Dragonfly

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For as long as I can remember I’ve had a fascination with dragonflies. Perhaps it was their ability to fly, hover, and to soar. Or their seemingly carefree appearance. Or their beautiful gossamer wings, iridescent and shimmering In the sunlight. Or maybe it was their sudden appearance in the spring, signaling the return of life after a cold and harsh winter. Or perhaps their happy frolicking and mating amidst the cattails and wildflowers, which always makes me smile and my students giggle. Whatever the reason, I am enchanted by them.

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Dragonflies symbolize many things…

Change, self realization, and a deeper understanding of life

Simplicity, power and poise

Self discovery, focus, and living in the moment

Seeing beyond your limitations and living without regret

These are all wonderful qualities for us to embrace and to strive for…

In my life I have had numerous encounters with dragonflies. I have noticed that whenever I see one near, it’s as if my worries and cares disappear as I watch in awe and wonder this stunning insect. They remind me that life is short…and circumstances fleeting. Fragile, yet strong and resilient…these mysterious and magical creatures.

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Footnote: This dragonfly was found dead, but perfectly intact, by my students today. We observed it under a microscope. They too were enchanted. These photographs and the effects I used are a way to capture and portray its beauty…forever.

Coming Home

The word home means so much to us and encompasses so much of our lives. For most the thought of home means warmth, contentment and happiness. It is a place that is safe haven away from the harshness of the outside world.  We have many homes that we remember; our childhood home, our first home away from home, our first home that we own, and raise our own children in. Some (lucky them!) have second homes where they go to rest and rejuvenate.

My parents' home

My parents’ home 

But home isn’t the actual physical house or building, it is the people inside that home, that truly make it a place we want to be.  It is the feelings we have when we are there that make it home. It is the love and relationships that make any place a home.  They say home is where the heart is…and I know this to be true.  It doesn’t matter how big or small, what neighborhood it’s in, whether its old and run down or shiny and new. Home is where our heart dwells.

Most of us have (and will have) lived in many homes during our lifetime. Perhaps some of them were truly homes and some were just houses… Life is like that. Life is also about changes. Changes that involve moving or relocating. Circumstances, jobs, relationships, age, death. Illness, children… So many reasons that our houses and homes change.

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To me, home is any place I can be myself. A place that brings me peace and serenity. It’s any place where I feel love and am loved. It is a place I look forward to returning to…whether for a visit, or forever.

I’ve found over the years, that I form attachments with the places I have lived.  I think this is because of the effort, thought and time we put into our houses, to turn them  into homes.  I believe most people do. For me it began with my first apartment and the little bits of decorating I could do to make it my own. To our first home and the birth of my son and the nesting all new mothers do. Creating a space for him as well as for us as a family. The move to the bigger house with great schools. The lovely old farm house in need of TLC. The selling of the farmhouse, and the move to a condo…that never quite felt like home. And now, perhaps the biggest move in I’ve made in quite some time.  My nest empty….and a wonderful opportunity to move into a new home that is full of love and so much more…

My First Award!

The One Lovely Blog Award

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When I began writing this blog, it was a way for me to write about this new road I find myself on. I have kept a journal over the years, though not always faithfully! But I wanted a way to also include my photographs… Like a photo journal… And so I discovered blogging!

What I didn’t know was that people could like and follow your blog. People are actually enjoying what I’ve written, or been inspired by my pictures! And these people, they can actually give you awards!!!!!! How wonderful is that? Even more wonderful is the other people who blog! Wow!!! I’m am in awe and inspired everyday by reading what they have written. Blogging rocks!

Being my first award here in blogging land, I am going to treasure it. And on days when I’m feeling blue or stuck… I will look at my award.

Thank you, from the bottom of my heart Robin!!! Hers was one of the first blogs I followed. If you read even one of her posts you will know why. We have become blogging friends! I treasure her stories, her insight, her compassion, her spirit, and her friendship. Grab yourself a cup of tea and visit her lovely blog:

http://witlessdatingafterfifty.wordpress.com

A rainbow bouquet for Robin to show my gratitude!

Of course there are rules!!! Fun rules!!

Thank the person who nominated you. Check!
Add The One Lovely Blog Award to your post. Check!
Share 7 things about yourself. Ok…here goes

#1 I love chocolate! Everything chocolate! If it’s not chocolate…like vanilla or something else, I won’t eat it!

#2 I love muscle cars! When I went to college at UVM, I drove a bright blue Dodge Demon. But my favorite was my 1968 Mustang:-)

#3 I don’t watch a lot of TV, but I love the show Wife Swap:-)

#4 I can get pretty rowdy at lacrosse games! Always respectful… But loud!!

#5 This goes with number 4. I tried out for basketball in H.S. but the coach said I should probably be a cheerleader instead because I wasn’t very good. So I did and I was a great, loud, cheerleader!

#6 My favorite book… Oh I have so many, but Barbara Kingsolver’s “Prodigal Summer” is luscious!!

#7 I’m really glad I only had to come up with 7!

Pass the award on to 10 nominees. There are so many but here’s a few I think are pretty lovely too:

http://anniethinksabout.wordpress.com

http://Jesscy.com

http://jumpforjoyphotoproject.wordpress.com

http://brownroadchronicles.com

http://veederranch.com

http://southernseamuse.wordpress.com

http://ididnthavemyglasseson.com

http://belleofthelibrary.com

http://thebettermanprojects.com

http://shesamaineiac.com
Include this set of rules. Check!
Inform your nominees by posting a comment on their blogs. I will!

Sea Glass

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Sea glass. Glass that has been worn smooth by the turbulent ocean waves. Sometimes called tears of the sea…

Or mermaid tears.

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I have a passion for sea glass. I search for it whenever I am by the ocean. I have yet to find any pieces amongst the sand, rocks, and shells. But this doesn’t deter me. It is a quest. A quest to discover these beautiful marvels from the sea.

I’m not quite sure where this passion came from. Perhaps it is because I love the ocean and therefore anything and everything that has to do with the ocean. Or could it be that these tiny treasures remind me of life? They represent a life of storms, of depth, of forces…Thunderous and fierce.  Which then lead to a calmness, a softness… Edges worn smooth, as they find their way out of the raging tempest to land finally upon the beach. 

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I know that life has shaped and softened me. My experiences, my choices, my sorrows, my losses, my heartbreaks, have tossed me about.  Like the crashing ocean life has sometimes crashed around me. And then I find myself washed ashore…In a new place with a new perspective.  Peaceful, compassionate, thoughtful, and calm.  Like sea glass. The same, yet different.

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Change

I’m at a crossroads, a turning point, a place I’ve never been before in my life. Oh there have been many changes and new roads I’ve traveled down. But none quite as emotional and life altering as this.

This was why I began writing this blog, wasn’t it? To write about this new place I find myself in? To share my journey of change and growth?

Change…

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Nature does it.

Quite magnificently, I might add…

For us humans, it’s not always so beautiful and spectacular. It can be messy  and clumsy. We cling tightly to how things were…We hold on to what was, not wanting to let go of the familiar for the unknown. I am afraid. I know that it’s fear that makes change hard.

When I was younger. Change came easily. I think I was a very adaptable, go with the flow, kind of child. Perhaps because I had to be. We moved a lot. My mom was a single mother, who worked hard to take care of my sister and I. She remarried when I was 12. Then we moved to Vermont. A huge change from Westchester County, NY. There were cows up here! But I remember saying ” let’s go!” And I meant it. A new adventure, new opportunities, places and people. The resiliency of youth!!

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And I stayed. I have lived in this beautiful state for over 35 years. I am older now. My adaptable nature isn’t what it used to be.

I like the familiar, the routine, the regularity of life. Yet I yearn for adventure and excitement and the unknown. I am a dichotomy…a contradiction.

Over the years I’ve learned to blend these two sides of myself. I found ways to satisfy my yearnings. But I still held tight to my routines. These grounded me.

Now I feel groundless. Scared and unsure of where I am going. I’m trying to be adaptable in the face of all this change. It isn’t easy.

For today I just need to believe, in myself and in this new path I am traveling…

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What I Will Miss

My son.

For 18 years he has been my life. For the last 12 years it has just been the two of us, finding our way together….through the ups and downs and twists and turns of growing up and living. My smart, strong, kind, handsome, funny, friendly, happy, exasperating and drive me to the looney bin son, will be going off to college in just a few days. A new beginning, for both of us.

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Life is going to be different. There are so many emotions that I am feeling and will feel. He’s very excited. I can see it and I’m excited for him. But I can also see beyond that and know that he is nervous.  I am nervous for him too. But I have great faith in him. I am very proud of the young man he has become.

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There is so much I will miss

Time spent together…

The silliness…

Even more silliness…

Football…

Lacrosse…

Being a Cougar mom…

Team dinners, parties, and celebrations…

The boys…

The piles of laundry, the grocery bill, the arguments, the sweaty smells after a game, the gas money, the rap music, the mistakes and the learning, the growing up…

I hope I have raised him well. I hope that I have prepared him for this grown up world. I hope he always says please and thank you. I hope that he is happy. I hope that he follows his heart,  I hope he knows that I am always here for him, and I hope he always remembers how much I love him.

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Dreams

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This post was inspired by a new friend.  She wrote about dreams and how others can sometimes try to burst those dreams.  This saddens me because no one has the right to make us feel bad for dreaming. Or to crush our dreams in any way.

It also reminded me of my dreams.  I want to share them. Out loud so to speak, so that I remember I have them. And remember to nurture them so that someday my grown up dreams will come true.

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When we are young we are full of dreams. Our dreams are endless and we believe that anything is possible. Our dreams are constantly changing too. We dream about love and growing up. We dream about what we want to do, where we want to live, having a family, love, happiness, seeing the world. Our dreams are innocent and wonderful. They are shiny, big, and beautiful.

I had so many dreams as a child. It seemed each day I added more until my dreams were overflowing. And I believed. I believed my dreams would come true. Even when I dreamed of meeting the latest teenage heart throb,  getting married and living happily ever after or becoming a super-heroine and helping Batman save Gotham. I believed. It didn’t matter what others thought or if they were unattainable or silly. Our dreams are part of us. They shape and inspire us. They help us become…they soothe us through troubled times and give us hope. They are our own special dreams that make each of us, uniquely us.

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As we get older our dreams change. I know that in high school and college my dreams became more down to earth and practical. They were not as big and shiny, but rather real life sorts of dreams. Grades, friends, boyfriends, career choices,, graduation. Still they were dreams. And again helped shape and inspire me to work hard and do my best. To be a good friend, daughter, sister, girlfriend. I still dreamed of falling in love and getting married. He didn’t have to be famous. But he did have to be handsome, funny, passionate. We would have a beautiful house… then children…

When we have children, our dreams change again. We tuck our own dreams away and dream what we want for our children dreams.  We help guide and nurture their dreams. It’s like being a child all over again! We can share our long forgotten dreams with them and we can delight in their shiny, big, and beautiful dreams..

Of course once certain dreams are realized or fulfilled we must dream new dreams.

It is our nature to dream.

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And now my dreams are big again. They are exciting to think about and work towards. Yes, sometimes dreams involve action. And the willingness to do what we need to because we believe deeply in our dreams. This makes dreams possible.

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I dream of traveling. I dream of traveling across this beautiful country seeing and experiencing everything I possibly can. Every wonderful inch of it. I dream of taking photographs and writing about what I see and learn. I dream of talking to people and asking them about their dreams. Did they come true? are they living the life they imagined?  People from all walks of life.  Young and old, poor and rich. Then I want to live by the ocean. Where I can write and and share their dreams because this helps them to come alive. To become possible…

My dreams are possible.

And so are yours…