Would You Give Up Something You Love For a Million Dollars?.

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It is one of those things that comes in and out of my mind as a fleeting thought and then forgotten again.  What if a life circumstance took my ability to get out of bed every morning and head out the door with my camera in tow.  Would I ever be able to give up my world of photography?  My brother was in an accident once and the first thing he did when he woke up  from surgery was test to see if his right index finger could move.  I probably would have had a similar thought if I had an accident that threatened the use of my hands.

But what if there was something else to entice me away from this great passion?  Would you give up doing something you love for a million dollars?  I would!

I would give up eating decadent chocolate in a New York Second.  No doubt that it would be hard. I might need a watch dog of some kind to wrap my fingers with a hammer every time I am tempted to reach for it, but hey, if I had a million dollars I could afford to hire someone to do that for me.  I would give up canned green peas and cooked turnip 🙂  Although a hammer wielding friend would not be needed for these.

Online surveys  ask what one would be willing to do for a million dollars.  They cover everything from eating used gum off the street, to swimming in a tank of live sharks,  to similar  fear inducing  actions that often includes gross stomach turning events. Reality television pulls in a big audience to showcase people doing  some disgusting things for the almighty dollar.

So it would be easy for me to give up peas and turnips. Giving up chocolate would be a challenge.  But man oh man, don’t ask me to stop taking pictures.  My passion is not for sale!  Not in a million years would I even consider it.

If I had to let go of my mornings out in beautiful nature without my camera in hand I would be giving up a piece of  my soul.  It would be like saying goodbye to a part of myself that I am so deeply passionate about.  I couldn’t imagine missing out on the joy of capturing these beautiful moments in time.  It would mean not experiencing my photo; ‘Hovering’   That morning was something I will never forget.  Seeing that mist hovering over the field!  Capturing the light!  Being there in that moment at that time..wow!  The joy of capturing these images is not for sale.

You can’t replace something that is irreplaceable. I am not willing to give up this beautiful gift that feeds my spirituality and shapes me into being more of who I am meant to be.  Can’t even imagine it.  Life is just so precious.  We need to devour every treasured moment of it with our family, our friends and all the things that bond us Take the time for a little self-care.  It goes a long way and it has a snowball effect on everything and everyone else around us.

Hovering

We need to discover what it is that we love to do, and we need  to gift ourselves with the time to do it.   If you don’t know what that is yet then just try something new.  You might be surprised.

You might even love it enough to say;  “not for a million  dollars…….”

I have so much to learn! I am not what one would call Blog Savvy.  I am still trying to figure out Backtracking,  Widgets and Pings.   As I attempt to navigate my way around this blogging arena,  I have embarrassed myself by hitting the ‘LIKE’  button without realizing  that I just announced to the world that I liked my own blog entry!!  I was mortified.  Learning the ropes  requires a good sense of humor!  At the end of the day we just need to accept that the learning curve is a work in progress.  So for now,  I release the meaning of widgets and pings into cyberspace until it is time for me to learn them.  I forgive myself!  Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Meanwhile, I need to concentrate on doing what I love and that is taking  pictures!   I have to wait as  Mother Nature is giving us some much-needed rain.  We  need it but I am craving a sunrise and sunset that we can actually see!  Not to mention that we are hitting the peak time for the most prolific meteor shower of the year.  We have incredible starry nights in Northern Ontario and I can’t wait to sit under that amazing August night sky as the meteors shoot across the universe!  It is truly something to behold.  The Perseids makes it that much more spectacular. But for now it is raining and I am getting ANTSY!

Patience is a virtue but  I can’t wait to get back out there with my camera.  Now that’s a paradox.   A patient person can wait.   All of this nature inflicted delay of gratification is getting to me.   I have taken some lovely photos on cloudy days but I need sunlight to light up the Morning Glories that are blooming in the backyard.  They are one of my very favourite flowers to capture when the light is just right.

Morning Star is one such treasure.  That LIGHT!  Oooooh, what a gift to share this beautiful image!  I have seen it a thousand times and I still get shivers no matter how many times I gaze at it.   Some people are quick to share their responses to it. Some comment on the light.  Some gasp and say ‘HOW DID YOU DO THAT’!  (I crawled right in and clicked the shutter). Others just look at it in silence and you just know it is speaking to them in some way.

All Widgets and Pings aside; I am sticking to my passion of  capturing beautiful moments in time, and sharing those with others so that they might also be stirred by this stunning world around us. That is the very essence of why it is that I do this.

Centuries ago Aristotle gave us that beautiful quote;  “The Soul Cannot Think Without a Picture”

Each time I write about one of my photos, I relive that whole experience of when I actually captured it.  The photo “Almost Missed It” was similar to the Rear View Mirror story when I captured Follow Your Road.  Through my written words, I keep trying to articulate what is like out there when I am doing my thing.  I could go to the same location three days in a row and each day offers something fresh and new. It never results in  that “same old same old” feeling.

I was on my way home.  Thinking I was done for the day something drew me back for one last look.  I went up and down the road a few times and when I saw that light hit that corner…WOW.   If it wasn’t for the tangible evidence of the image file that I have  then this would feel like a dream.  I still feel that feeling of being totally awestruck.  I almost stopped breathing a few times.  How does one articulate this! It was one of those defining moments in life when I knew that I would be forever changed.  I remember whispering out loud;  “What did I ever do to deserve THIS?”   It was that beautiful!  And then the answer came to my mind almost as soon as I asked the question;  ‘You showed up.’

Honestly it is truly humbling sometimes.  I showed up.  Wow.  And to think I  Almost Missed It!  Or did I?

We all have times in our life that we examine our belief system.  I know that I was meant to be there that morning.  And I know that I am meant to do what I do.  I don’t fully understand it.  But maybe we don’t have to get it all the time.  All we have to do is just show up.

Almost Missed It

I was on my way home from a morning outing at Black Creek, a very popular spot that holds fond memories for many area residents in the Espanola area.  As I made my way home I glanced up into the rear view mirror and I saw this amazing light streaming through what was left of the morning fog.  I slammed on my brakes and got out of the car to take as many photos as I possible could.  Time was of the essence!

This image; “Follow Your Road”  means different things to different people.  The road is not always an easy one. Life has its challenges.  Hopefully it can be a symbol of strength and hope as we go through the tough times in life.  For some it might inspire them to follow a dream;  for others it might mean it is time to take a leap of faith into the unknown.

One man looked at it and exclaimed  “It is just like I am looking at God!”

What does it mean to you?

Follow Your Road

The Bear Poop Story.  This Grandma overcomes her fear and lets her passion lead her to where she really wants to go!

Sunray Showers

Actually there is more than one bear poop story. But the first one is the most poignant! 🙂  I am sure a bear story would be a little more captivating but I will share that one when it happens. I see a lot of deer when I am out and about but so far I haven’t come face to face with a bear. Just it’s poop.

In one of the video clips that will be seen probably both on the Homesav site/YouTube,  I am standing on a trail where I captured both Enchanted Forest and Sunray Showers. Standing there with my videographer brought me back to one of my early morning excursions:

It was about 6 in the morning.  I parked my car near the trail and headed down the path with camera around my neck, cell phone in my pocket and a nice loud whistle (just in case!)  Then I heard a rustling sound. The first thing that came to mind was that drill etched into my brain; ‘look as big as you can, flap your hands and make a loud noise’ I repeated this a few times in my head. I resisted temptation to run. Oh but I wanted to! Sometimes that instinct to do so isn’t in our best interests. I heard the rustling again and I momentarily froze as I repeated that drill in my head. Then I thought the whistle!  I will blow the whistle.  God, I am so brilliant in a crisis. Just as I grabbed the whistle a tiny wee little squirrel came out of the woods, froze and momentarily stared at me.  Suddenly he bolted as fast as he could and as far away from me as possible. Sheesh. That was my bear. How humiliating.

As I walked further down the path I started to relax again and remembered my purpose for being out there.   My heartbeat settled and I continued on with my trek.  And there it was.  Bear poop.  I was raised in Northern Ontario. I know what that looks like. That little squirrel did not drop this one!  In that split second I questioned my sanity and considered going back to the car.  But then those darn sunrays!  They pull me in every time.  I simply cannot walk away.  Once my camera was focused on the beautiful light and the rays and the trees…I was utterly lost in that beautiful world again.  The fear completely left me and I was captivated by the incredible beauty of the forest.  The sounds of the birds, the feel of the air on my skin.  Even as I write about this, I am re-living that  inner sense of wonder and well-being.

So now what do I do when I hear a rustle in the woods?  Nothing. I keep going.  It is just one of the beautiful sounds that belong there.  And the poop?  Well, I just walk around it.  It belongs there too.

Whenever I look at Enchanted Forest and Sunray Showers I think about the beauty of not only that day,  but the beauty of overcoming a fear.  A fear that could have stopped me from doing something that I absolutely love.  A beautiful gift indeed!

Kathy Read the rest of this entry »

Oooooh La La: It’s Tangerine Tango!.

Tangerine Tango

Meet one of the newest members of my Tangerine Tango family. Mother Nature is quite the Designer!   I took this photograph in our backyard garden a couple of weeks ago.  There is so much symbolism in this  exquisite little flower.  And I do mean LITTLE. Taking this photo was a little hard on the knees and ankles.  Oh, but so worth it.   I spent a lot of time crouched down so carefully not to move.  The wind would pick up at times and I would just have to wait it out.  There was a good lesson learned here.  Patience really is a virtue!  Worth the pain for this Grandma!

Those little orange circular  structures you see  are the tops of the tiniest little buds.   That one little star was the first to open up.  Now there is a metaphor for you!   Sometimes it takes one to open up and suddenly everyone else is joining in to share.   I digress!  I can’t help myself sometimes.  Symbolism and meaning is found in all Art forms.  I love that there is a story in every photograph.

I will be back to talk about more of my photographs over the next week or so.  TTFN!

Kathy

How can we not be captivated by the sheer spirit of an Olympian?  My hope is that each and every one of them, whether they come in first or last;  whether they stand at the podium for a medal ceremony or not;  that they realize the true enormity of this great accomplishment;  that getting there is already a dream come true.  It’s not the end result but the journey.  Easier said than done I am sure.  But wow, how can we not marvel at their true grit and determination to get there!

I can’t even begin to fathom what that is like.  Every sprain,  every bead of sweat,  every torn muscle,  all of that and more  is what it took to get them where they are today.  Many many months and years of training to get to a level worthy of the olympics.  It’s all about making it one step at a time. Every competitive win was a stepping stone to the next level.  A series of mini dreams come true to get to this huge one.  The spirit and heart of a determined athlete is truly awe-inspiring.  And to see them realizing the dream of being a part of this globally unifying event is quite remarkable.

When a hope is realized and when something unbelievably good happens; something you have strived for actually comes to fruition;  wow that is a dream come true.  That sought after degree leads to the dream job,  which leads to the purchase of that first house,  one dream building on another.   And so it continues.

Some dreams arise from sheer blood sweat and tears and unbelievable determination (a nod to my son-in-law).  Those are the dreams where the journey really challenges us.  Other dreams are the result of the luck of the draw like a lottery win.

Some of my realized dreams have come easy.  Childbirth?  Ha, not so easy, but honestly exhilarating!  Becoming a grandparent?  Easy Peasy!   We didn’t have to work to attain that dream.  They are a true God-given gift who have enriched our lives in ways that can never be topped.

Some dreams arise from utter passion.  I am living out a dream as we speak.  To think that potentially millions of people will see my work is a true dream come true. Capturing beautiful images doesn’t just happen.  It’s not a matter of running out taking pictures and you magically have something worthy of framing.  When I wake up in the early morning and it is still dark outside, I often want to roll over and go back to sleep.  But then it happens; that feeling bubbling up inside and calling me out the door.  Sometimes I get to the window and think “nah, I am going back to bed”  but then that feeling  kicks in again and before you know it I am out the door waking up with the birds and the rising mist.  It is INCREDIBLE to experience this.

I have to believe that no matter what the outcome is from this win,  I truly know that I am already living my dream.  It is meaningless if I don’t love what I am doing.  We all have an invitation to live life out loud; to be fully engaged in it.   Or watch it from the sidelines.  We make those choices each and everyday.

Thanks for the inspiration from all determined Olympians! The photograph in this blog entry is entitled “Believe”  Another little nod to our family.  When we believe  there is nothing we can’t do!

Kathy