“Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.” — Mark Twain
I’ve been thinking about the nature of forgiveness.
How everyone says what a release it is finally to forgive; yet it is one of the hardest things for us to do.
Is it the pain that holds us back? Or is it simply the fact that we have to learn to love ourselves more than we think we deserve before we can love others the same way?
Forgiveness won’t change the past – or the resentments we can find there – but it might, perhaps, transform our future.
What are your thoughts on the art of forgiveness?
A sun dog reflected in the lens,
And one swimming in the molten sunset of the last golden days of September.
(I entered this photo in a competition recently and was very surprised to see it on a page of its own in our local newspaper.)
The true pleasures in life are simple: a friend, a stunning sunset, a humbled spirit.
For more golden skies, please visit: Skywatch.
By the way, these photos (and more) are available on my new Red Bubble site. (Red Bubble is where you can share or buy art, photos, writing.)
Nothing – and everything – happens on my street.
Lives are lived out in tears and laughter.
Seasons enjoyed and wondered at.
My street is just that – a street with twenty-one houses flanking both sides.
Some of the houses are right on the lake – but not ours. (Which is probably just as well as I would be glued to the windows with a camera in my hand!)
I can open the door and find myself by the lake in a few seconds flat – ready to document the first snow that arrived only five days after the first hard frost – and which sadly disappeared only a day later.
If you walked with me by the lake, we might stop to admire the rickety old jetty with its view of the farm on the other side of the water.
We could laugh with joy as we watch the melting snow bouncing on the path to create rainbows.
And, if we’re really lucky, we could catch those magical snowflakes and appreciate the beauty of our seemingly mundane lives.
For more magic, please visit: My World. (And remember to click each photo to enlarge it.)
On Friday, I woke up early to a carpet of white and a whirl of snowflakes.
After a while, I could stand it no longer and roused the anklebiters so we could go outside and dance in the snow.
Just around lunchtime, the sun came out so Oscar and I went out in search of dazzle and diamonds and snow.
He caught some – right on the nose.
For more adorable creatures, please visit: Camera Critters.
Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.
— George Eliot
There is something special about the blue weather of October with its intense skies. The leaves glow as if they were part of a Monet painting.
The very light of autumn makes the treetops sing and the grass shine.
The falling of the leaves whisper to the living, of new beginnings hidden there in the ending of things.
And there, up in the blue, a single leaf takes wing – the butterfly of autumn – to remind us that life is change.
For more stories, please visit: Skywatch.
Memories are like small children wandering along a shore
Or running down a sunlit path towards adventure.
You never know which pebbles they might pick up to store away in their treasure chests.
It might an outing, like this one in summer when we went to England,
Days full of laughter and family and weathered houses over 400 years old.
I feel as if the days are slipping through my fingers so quickly.
Yet in childhood time stands still, even as it is flying past.
Life is a series of moments – both past and present – and what matters most is, perhaps,
Not how many moments you’ve enjoyed, but how many of those moments took your breath away.
For more stories, please visit: My World.
I’m also linking to Jillsy’s Challenge.
The grass may be greener on the other side of the fence…
… but it is not always better
For more tales, please visit: Camera Critters.
It’s easy to take freedom for granted if it’s never been taken away from you.
As I watch the Chilean miners slowly being lifted up to the surface again- to safety and their loved ones,
The tears running down my face,
I wonder if they feel as if they are up there in the sky
Flying free in the tangled ribbons of the heavens.
I imagine that sunlight and air and freedom never tasted so sweet.
For more stories, please visit: Skywatch.
How to sum up my tiny part of the world in order to celebrate My World’s two-year anniversary?
Let’s take a walk through the four seasons…
… and feel the warmth and light of those long summer evenings by the lake.
Cup your hands and drink in the misty serenity that is autumn.
As the riot of leaves dies down, find yourself floating in the soft pastels of a glorious winter landscape.
And finally, as the world wakens again, find the joy in a world bursting with new life.
The cycle is complete, yet never ending. The same moments repeat themselves in a familiar rhythm.
The key is to live these moments differently.
I caught this bird basking on the golden branches of a tree and it struck me
How large the bird was, and how slender and fragile the branches.
Sometimes, life feels like that: the heavy weight of a burden
Sitting on the fragile tree of life.
You don’t think you can support the weight. But you do.
Because just like that lovely tree, we are stronger than we realize.
Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune–without the words,
And never stops at all.
– Emily Dickinson
For more stories, please visit: Camera Critters.
It was one of those rare evenings of delight: with that magical combination of kids, dog and a glorious sunset in the chilly air.
We ran up the hill to watch the sun setting and were greeted by a friendly photographer.
“At last! I can add some interest to my shots!” he exclaimed as he took artful pictures of us silhouetted against the canvas of the sky.
I decided to take my own photos as the man snapped his.
The dog, Oscar, was the star. The man wanted to take shots of him shaking himself dry and jumping into the lake.
Just as we thought we were satisfied, he came up with the idea of trying to capture the splash of the dog in harmony with the splash of the stick.
Modelling is a hard job, but Oscar performed his duties with joyful abandon.
He was sad when it was time to go home… and jumped in again. This time just for fun.
The man cycled off into the dwindling night while a wet dog, two chilly kids and I made our way home to a warm bath and hot chocolate.
A model ending to a magical evening.
For more joyful photos, please visit: Skywatch.
A walk in the woods. Such an ordinary act.
And yet, it is the small details that make it so extraordinary.
It might be a tiny flower nestled among the dew-laden grass like a jewel.
Or diamond-studded webs twinkling like stars in the early morning light.
One stone sitting on top of another transforms them both into works of art.
Further on, I balance stones on top of each other, imagining dreaming towers and soaring spires.
To remind others of the endless possibilities of every day.
A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.
Antoine de Saint-Exupery
For more everyday pictures, visit: My World.
Living up to the ideals of society is pretty tough. Especially if you are a young girl or a woman.
School friends, adverts, TV, billboards – they all show us how we ‘should’ be: thin, with glowing skin and perfect teeth.
It’s not good enough to be yourself, they seem to say.
A while back this photo caused controversy in the fashion world. Why? Because it shows a normal woman. (They wanted to photoshop her stomach so that it disappeared.)
I for one think she is beautiful.
What does this say about our own self-image?
Our pre-conceived notions can blind us to the beauty of others. And worst of all, it can stop us from seeing the beauty that we are.
It may be a cliché, but I urge everyone to go out there today and see the deeper beauty that is you, or your daughter or sister, or friend or wife…
Tell them how gorgeous they are. Tell yourself how beautiful you are.
Because even the humblest flower in the woods shines with a lovely light.