I was lucky enough to spend a day at the tulip festival up in Skagit county last month, and capture these shots as the sun was setting. Spring has arrived early this year in Western Washington, and I couldn't be more ecstatic about it! I hope that you enjoy these pictures as much as I do . . .
This sweet outgoing couple gave me the opportunity to photograph them last night, their silhouettes like statues set before the array of colors displayed at sundown.
In my search for simplicity I have learned to just let go. It seems simple, no? That's an understatement - which may be the key as to why so many of get sucked into this game of life. In my experience along this journey, I have found that just letting go creates this push and pull within myself... a swirling vortex of confusion. Duality. While my journey may be sloppy and messy, it has been necessary none the less; the reward, becoming always present and noticing the little things in my new found time.
The little things, like nature. We become so cumbersome in our day to day business and happenings that we don't really slow down to smell the roses. Such a cliche, but oh so true! Noticing the changing light on the buildings as we pass them by, the birds expanding and contracting shapes in the sky. In a blink of an eye, there were pink blossoms on the trees, and today they are a brilliant green. It feels like just yesterday I was noticing the small details in the cracks of ice, the frost tipped leafs and nettles, nestled in the grove of bark. The frost has since melted, and brought life to spring. Crisp air, the smell of fresh mowed grass, the cool rain pouring rainbows in the sky against sun rays. Before, I was so busy just being busy that I passed these details by without even a notion. I felt life sipping away from me at a velocity I had no reasoning with.
By slowing down, it allows me to breathe deeper, think clearer, and free up space for the little things. Walking the dog turned from a tedious task that was disrupting my work flow to a welcomed break. Going to bed feels like a retreat rather than signaling all the lose ends of the day to clutter my dream space. Waking in the morning is a time of gratitude as I welcome the day, rather than overwhelming anxiety over the to do lists in my head.
We must give ourselves allowances in a time where we are on the internet searching for new ways to organize, and for the next gadget on the market that will surely "simplify your life!" . . . while we live in an age of convenience, it can become us - and overwhelmingly so. It is a token of relief when we can allow ourselves the time to take it all in and really experience what we have and where we are at. These moments won't last forever, and I want to allow myself the opportunity to hang on to the memories when they are gone.
I've started a garden with my son. Yes, shocking - me! Known for my lack of a green thumb, it currently consists of . . . drum roll please: Spinach. Yes, that's right. One. Pot. Of. Spinach. The little things. Starting a garden (yes, I'm really going with "garden" here) really makes you stop and slow down. There is something special about planting a seed in the dirt, watering it, and watching it sprout and blossom as it comes to fruition. Like little children, we nourish our seedlings, and watch them grow into little people.
Just as the spinach, I've been watching my little boy grow. In a matter of weeks his language has developed to another level. At three this may not seem as exciting as a milestone; but it's special none the less. He's asking questions about all kinds of things - and some of his questions make me really think before finding an answer.
It's in these moments where I wonder, how it is that we came to a place to hold so much experience - the experience to wonder like a child, and to find the answers in science and mathematics, becoming common knowledge. It is fascinating, really. Life, in general. The questions he poses, where I may have given a simple answer in my exhaustion after work in the car on the way home from preschool, I now think about the knowledge I'm really feeding him and begin to wonder what it is that ignites that imagination. I want to cherish those moments, that wonder.
The little things. Caught up in work and schedules, appointments and meetings, internet searches and reading, cooking and cleaning, planning... to the very last little detail so that nothing can run astray from our expectations. It's easy to lose sight of the little things that matter most. The messy. The tedious. Even the ugly. There's beauty in everything when you take the time to really pay attention.
Along this journey I've learned that part of letting go means to just. say. no. Setting boundaries that become your mantra. Little steps I've taken to get here... working closer to home allows me to spend less time in traffic and on the road. My shift pushed a little later allows me to really enjoy the morning and keep to my natural time, because I'm truly that night owl, no matter how hard I try to fight it. Embracing challenges rather than fighting them; acceptance is key and sticking to personal priorities - allowing the rest to slide. My house might be a mess, but it's also a sign that it's been well lived in. My eyes are no longer heavy with sleep, my body thanking me as I take the time to remember to sit a little taller and breathe a little deeper. Meditating at least once a day, retreating to my place of serenity allowing me to balance my emotions and frustrations - we all have them.
At the end of the day, it's these little things that matter most. Nourishing our body, mind, and soul leads to a healthier life, and a sense of fulfillment; rather than chasing a boundless goal.
Taking time to slow down and smell the roses has allowed me to see all the little things that has since, been the highlight of each and every day. And as long as there's sight on these little matters, life feels enriched and sometimes enchanted.
They say that we photograph most, what we are afraid of losing. And for me.. it's the little things.
We all can't help but pine for warmer weather and clear skies. This past year here in the PNW, while there was a large accumulation of rain on the days we did see it, we have been lucky to have dryer weather and clearer skies.
In the nostalgia of a season that is nearing, I love learning new techniques and couldn't wait to try this out last summer. I donated both of these photographs to the Art for Oso auction in support of raising funds to donate towards the families effected by the #OsoSlide.
These shots excite me, as I think about all the actives that are just around the corner. This year I have been experimenting with freelensing and cannot wait to share those in the upcoming weeks!
If you are interested in contributing towards the families effected by the slide, you too can help through a second auction which begins at 7pm Friday, April 4th, 2014. Visit the Art for Oso Auction 2 Gallery and feel free to like, share, and bid on any of the photographs that have been donated by the many photographers who have joined together to form this fundraiser.
As the sun was setting last Summer, I captured this shot of Mt. Rainier. I'm extremely drawn to exploring this area; this highway is only open about 1/4 of the year due to road and weather conditions, so each year it holds something different and unique as the snow melts, revealing its new wonders each visit. I'm looking forward to what this year holds . . .
This really enjoyable weekend with my little family captured an essence that remains timeless in my memory and my heart. These photographs are not only precious to me, but also was a step forward in my work and accomplishments on a professional and personal level.
I hope you enjoy them as much as we do ..
I've always preferred the sunrise over sunset, but it is a rare occasion that I am out early enough to enjoy it. Sometimes I wonder if my natural clock is set in the tropics of the Pacific; I spent ten days in Kailua on Oahu, loving each moment. This was before my son was born, in 2009 - so I, naturally, planned to fulfill a dream and get up early one morning to watch the sun rise on the East coast.
It wasn't too difficult rolling out of bed at four am (being sure to check for roaches first, of course), as I'd been up at six am each morning - on vacation. Being nine am here on the mainland, I felt like a Goddess there on the island - being able to rise so early with a bounce in my step (prior to an ounce of caffeine) was enlightening and challenged me to fill the day with as many adventures as possible. It also, made me feel like a hundred years old; as while I was rising at six am - I was also crashing around eight - nine pm!
On this particular morning, I woke and crept out to head down duck lane (true story) in the dark; warm salty pacific breeze gently hissed through the palm trees planted between the lanes in the road. This and the lull of my flips shuffling against the pavement, became an unforgettable lullaby under that silent starry night.
At the end of duck lane, the sky began to glow as I turned down a sandy path of overgrown flowers scaling the walls on either side of me. I headed for the East coast somewhere in Kailua, relaxed on an unknown beach, and just as majestically as I had imagined it, gracefully watched the earth rotate, greeting the dawn, with Oahu by Menomena playing in my ear buds.
As those rays pierced across the surf, I became enchanted with the surfers out on the waves. They left just as quickly as I had spotted them; what a beautiful lifestyle, I can only imagine - to say at your eight am shift while in your business suite, that you already went surfing at dawn...
I gathered my things and headed back after a short time; promising that from that minute forth, I would live my life with purpose and ever fulfilling direction - taking one look back upon the graceful glow against the water, I snapped this shot (with my low pixel, point and shoot, early 2000's model no-name brand camera) - blinded to how it actually would turn out.
And to this, I share a gimps in to one of my most savored memories of this lifetime.
I took this shot a few nights ago in Kirkland and is entered in a photo contest at SCCA.
I titled it Bene Velle meaning Wishing Well, as the iconic symbolism provokes my deep emotions for the patients, caregivers, and loved ones, treated at SCCA, and those in my own personal life who have succumb to the disease of Cancer.
I was standing before Seattle as our sphere was turning its face against the transitioning colors over our evolving sky, and this single thought occurred to me; how lovely it was to be apart, but one, with it all - with our feet planted firmly amongst the dirt.
As I looked over the water, glowing sky lanterns taking flight from the hill nearby - I thought, how lovely it is to have an escape from the epicenter of chaos; oh how perception so easily changes with such minor perspective adjustments.
With spring in full bloom, I ventured out to the marsh's of Lake Washington and around Seattle, and snapped some delicate shots that hold a dear spot in my heart. I love how the light transcends through these photographs, and blushes in the champagne essence giving off that luster of Spring.