Perspective

It’s all in how you look at things…

image

I’ve learned.  Life isn’t always fair.

And life isn’t always perfect.

image

But my perspective, my outlook, and my spirit are what determine the quality of the life I live.

Most people know this intuitively. But alcoholics don’t. We have to learn how to see things from a new perspective. One that is often very foreign to us. And the funny thing is…we have to learn it over and over and over again.

So I keep relearning.  I keep adjusting my perspective. It’s an inside job.

And a daily reminder.

To be grateful.

image

For the little things…

Because those little things add up…

To a beautiful day. And a beautiful life…

Perfectly imperfect…

image

My life.

I am so very grateful.

Advertisements

Top of the World

There is something about hiking…

Something, that despite the sore muscles and aching feet, makes you keep going back for more.

Yesterday…I decided to hike the second largest mountain in our area. I have hiked the tallest one, Mt. Mansfield, many times…but never Camel’s Hump.

image

Perhaps it is its imposing presence. Clouds always draped across its peak. The rocky crags at the summit visible from miles away.

And the fact that it’s a long hike! Not just a spur of the minute kind of hike. A hike you have to plan for. Water, lots of snacks, layers of clothing for sudden turns in the weather. It is not for the faint of heart.

Perhaps foreboding is the word that best describes Camel’s Hump…

image

Yet at the same time, this is part of its allure. It pulls at you every time you see it off in the distance.

I finally, after 37 years of living here, let it draw me in.

A 6.8 mile journey round trip. And it all begins with the first step…

image

It was a warm, beautiful late fall day. Our backpack was filled with everything we might need…including a flashlight and fire starter…after all you never know! This was Camel’s Hump…

Part of the hiking experience is the joy of the journey. The things along the trail that catch your eye…and your curiosity and wonder.

Remnants of the spectacular fall we’ve had this year…

The trail dappled with spots of color…

Special friends to share the experience with…

image

A magical emerald forest that seems from another time and place…

These things also distract you…the trail is long and steep. Distractions are good.

There is a sign…

image

Hard to believe there’s still a mile to go…

But the summit is so worth the long hike up. It’s as if you are standing on top of the world.

Even with the clouds, the view is breathtaking. Even with the howling and bone chilling wind, there is a feeling of contentment and happiness.

And a feeling of accomplishment.

image

I did it!

Autumn’s Last Breath

The mountains are the first to know…

The grayness of bare trees begins to migrate downward… Until it reaches the valleys and streams…

The maples now more yellow and brown…

The oaks, slower in the cycle, boast their brightness…

image

And sumacs show off their brilliance for a little while longer…

image

Other clues…

It’s a different kind of beauty…raw and crisp.The sound of the wind through dry, brittle leaves. Cool days and cold nights. Cozy sweaters and warm fires.

It’s a time for getting ready. A time for celebrations. A time for reflection and gratitude. One last burst of color and glory..

image

Until spring…

Found

I’ll be honest…there are days I’m not perfect.

image

This week I’ve had a few imperfect days…

I could blame it on a lot of things…being tired, missing my son, changes in my life, menopause, other people whose lives seem so easy compared to mine…I could even blame my ex-husband even though we’ve been divorced for almost 3 years.

I could blame…but I didn’t.

I truly believe we are all works in progress. My recovery and sobriety has taught me that. When we feel lost or sad or resentful or angry…we need to look inside.

image

I have felt a little lost…and resentful…and sad. And so I turned inward to try and sort through the jumble of emotions and this is what I found…

Joy

image

Precious time with my son

Magic

Castles by the side of the road

Grace

Nature’s amazing grace

Surprises

More abandoned quarries

Beauty

Breathtaking foliage

Peace

Soothing water sounds

Serenity

Time for reflection

Gratitude

image

I may not be perfect. But I’ve learned that who I am today is what matters. I am grateful for today…

image

The Elements

Earth, water, air, fire

The 4 elements

The vital forces or energies believed to make up creation. The simplest and most essential materials of all phenomena.

image

Solidity, fluidity, cohesion, sensation, perception, interaction

The states of matter…solid, liquid, gas, plasma

Change, growth, transformation

All around us. And within us.

Sometimes it is difficult to put into words…the thoughts, ideas, and feelings I have. When I take a picture, it often portrays what is going on inside me. The elements of life…express the elements of me and my journey.

Earth, water, air, and fire.

Tree Love

I just can’t get enough of this incredible fall we are having.  My camera is working overtime. I am spending hours outside…walking, photographing, savoring…saying lots of “Ooohs and ahhhs” and “Wows”

image

Words can no longer express or describe this spectacular show nature is giving us this year.

I’m not even sure my pictures do it true justice.  But the photographer in me can’t help sharing them…

image

I have fallen in love again with trees. They truly are magnificent…in every season. But in the fall, they become almost magical in how they change. I am smitten!

I have witnessed numerous autumns…many just as beautiful. What makes this fall so different?

image

Perhaps it’s me. Perhaps for the first time in a very long time, I am really seeing, feeling, and experiencing the world around me…

My eyes, my mind, and my heart more open…

To not just the seasons and the natural world…

image

But life itself…

image

The Science of Fall

This fall has been spectacular.  I truly have been in awe of the brilliance I see every day. And it makes me wonder…Why are the colors so incredibly vibrant this year?

image

This year I changed my science units around. Normally I teach our life science unit in the spring when we can go to the local pond and observe life cycles up close. It’s the perfect time…

But this fall…it has been perfect for learning too.  For me and for my students.

image

I love my students’ curiosity. I love their excitement about science. I love their questions and their explanations of why and how.  This is why I teach. They inspire me and I learn right alongside them. And we have fun!

This beauty of this fall has led us to want to know more. So we went in search of answers. Answers from the trees in front of our school.

We had so many questions!

Why do the leaves change color? How do they change? What’s happening?

Why do some trees change color sooner than others?  Do other trees besides maples change?

Why do the leaves die? How do they die? Why do they turn brown and crispy when they die?

Why are some leaves different colors? Why are some red, yellow, orange or a combination of colors?

So we observed the trees. And we collected leaves…lots of leaves.

We observed them…

image

We made predictions about them…

image

And we researched. We read. We found out about pigments. Pigments that are always there, but become uncovered as the green chlorophyll fades. Trees know that winter is coming. The shorter days, less sunshine…and they begin their process of dormancy. The leaves then fall…and without any food or water go through their own changes. Later, becoming nutrients for the new leaves in the spring.  The life cycle continues…

image

This fall has been perfect. The warm sunshine during the day, the cool nights. Perfect conditions for producing this amazing display of color.

We learned so much. And we had fun!

image