Tuesday, May 31, 2011

One Beautiful Thing ~ twenty.eight

~playing with one of Kim Klassen's lovely textures~

The month of May is coming to a close, and so is my little project. I hope it has brought you a bit of happiness, a little sprinkling of quiet beauty throughout your spring days. 

Yellow is the colour of friendship. I offer this flower to you... to each of you who have been by my side throughout this month long journey. I am so grateful for the friends I have made in the blogging world over the last few years...there is nothing more beautiful than connection, whether it is in person or in spirit. So really, I couldn't do a month of beautiful things without you being a part of it. A big part of it, as this would be a very lonely little blog if it wasn't for you. Thank you for your love and kindness. You are all so so beautiful.


Monday, May 30, 2011

One Beautiful Thing ~ twenty.seven

I don't take landscapes very often. I think it is because my eye sees the same places all the time, so I have a hard time finding something extraordinary enough within the scene that entices me to photograph it. But when I come across a scene like this one, it's hard not to find the beauty. I couldn't help thinking about my dad today as I captured this old boat.

My dad is an artist. He looks for things like this to paint. When I was younger, every time we took a road trip, we would often find ourselves parked on the side of the road while my dad got out to photograph something interesting that he could work with in a future painting. He was, and still is, drawn to old collapsing barns, battered old roofless shacks and abandoned boats. Sometimes I would get out of the car to watch him... and I could never understand why it took him so long to take the picture. He would stand there for what seemed like eons, looking through the lens before I would finally hear the shutter click. And I must say, to this day, I have never heard a better sounding shutter than what came from his old film camera. I wish my camera sounded like that. I think I used to stand next to him more to hear that sound than to see what he was photographing.

But now I know better. Now I know how long it can take sometimes to find the right composition. To find just the right angle. To make sure my settings are right before I take the picture. While most of the time I am snuggling in, getting close and personal with my subject, today I learned that sometimes it's best to step back a little and take in the whole scene. And I am learning to be more patient.

I had no idea back then, watching my dad, that I was taking my very first photography lesson, and that he would be my first teacher.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

One Beautiful Thing ~ twenty.six

When I get too snug within my cocoon, when things get a little too safe, and I feel as though I am not growing or expanding or creating new experiences in this precious life of mine, I must remember how brave the flowers are. They confidently burst out of their papery shells and bloom most abundantly, so sure of themselves in this time and place that belongs to them. We would never know their beauty if they stayed hidden. They might be safer, perhaps...but not truly living.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

One Beautiful Thing ~ twenty.five

I think this picture speaks for itself.

I humbly apologize for any sudden, unexpected cravings this image might induce. You probably had your guard down when you decided to visit today.

But did you really think I could get through the month without a cupcake post?!


Friday, May 27, 2011

One Beautiful Thing ~ twenty.four

Feathers are magical objects. A bird's wing is a catcher's mitt for clouds.

How can something so fine and weightless lift a creature from the earth so it can skim the windy sky?

I wish I could fly.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

One Beautiful Thing ~ twenty.three

Tell me... what are the deepest wishes of your heart?

My body is yearning for stillness, so that it can hear the quiet rhythms beating like a butterfly wing against my soul. This little heart of mine is asking me to trust... to not be so afraid... to move towards anything and everything that brings about a greater sense of love, so that I may expand and become more loving. I may lead a simple life, but my heart is anything but simple. The things that have been etched upon its fragile surface are permanent and irreversible... whether they are the marks of pain or joy, they continue to shape the nature of my becoming.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

One Beautiful Thing ~ twenty.two

Have you ever seen eyes like that?

I bumped into her yesterday while walking in an unfamiliar neighbourhood, looking for interesting things to photograph. Actually, she bumped into me. And continued to collide with me as I tried to take her picture. She took my breath away. I have never seen eyes that colour. That green. My absolute favourite shade of green...the colour of lime popsicles.   

She was such an affectionate cat...so much so that I felt guilty for having to eventually abandon her. Well, her owner was right there...and she told me her name, but I have forgotten now. But still, walking away from a creature so open to love made me feel lonely for her as I walked away.

I am allergic to cats, and normally keep my distance. But I couldn't resist this little beauty. Oh, I wish I could have eyes that colour! It was worth the sniffles and sneezes. This day, I had to settle for itchy red eyes. Reality and reverie sometimes don't coincide.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

One Beautiful Thing ~ twenty.one

Oh, yum.

The local ones aren't ready yet. But I am impatient. And they were on sale at the veggie market near my home. I couldn't stop plucking them from the bowl and munching on them as I was photographing them. I think they are my most favourite of my favourite foods. Well, they are tied with watermelon and pomegranates...which I also picked up at the market today. It's going to be a hard decision come breakfast time. :)

Monday, May 23, 2011

One Beautiful Thing ~ twenty

That orange sherbet coloured stone, second from the top is currently residing in my left coat pocket until I am ready to make a wish and release it back to the sea.

I find, more often than not, I am drawn to the rocky beaches. While soft sand feels good under the toes, rocky beaches have other gifts to offer your senses. The expanse of shape and colour is a feast for the eyes.

And for the ears... when I walked across this beach, not only did I love the deep hollow sound echoing under my shoes, but if I listened carefully, with each step forward I could hear little crabs scurrying below the rocks as I unintentionally disturbed their hiding places. Who knew, waiting for high tide could be so dangerous?

This was a tiny crescent beach, tucked into a series of rocky cliffs. I have spent entire afternoons sitting on the edges of those cliffs, looking down on the beach from afar...but this time I wanted a closer look. It was well worth the descent.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

One Beautiful Thing ~ nineteen

The world is so empty if one thinks only of mountains, rivers and cities; but to know someone here and there who thinks and feels with us, and though distant, is close to us in spirit - this makes the earth for us an inhabited garden.


Saturday, May 21, 2011

One Beautiful Thing ~ eighteen

You've gotta wonder....
If these bicycles could talk, what stories would they carry underneath their battered old tire rims? Who's feet cranked the pedals and turned the spokes? Who's hands gripped the handlebars and steered them towards their various destinies? Were their owners good to them? Were they the adventurous type? How many miles were explored? To me, they seem to be the velveteen rabbits of the wheeled variety...loved vigorously into their golden years.

Friday, May 20, 2011

One Beautiful Thing ~ seventeen

I quickly captured this while sharing a hot chocolate with a dear friend in a favourite cafe. They make it with real melted dark chocolate. Oh my soul...it is decadent.

I never did see his face, but I didn't need to.... all of my maternal synapses were firing off madly in all directions. I mean, look at those chubby little dimpled fingers! And the cars on his little shoes? And the soft folds of his pant leg and stripy socks. Oh.

I was momentarily suspended in some kind of baby nirvana. It was a sweet moment, and I'm glad I had my camera with me. A reminder to carry it with me always...everywhere.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

One Beautiful Thing ~ sixteen

quietly blooming outside my bedroom window

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

One Beautiful Thing ~ fifteen

I know...
I've already posted ducklings this month... but who couldn't use a double dose of duckling? Aren't these two just completely happy-making and awwwww inducing?

Don't they make you feel like everything really is ok with the world?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

One Beautiful Thing ~ fourteen

The rain is steady and unrelenting....and expected here. If the sun comes out, it is an added bonus. But I kind of like the grey when I am at this beach. It draws out my deeper moods, my melancholies which I have grown to respect and embrace. Yes, I am quite comfortable in my greyer shades of being.

When I come to this place, I am often moved to tears. It has a power over me, and offers me an  overwhelming sense of being home. I belong here. No other place on the planet makes me feel this way.

The rains were heavy yesterday, but I could only stay indoors for so long. I hovered near the windows like a restless child, anxious to be in the fresh open air. Ultimately, it was the sandpipers who enticed me to come out and play. I left the warmth of the fireplace, the company of my friends and ventured out to the calling sea.

And as I stepped into the moving water, I could see reflections of myself within the giant bubbles that rolled in with the surf...a girl in her rainboots, holding a blue and white umbrella, the wind teasing and twisting her hair as she scans the beach for sand dollars...contained in each bubble, the silent silhouette of a girl most at home within the sweeping tides.

My visit wasn't long enough. But then again, it never is. I am always longing for the next time, so very very grateful that there will be a next time. I take comfort knowing it will always be there, waiting for me.

Friday, May 13, 2011

One Beautiful Thing ~ thirteen

Oh, the quaintness and charm of flowers in a windowsill. I love the way people adorn their windowsills with the things most dear to them. I sometimes wish I could borrow their things and put them in my window for a little while.

As most of you know, Blogger decided to take a bit of a vacation yesterday. I am going to follow suit. I will be away for the next few days...going to my most favourite place on earth. I will be back first thing Tuesday morning with a collection of beautiful things from my trip.

Have a most beautiful weekend. xo

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

One Beautiful Thing ~ twelve

From my high vantage point, this might be a little toy boat that I could pluck from the water with two fingers.

But no.... it's real... with real people on it...  living a dream.

All that open blue and sparkle... could you imagine?

One Beautiful Thing ~ eleven

There is nothing I love more than a few quiet hours to escape the outside world to begin a brand new, long anticipated book. I love to feel the weight of it in my hands, and gently open the cover to see what lies inside. There is a subtle satisfaction in the turning of pages.

But something strange comes over me when I venture into the first few pages of a new novel. A carefulness.... a special attention to detail. I will sometimes go over the opening sentences a few times, just to make sure I haven't missed anything... to make sure that my imagination is forming the right opening picture for the story. And then, as I am reading, I realise that I am doing this, and I get all distracted and start from the beginning all over again.

It's just a temporary thing. Once I turn the first page, a normal reading flow begins, and I naturally sink into the story.

Does anyone else do this? Or is this just a quirk belonging only to me?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

One Beautiful Thing ~ ten

No need to build a nest up high on a branch when your home is this tall!

Ok, so it's not practical, and winged creatures don't need ladders...
but isn't it adorable?
Thank you Alison, for letting me borrow your gorgeous birdhouse.

Monday, May 9, 2011

One Beautiful Thing ~ nine

I spent a good part of the weekend wandering through several different outdoor markets. There were so many things clamoring for my attention.... pottery, jewelry, handmade knits, organic soaps, baked goods, fresh local produce and flowers. And this is only the beginning. I can't wait to return when the berries are ripe!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

One Beautiful Thing ~ eight

She has a hug for everyone.

She can identify almost every flower and bird species known to man.

She has an adventurous spirit who embraces change, always anticipating the next turn in the road.

She has creative hands... whether she is is building a whimsical birdhouse, applying paint to canvas, coaxing the flowers and veggies to grow in her garden, or whipping up a culinary masterpiece in the kitchen.

She makes a mean pineapple dessert.

She is an expert at not being a procrastinator when there is a job to be done...why didn't I inherit this gene?

She finds the most perfect gifts for people... always as unique as the person she is giving it to. She gives with such thoughtfulness and care.

She is so good at giving a compliment, but not so good at accepting one.

She hates hates hates lima beans!

She is loved by each and every duck, squirrel, woodpecker, deer, owl and bunny who enters her yard in need of a snack.

She never fails to show the people closest to her how much she loves them... she loves without reservation.

She is an old soul.

And she is the most Beautiful Thing.

I love you mom... so much.
Happy Mother's Day.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

One Beautiful Thing ~ seven

This month, I thought I would take you along to some of my favourite places. I love to roam around this beautiful park...especially in the spring and fall.

This time of year, the rolling hills are covered with wildflowers. A royal carpet of purple and green. And some little yellow buttercups here and there. And these pink ones...they are called Shooting Stars. Isn't that sublime?

It is a quiet place next to the sea, scattered with old Garry Oaks which are just starting to bud. And those old oak trees are why I love this place so much in the fall. When the leaves drop, their gnarly twisty trunks and branches are exposed, and they look haunting and lovely amongst the rich mocha hues of tall grasses and bramble.

Something about this place reminds me of my childhood, even though I didn't live here back then, and had never set foot on these beautiful paths. It's a place that comforts me like no other space.

Friday, May 6, 2011

One Beautiful Thing ~ six

It is the things that are most fleeting that bring the most joy.

A magnolia bloom doesn't last very long... the petals can start to speckle before the flower has a chance to fully open. But how exquisite they are...like giant spring time snowflakes that don't melt right away.

Like the silky taste of chocolate on your tongue, or the brilliant sorbet sky at dusk, or the exciting thrill of a thunderstorm, or a shimmering bubble before it pops.... the delightfulness of these evanescent interludes is lost if we don't experience them in the here and now.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

One Beautiful Thing ~ five

I am a minimalist. I don't like clutter. I feel so much lighter and happier with less. Yet I still find myself collecting things....only a few things... like books and heart shaped stones and sea glass.

But like any serious collector, I am very selective. I won't pick up any old piece of glass I find lying on the beach reflecting beams of sunlight, putting on its best sparkle, trying to capture my attention. Amongst that starry display, I only choose the ones of a certain colour. The frosty whites, soft sage greens and icy blues. The blue ones are rare gems.

It amazes me that something so benign as water can shape and alter things so dramatically. Billions of tiny droplets unleash from a cloud to turn streams into raging rivers....those same droplets are capable of sculpting canyons out of rock walls...and the sea, containing unfathomable numbers of tiny droplets smooth sharp glass edges into polished stones. How many times must a piece of broken glass be thrown against the beach, dragged out to sea, then thrown at the earth some more before it becomes rounded and water etched? It is almost as though the sea is trying to turn the glass back into sand again...as though it prefers it in its most natural state.

Water and rocks have had a tumultuous relationship for a very very long time. And I love to reap the benefits.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

One Beautiful Thing ~ four

Meet Dollie the Bulldog, Bella the Bassett and Charlie the Jack Russell.

I bumped into this rambunctious trio on the street this past weekend, and their owner graciously let me photograph them. Charlie was a bit camera shy, but the other two were naturals in front of the camera, and so full of character.

I have never owned a dog, and I don't know if I ever will, but I LOVE other people's dogs. They make me happy. I think it is especially great that I get to enjoy them without having to be the pooper scooper.

Dogs live in the moment.... and they love unconditionally. They are chronically happy creatures.
They could probably teach us silly humans a thing or two.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

One Beautiful Thing ~ three

I wish this little apple tree was in my backyard.  What a perfect little hideaway. I would put a blanket right under it, lie on my back and breathe deeply. Oh, could you imagine the fragrance of the air under that tree? And the blossoms would look so pretty against the sky.

I would linger there much of the afternoon, plucking those dandelions and scattering my wishes across the orchard grasses.

I could also see myself picnicking there...some little sandwiches, some ripe fresh fruit, a little chocolate.

And some poetry. Yes.

Monday, May 2, 2011

One Beautiful Thing ~ two

~pink ~

cotton candy * bunny ears * berries and cream * magnolia * morning sky * bashful * sweet pea * piglets * watermelon * fairy dust * birthday girl * cream soda * bubble gum * modesty * ballet shoes * sakura * valentine * strawberry milkshake * blush * petal soft * ice wine * lip gloss * marshmallow * baby shower * petits fours * winter cheeks * innocence * first kiss

Sunday, May 1, 2011

One Beautiful Thing ~ one

Even baby ducks know that a good start to the day, or even a fresh new month, is a good stretch.

I live near a little pond that fills to the brim with lily pads each spring. It is so dense with green, that the little ducks can't swim around them. There is nothing more adorable or entertaining than watching tiny flippers and fuzzy bums pitter patter across the lily pads, peeping for each other as they try to regroup in more open water, catching flies on route.

It must be the stretching that keeps them so nimble.