw me right out of this moment and back into a longing for Scotland, but now I have solid proof that this moment happened and a hope that others got to enjoy it as well.

Now, as lovely as this day is it is still October and I think some socks and another cup of tea are in order.

Here are a couple more photos I took yesterday…

 

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Temple, NH – October 2017

 

 

Are You Here Now?

As I was trying to find a picture to accompany this post I found myself caught in a dilemma. It was my desire to choose a picture taken recently from nearby, but none of them felt right and instead I found myself wandering through my archive of travel photos. On an average day, if  I haven’t ended up in thoughts of being in Scotland already, seeing my photos will instantly put me into a state of wistful longing. So here I am desperately wishing I was here…

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Loch Sheil, Scotland – September 2016

It is completely normal to wish to be in a place you’ve gone on holiday to and greatly enjoyed, of course, but my feeling is so strong that it is my heart’s desire to move there and has been for ten years! This is lovely and all, but currently I can’t move there and this leaves me with many a day of pining.

I grant you that having this yearning is a great motivator for getting the thing done, and hopefully it will be done some day, but in the meantime… how do I live my life? The line between enjoying the feeling of excitement about the place and being consumed by the obsession about the future is one very easy to cross. I acknowledge quite readily that the latter state has the ability to take me right out of living in the moment for long periods of time.

As great as my end goal is, how much am I willing to sacrifice along the way? Sure, some compromise is necessary for such a large dream, but if I don’t enjoy every moment along the way my life will pass me by!

The only thing to do is enjoy each moment and in order for that to happen I must make sure to make each moment enjoyable. From hence forward I shall ask myself ‘Am I here now?’ and in this moment I shall start by enjoying this amazing drink my friend made for me.

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London Fog – Earl Grey with steamed milk and honey