Forest Bathing

A term that means visiting a forest for relaxation. Or a walk through the woods to aid in a person’s well being and serenity. And what better time of year for this idea of forest bathing, than fall.

The forests here in Vermont are finally undergoing their autumn changes. Warmer weather in September slowed the process. And some worried that the colors might be muted or the leaves would fall off too quickly once the cooler weather arrived.

But as I stroll through the forests near where I live, as I bathe in their colorful splendor, I know that nature is right on schedule.

Autumn is here. And the forest is displaying her extravagance, splashing the earth with her glorious hues.

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It is truly the perfect time for forest bathing.

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From Lake Willoughby With Love

There is a place. In the far northeast corner of Vermont. A place I have come to love. A place where I have over the years sought peace and serenity and found so much more. It holds a very special place in my heart.

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Lake Willoughby.

With her towering mountains that stand guard over her shores.

With her calm and reflective waters.

With iher glorious vistas and magnificent sunsets.

It is a place where worries fall away and life slows down. A step back into a simpler time. And wonder around every corner and on every mountain top.

It’s always hard to leave. But I know that she’s always here for me. Waiting patiently until I return again.

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From Lake Willoughby with love…

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Gifts from the Sea

I spent two days by the sea. On the southern coast of Maine. A place full of familiar sights and so much that is unchartered territory. A place to lose and find myself. A place filled with gifts. Gifts from the sea.image

It is a place I love.

A few times a year I make my way there. Because the gifts it offers, are the ones I am longing for. Gifts that replenish and exhilarate me.

The soothing and tranquil waters of the Casco Bay.

The ancient and weathered rocks that create the shoreline.

The crashing waves of the open ocean that ebb and flow.

The fragile and beautiful shells that are left behind to be found.

Time with the sea is my gift to myself.

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A gift that I never tire of receiving.

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And the sea never tires of giving…

Small Moments

Small moments in time.

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We experience many such moments each and every day.

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I try to capture these through my words and my pictures. Sometimes it works. And those moments are caught. Their meaning, their essence, and their grace shines through radiantly and perfectly.

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While away for Christmas with my family, I saw and I felt and I experienced, so many of these small and wondrous moments.

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Here are my pictures of those moments. I hope that they convey the joy, the warmth, the love, the beauty, and the magic of how I am feeling this holiday season.

It isn’t necessarily the grand events or big moments that are the most memorable…

Instead, sometimes it is the small moments in time, that warm our hearts and bring us peace.

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Turning The Corner

On the road of life we sometimes come to a place where…suddenly and almost without warning… the fog lifts.

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And as you turn the corner, you can see clearly, that the path in front of you is wide open.

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The past has become the past. It is behind me now. I’m standing in the present moment. Seeing, feeling, touching, hearing, tasting.

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The future completely unknown. But not in a frightening way. An exciting way. I am finally trusting the adventure of being alive.

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It has been quite some time since I have really looked around. Really noticed this amazing life I’m living.

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And to see how important it was for me to go through the pain and sadness instead of around it. Because in doing so I came out the other side.

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And I found that I am ok. Better than ok. I am me again.

The lightness, the happiness, the joy is back.

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I’m standing on a different edge. One that’s in the here and now.

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Knowing that I have discovered something inside me through this journey of healing that won’t let me fall.  But instead it will give me the wings I need…

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to fly.

These Hills

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The first time I saw these words I felt something stir deep inside me. My heart expanding, my soul awakening, my spirit singing. These words…and the hills here where I make my home are what inspire and lift me up.

I went and visited the cemetery where this inscribed granite stone resides, again on Sunday. The peace I felt was immediate.

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This peace is something I feel often while gazing out upon the green and rolling hills of Vermont.

A peace that grows with every breathtaking view I’m blessed to experience.

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I’m finding that there is more and more peace inside me with each passing day. A calm serenity that often felt elusive in the past. Perhaps it’s because I am surrounded by  hills.

And these hills that I lift mine eyes upon, are truly a glorious gift.

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Miracles

 It seems that everywhere I go, people are talking about miracles.

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Small miracles, big miracles and medium sized miracles.

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Miracles are happening. And they are happening all around us.

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It’s easy to not see them. It’s easy to walk right by. It’s easy in our day to day lives to forget…life itself is a miracle.

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I feel as though I am waking up, from a very long sleep. Everything feels fresh and new and beautiful.

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This is a miracle.

I’m noticing things. Things once overlooked or barely glanced at. I am realizing that every day little miracles are happening. Around me and within me.

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This is a miracle.

I feel a deep faith, a deep conviction, that everything is going to be ok. No matter what crosses my path, I will be ok.

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This is a miracle.

I have a lightness in my heart and in my soul. I feel at home within myself. I have hope and I feel peace.

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This is a miracle.

I’ve found that I don’t need to question any of this. I don’t need to know where it came from or why.

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This is a miracle.

And all it takes is believing.

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That is the miracle.

The Color of Winter

As a photographer I am sometimes challenged in winter.  As a person, with its short days and long nights, winter can be challenging to the spirit as well. The colors around me are limited…

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 However it is the splashes of color that catch my eye and give joy to my heart. That make the winter a bit less challenging…as a photographer and as a person.  In the depth of winter, amidst the endless white, it is the color that makes us pause…gives us pleasure and reminds us that life is not just white or black or gray

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And the cold stark landscape is forgotten for awhile.

I go in search for the color of winter.

In the woods…

In the snow…

In the ice…

In the sky…

And in the middle of nowhere…

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May your holidays be colorful and bright!

Defining Tracy

I am not special. I think that we all go through periods in our lives where we find ourselves re-defining who we are and what our purpose is.

This time of introspection comes from many sources. It may be a death or tragedy,  a divorce, a midlife crisis, an empty nest or other major change in our life. One that causes us to pause, think, readjust and grow.

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It can be scary. As if the very ground once so firm has disappeared. You are free floating. And not sure where you will land.

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Yet I have been down this well worn road many times. It is the road of life.

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We use many words to describe who we are:

mother, teacher, friend, lover, sister, daughter, aunt…

Yet I am more than just those words.

I am me.

It is these times in life when we look a little deeper. I am me. But who am I really?

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And our words to describe ourselves go deeper:

Giving, kind, compassionate, spiritual, thoughtful, tender, reflective, introvert, learner, dreamer, passionate, explorer, sweet, funny, smart, free spirit…

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And there are also the words we use to describe what we don’t like…and what we want to change….

The not so nice words…

Stubborn, procrastinating, selfish, anxious, lazy, passive, jealous, fearful, superficial…

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This process of redefining is about looking at the whole picture, not just the pretty parts. It is about changing. Changing and growing and being the best person we can be.

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We need these times in our lives. To adjust our sails and go in the direction of inner peace, happiness and serenity. Each time we get a little closer…

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Who am I? I am Tracy. A work in progress.

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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