Endless Rivers

of Hope

Sunbeams and Laughter

April 5, 2020

Orange Flower

Keep your face with sunshine lit,
Laugh a little bit.
All the shadows off will flit,
If you have the grit and wit,
Just to laugh a little bit.

An excerpt from Laugh a Little, by Edmund Vance Cooke

I’ve been working on another recycle/upcycle of an old image for the past few days (which can be found HERE if you’re interested). I decided tonight that it’s finished and ready to go. I love the new colors… they remind me of sunshine.

One of the reasons I love posting my images is so I have a record of how I’ve progressed—as I learn different styles and new techniques. Every now and then I look back at the very beginning and I find all kinds of doozies that I can’t help but DELETE. I wonder what the heck I was thinking when I look at some of my old stuff.

Other times, I look back and I see all kinds of potential. It’s like each photograph I’ve ever taken is it’s own (semi) blank canvas, begging me to come on out and play… to come and make it beautiful.

That’s about all for now.
Peace & Love!

Out(side) of Time

April 4, 2020

Black and White Portrait

This morning I read a ‘daily email’ on the subject of Eternity. One of the definitions is: A state of existence outside of time, and this particular meaning reminded me of something that happened years back—something that’s perfect for today’s Daily Gratitude.

When I was going in and out of sobriety—and making a mess of what little life I had left—one of the things that I had to do was move in with my mother. Things were tough for MANY months. Even though I was staying sober, there was a LOT of friction between the two of us.

I babysat my grandsons for some of those months, and I would often walk the youngest in a stroller while his brother was at school. I remember praying a lot… asking God to remove the character defects that stood in the way of me “being a better daughter;” the selfishness that caused me to act out, the self-pity that made react like a child (because I felt like one for being there) and the bitterness that I felt inside.

On this particular day, I remember feeling frustrated. I pushed the stroller across the bridge (pictured in The Hot Seat) and listened to music as I prayed about it. Stopping on the other side of the bridge, I turned back and looked at the house. I had never really seen our house from that perspective. I’m sure I may have decades ago—when I was a child—but none that I remember.

Anyway, that moment felt like eternity to me; as if I had escaped time. The house looked sad and empty. I knew my mother was inside, but from where I was standing the life—her loving spirit that filled it and made it a home—was missing. It seemed as though I was not seeing, but feeling the future… with my mother gone. All that stood before me was a sad old house.

I had no question it was a sign. A glimpse into what my future could be like if my perspective didn’t change… a life filled with remorse and regret… full of if onlys and what ifs. I’ll never forget that day, and I’m forever grateful for it.

It’s as if… just for a moment… God allowed me to step outside of time.

Thank you for reading! I hope you enjoyed today’s Daily Gratitude!

A word about the image here.

This is kind of random, but it’s actually another one of my personalized portraits. The gentleman is a dear friend of mine, and I took the photograph when we were at the beach sometime back. I’ve been wanting to use it and could never quite figure out how. I thought it was perfect for a state of existence outside of time since he seems to be peering in at us—through the glass of a fast moving vehicle.

Sunshiny Day

April 1, 2020

Bird in the Tree

A quick gratitude stop this evening

I decided that earbuds are no longer an option on my walks. For one thing, the last time I put them on I stopped to talk with my neighbor (from 6 feet away, no doubt) and when I pulled the dang cord out of my ear—the little rubber earpiece stayed stuck inside of my ear. That was scary.

So… today I went without them. Not only was I free and clear to stop and chat again, but there were birds everywhere and their singing was music to my ears. The streets may have been deserted, but they were definitely alive—full of chirping, whistling, gliding and a hopping. The wonderful, happy creatures had no idea what’s going on right now; not a worry, nor a care.

I knew right then that this long awaited sunshine… and the sweet birds of spring… were what I was grateful for today.

Little darling, the smile’s returning to their faces.
Little darling, it seems like years since it’s been here…
Here comes the sun…
Here comes the sun…
And I say… it’s all right.

—George Harrison

I took the featured image a couple of days ago when I was sitting out in the yard. It was hard to get a clear shot, but I love the way the little bird hides behind tiny little leaves and the bokeh light from the sun’s rays.

Fluidity

March 31, 2020

Black and White Blossoms

Before I dig into any New Lifestyle, New Me updates, I thought I’d share some thoughts I’ve had on this COVID-19 dilemma, social distancing, and how it’s helping me come up with some new ideas.

Staying away from crowds, as I’ve mentioned, hasn’t been difficult. Dealing with the recent rains, on the other hand, was pretty tough! Especially when I finally had my step counter on, and had nowhere to go—but around, in circles—inside our (not so large) house.

Now… however, the sky is blue and I’ve never been so happy to get outside, breath in some fresh air, and feel the warm sun hit my face. All I can think of is that Cinderella song… Don’t know what you got (Til it’s gone).

I don’t know how to phrase it exactly, a wake-up call maybe? Like stop your complaining about silly little things because things could always be worse… much, much worse, in fact. It seems like we’re being called to reevaluate priorities, and revisit our gratitude lists. Well, it feels that way to me.

That being said, I thought I’d add something new to the mix. For every day that I’m here at home—under the social distancing rule—besides working on my Lifestyle Changes, I’m going to add a new gratitude post.

I don’t think there could be a better time for expressing a little thankfulness.

Thanks for reading and I hope you’ll stay tuned!

The featured photograph was taken in my backyard. I’ve been taking my camera out there a lot. I sit in a chair in the sun and look around, waiting for things to catch my eye (many more to come). They are actually blooms on my son’s ornamental cabbage that has bolted. I love the way everything grows and flows so freely, nature is so fluid.

As the Crow flies

March 25, 2020

Dignified hunter,

The dark ruler of the sky,

Wings spread, you’ll fly… high.

I captured this crow in our neighbors tree the other day and decided he was worth the (computer) time and struggle. He was all alone—practicing social distancing I suppose—and we connected for a minute or two before he lifted his wings for this farewell pose and sailed off.

Life is good and God is great!

The Hot Seat

March 21, 2020

Chair on a bridge

This chair was abandoned on a bridge near my house and I thought of the Pull up a Seat Photo Challenge (2020 Week 12) when I saw it. It’s an interesting setting with all of the metal bars on the bridge; so many lines and shadows!

Normally that bridge is open during the day for pedestrians, but since it’s locked up right now (no school kids walking by) the chair has taken up residency.

As I said before, this social distancing hasn’t really affected “my routine” since all of my classes are online right now, but the eeriness of it all is still so odd. I have no fears, but I DO wonder how the ending will play out. There will be so much fall out; domino effects, ripples, repercussions and consequences. Life will be changed for so many.

Anyway, I think the dilapidated chair surrounded by bars says it all.

Kind of creepy.