"Joy" it is!

It seems almost impossible that another year has come and gone. I will have to get used to writing the year "2017." This is the time of year when New Year's resolutions are made, new beginnings forged, their "word" for the year pondered. I dunno, I'm not feeling it. It's winter, it's a time for quiet reflection and hibernation. I don't feel a need to make any resolute commitments for the year ahead, nor do I have a "word" for 2017, although when prodded I did pick the word "Joy."  It all started rather innocently, Yesterday evening something rather funny was said and I bursted our laughing. You know the kind of laughter that comes straight from your belly and it's like you've just experienced a really great ab work out? Ya, that kind. That's when I realized I haven't laughed like that in a really long time, I need to have more joy in my life. So there, I picked a word. "Joy" it is. I think New Year's falls during the wrong season, I feel like spring is a time that marks new beginnings, not the dead of winter. When I see buds bursting forth, green grass emerging, leaves unfurling and fragrant pines filling my senses, then I will feel that a new beginning is before me. Not now. But it's not up to me, whether I agree or not, a new year is before us.

The holidays this year came and went without much fanfare. We are close to finishing up our home so all of our time and attention was poured into that labor or love. I'm actually procrastinating right now as I need to go and finish prepping my hardwood floors for staining. But first, let me take a few more minutes to linger here. It feels good to get my thoughts out. Writing has always allowed me to release my pent up emotions and figure out all that is perplexing to me. Perhaps it's a safe place for me to give voice to the deep utterings inside that often lays hidden.

For now, I will keep this short and sweet. Here is a little video I made for Christmas. I also did a roundup of some of my favourite photos of 2016 which I have randomly placed throughout this blog post. Enjoy, and Happy New Year!


Wishing all of us a good year ahead.

A Virtual Holiday

snowI look down at my paint splattered clothes. I've narrowed my wardrobe down to just a few pieces that I am willing to have ruined by all the paint and wood stain that I have been dealing with these past weeks. I feel spun out this morning. Too many days of adrenalin overload, long hours and little sleep. I am at the stage where I wonder if we will ever move forward and officially be in our home. We are inching our way there, but it is slow. Life imitating our reality, slow, "Maine Speed." Ya, "Maine Speed" is a new term that I have learned since living here. Slow and steady wins the race, but holy smokes is it ever hard for my brain to comprehend why we are all chugging along at a snails pace. snow-6

I need to quiet my mind today, deep breath in and slow breath out. I feel my spine relax and my body soften. Breathe in and slow breath out. Over and over, breath In and breathe out while rolling the words from my tongue, “Thank you, thank you, thank you, I am so grateful.” I am grateful for even the hard stuff these days, for it is in these moments my capacity grows and my soul finds new strengths and abilities I never even knew existed. But I am also tired of the growing pains. I feel happy for the blanket of snow covering the earth because somehow it is gifting me the permission I need in order to hibernate and be away from all the normal activities for awhile. snow-14

With all the busyness of life lately, I noticed that I was barely taking time to get out my camera and create beautiful images. There is something that happens to me when I stop creating, I get very stagnant and my heart begins to close. So I came up with the idea of going over last years winter photos and snow scenes and creating a virtual online holiday card series. I posted them over on my Instagram feed https://www.instagram.com/lynnebechard/ and it was fun to revisit these photos that never see the light of day. I thought I would post them here as well to add a bit of holiday cheer. The irony is that there is not one holiday decoration up, no presents bought, not even a twinkly light. My reality these days is being surrounded by ladders and loud nail guns, yet here I am talking about the holidays. See why the virtual card series came into play this year? I know that next year will look different for us and I am trying to make the most of where we are today and savoring even the precarious times.

I hope you enjoy the photos. Happy Holidayschristmas-cardnovascotia-32 christmas-card-2christmascard-2christmascardnovascotia-17 novascotia-9 novascotia-3 novascotia-2christmascard-2tree

Acceptance with Gratitude

  flatAnother flat tire, living in a small camper for over 6 months, painful dental work, an external hard drive failing with hundreds of photos lost, all the uncertainties we are facing and on and on. There have been so many things that have weighed so heavily. As one of my friends so wisely said to me, “These events have happened for a reason, this is a good place to pause and ask the question, ‘what am I here to learn, what is the lesson, don’t skip over these valuable teachings.’” I did as she suggested, I paused, perhaps I even cried a little, then I started thinking about each experience and I saw an overriding theme before me. It would seem that I keep coming back to the word “acceptance,” over and over again.

fog-2So of course I have been thinking a lot about acceptance and what it means to me. For me it’s about allowing what comes without resistance. I have spent a lot of time resisting, staving off the unpleasant, spinning my wheels trying to make things happen. Yet, it is somehow during the struggle, during the darkness that I am cracked open and it is from here that I begin to see the light. I heard it said this way, most often we would have never chosen the path that has led us to where we stand today, but because of these deep valleys we are wiser, calmer, better people then we ever would have been had everything been easy.

flatI’m thinking about a conversation I had with one of my dear friends. Her name is Ann, she is in her 90’s, and she is one of the kindest most pleasant people I have ever met. I have never heard her speak negatively or say unkind words towards anybody or anything. Recently I spoke with Ann and I asked her, “Ann, what is your secret, how are you always so at ease, so upbeat even in the face of great loss?” She looked at me, her eyes so soft and kind as she replied, “You want to know what the secret is, it’s acceptance. I accept what comes to me. I can't control life, but I can accept it and not fight against it and that way I never loose any sleep or get stressed, I just accept.” Then she went on to say, “I don’t want you to think that I don’t care about things or people because I do, I care deeply, but I’ve learned to accept it all.”

flat-3Those wise words have sat deep,  I’ve churned them over them over and over again. Acceptance. I’ve heard myself over the years pay lip service to surrender by saying, “I have a surrendered heart and I am OK with whatever happens.” But inside I was always secretively wishing, angling, hanging on and hoping things would turn out the way I wanted it to. As I held onto my will the stress would build and grow and anxiety ruled the day. But acceptance... what a simple concept. Accepting that what comes to me is for me. It stops the comparisons and I no longer look at what I don’t have, but rather it creates such thankfulness for everything that I do have. Talk about a mighty shift of the heart.

flat-2When I can accept where I am, I begin to embrace all that is. I say words of thanksgiving. Over the past few months I began a new practice, I spend time each day repeating the phrase, “Thank you, thank you, thank you, I am so grateful.” Somehow in the midst of my embracing and being thankful my heart has begun to agree.  I am no longer closed with tight fists but rather I am working on opening my hands without even knowing for sure what lies before me.fog-5

Happy Camper

camperThe howling winds are blowing outside my little camper walls, the fragile shell buffeting the harsh outer elements. I feel untethered as each gust of wind rocks me back and forth like a ship on the high seas. I have never been so affected by weather patterns. But life inside this small space has created a new awareness unlike anything I have experienced before. I have become much more connected to my life and my surroundings. I keep referring to our move to Maine as being organic in nature. In our new habitat there are no buffers, no fillers, it's real life full throttle.  We have had to deal with some of the messiest of messes and also some of the most beautiful heart rendering, frustrating, loving, humbling and sticky sweet moments all wrapped tightly together into one big life altering burrito. I can't help but feel profoundly grateful for it all, even the hard spots. Soon my time inside this tiny camper of ours will draw to a close. Our new home will be ready for us shortly (I pray). In that moment, everything will change. As with every experience in life there is a beginning, a middle and an ending. It leaves me asking the question, "have I learned all I was to learn through this experience?" I hope so. I hope that I have become braver, kinder, and a more compassionate soul as some of my rough edges were sloughed off. _91b6720 In the meantime, we are currently waiting on our plumber and electrician to come and work on our house. I was just informed that our plumber is still a week out. I think this makes it about 6 weeks that we have been stalled out as we wait for him and the electrician to do their work. Hurry up and wait and then wait some more has become our Maine theme. We were suppose to install the hardwood floors last, but in an effort to keep moving forward we decided to begin installing them right away. Since we are going for a rustic look, all the scars and scratches the floor is receiving will just add to the charm. They are turning out much better then I expected. It’s a lot of measuring, cutting, hammering and piecing it all together like a giant jigsaw puzzle. It is truly a labor of love.floors-2floorsI feel that this summer came and went in one giant blur.  Most of our time was spent working on our place but we did manage to make time to visit with friends and family and for that we are so thankful.

thekids-14stonington-7I have a lot of catching up to do on this blog. But in the meantime, here’s some photos that sum up life for the past couple of months. As you will see, I was also able to go home for a quick visit to Canada to be with my family during harvest time. floors

My Dad at work. This is his 61st harvest.

Old moody granaries




It's Summer in Maine

It’s been awhile since I last updated my blog. I was going to start off by apologizing for taking so long to write. But hey, it’s summer in Maine, this is the time to be outside and soak up the sun and go out exploring. But first, let's paint! usOh ya, painting. Did I mention that in an effort to save money, Mike and I decided to paint our house by ourselves. I had no idea that so much work would be involved. But that's often how things go, where we end up working much more then we intended, projects become more expensive then planned and everything takes five times longer then originally thought out. That pretty much sums up how our build has been going. But we are very happy with it and we are most grateful for our little house in the woods.paint The thing about hard work and being forced to dig deep, is that it creates so much more appreciation for all that we have.

Here’s an overview of our summer so far.



The Stairway to Dreams

stairsThese stairs represent a promise of more to come, of dreams and new beginnings becoming a reality. Currently the stairs look open ended, a sort of stairway to heaven kind of feel, but to me they represent so much more. They lead to our second floor living space that will soon be framed and enclosed. I am beginning to envision myself in my new home and I'll be able to move out of my tiny little camper. This thought puts a big smile on my face.stairs This past month has had me thinking about the cycles we go through in life, the beginning, the middle part and the endings which always lead to another new beginning. These cycles never pause, they forever keep moving forward. Jake, Mike’s youngest son and Riley, my nephew, both recently graduated from High School. As I attended their graduation ceremonies I couldn’t help but feel nostalgic and inspired by the excitement I saw in those young eyes full of fearless ambition. I remember being 18 and having the same sense of wonder with the wide open road before me. But over the years something happened, instead of expanding, I contracted. I suppose it is a normal part of maturing, the caution that follows some of the harsh life experiences we all go through. An unfortunate part of the maturing process. But youthful ambition is so fearless and in these days I find it rather refreshing. I do realize that in the bigger picture of life that youthful exuberance needs to be tempered by mature caution, but every once in awhile it feels good to witness such wild abandon. Emerging instead of surrendering and running forward without pause.

Here's our graduates, Jake and Riley.





These summer days feel youthful, hopeful and full of newness. Very representative of my own life right now. So many new things have been happening for me and I think it was very timely to watch so much fearlessness in our youth. I feel inspired by watching their steps forward. A reminder to expand as the fears melt away.


Making Memories

hummingbirdI just finished reading through something I wrote exactly one month ago. ~I am laying in bed not wanting to get out. The minute my feet hit the floor everything will change. It’s the third dismantling of a house I will have had to do this year. My body knows the familiar drain of this all too well. I want to stave it off a little longer and sink deeper into the warm sheets. Just another hour. But I know that this luxurious hour will cost me an even later night of work. So I will dip my toes onto the cold floor, like diving into frigid water, and I will press on.~hummingbird-4

This month has brought a lot of change into our lives, it’s been one of the biggest adjustments I have had to make since our move to Maine last fall. We had been temporarily living in a rental house for the past 7 months and we have now transitioned from that to living in our camper while we build our house. Some people call it trendy to live in a “tiny home.” I, on the other hand, found the initial adjustment to be quite a challenge. I went from living in a 2,000 sq ft home down to a 200 sq ft camper. But I have noticed that it has stretched me both emotionally and mentally in the best of ways.hummingbird

So here we are after 30 days and we are finally settling in and getting used to our new norm. As my heart has begun to open to my new way of life, I am feeling less claustrophobic. Interesting to see that irony play out. Somehow the act of physical constriction released my heart to open into higher places. I have begun to experience new levels of gratitude. A warm shower suddenly takes on new meaning, modern conveniences are pure luxury and my beloved Hudson Bay blanket (a gift from my sister) has been a true godsend. The little things I used to take for granted are so meaningful to me now.hummingbird

One of my neighbors stopped by to introduce himself to us. He is such a kind man who said something to me that I have been carrying inside my heart ever since. He asked how everything was going during our time of transition. I was lamenting to him about it all. He looked at me and smiled and said, “You are building memories right now, you will look back over this time and you will see that this is some of your most cherished moments together.”hummingbird

I made this video with that thought in mind. It’s a series of short clips filmed last Saturday. I like the idea of encapsulating our moments into video time capsules. Here's what some of our memories look like.


  • The photos of the flowers are wild "Lady Slippers" that are growing on our property, they are a protected flower in Maine.

Down By The Creek

https://vimeo.com/163359691 I'm two weeks late in posting this video clip. It's been such a hectic time this past while, but I'll catch you up on all our latest happenings in my next blog post.

I recently shot this short piece of film on my trip home to Canada. During one of the evenings I went to the creek just before sunset to watch the magic unfold. The frogs were chirping, a beaver floated by, geese flew overhead and the best part of all is the meadowlarks were singing.  Oh how I love meadowlarks.

Enjoy the sights and sounds of springtime at the creek.

Tumbling into Surrender

https://vimeo.com/162171886 sand-4

Every journey comes with moments of joy and heartache. The struggle of knowing when to hold on and when to let go, when to sit down or when to stand, when to gather and when to give. Just as in nature, there is a rise and fall to the tide, a natural rhythm to the yin and yang. Acceptance, rather then resistance.

A couple of days ago the sunshine made an unexpected appearance, which as usual, beckoned me to the coastline. Seeing the ocean drenched in sunshine always adds heaping spoonfuls of cheer and enlightenment to my soul. We went to one of my favorite beaches in Acadia called, Sand Beach. I love going to this beach at low tide, the water as it rushes out to sea pushes abstract designs through the sand. Listening to the ocean waves in the background and feeling the sand underfoot is a magic elixir.

We were the only ones enjoying this beautiful seascape, when suddenly from the corner of my eye, I saw a man with his two small sons bounding towards the beach. The little boys were so full of wonder and fascination, while their father quietly stood staring into the distance. I understand this stare, this gaze into forever. Seeing him reminded me of all the times I have questioned and pondered my own feelings. Releasing myself into the moment of all that is, was and will be. I have come to this place many times before, the place where I once again must tumble into surrender. sand-2

We come to many crossroads in life, some subtle, others redefining. A constant state of flux, of building up and taring down and building back up again.  I breathe in and I breathe out. I rise up, I fall down,  up and down and... It is neither good nor bad, but simply part of the journey, part of the human experience. There is actually a very beautiful rhythm to it all. Just like the natural rhythm found in the waves, they roll in and they roll out, like a metronome keeping perfect time with my heartbeat.

I used to think that unless I was experiencing the emotions of joy and happiness, I was being less then, or failing in some way. Emotions are fickle, just like sometimes I cry when I'm happy and I feel cleansed when I'm sad and fear in joy. I am learning to rely less on my actual emotions and more on "what I know for sure" statements. Every morning I set my intentions for the day in a quiet space that I have carved out for myself. It is here that I gather the clarity and calm that allows my heart to open wide. Stretching my soul in a spiritual calisthenics that gently coaxes and leads me into a deeper place of trust. This unfurling detangles the strings of my emotions. For in this moment, with the sea before me, I see can forever. sand-3


Mud Season

mudThey say that Maine has five seasons: spring, summer, fall, winter, and mud. Mud season is a real thing here in Maine. It's when the snow and ice melt into a sloppy, slushy pothole kind of mess. As a little girl I would have adored tromping through this season in my bright red rubber boots.  But today I long for pretty shoes and dry ground. I am remembering back to an early spring day when I was around seven years old and the smell of the earth was coming to life and it was as if the mud was beckoning me to come and play. Without a care in the world I trudged straight into the biggest patch of soupy earth that acted like quick sand. With a tenacious grip that black earth grabbed ahold of me and wouldn't let me go. My only route of escape was to step out of my boots and walk home in my white stocking feet. I chuckle about it now, but at the time I thought my beloved boots would be entombed in that muddy soil forever. But eventually the ground gave way and my Dad was able to pull my little boots out to safety. Lately I have once again found myself stuck in some deep murky places. I have to gently remind myself that the mud will eventually loosen it's grip. Often as we sit in the middle of an experience it becomes hard for us to believe that a new season sits out on the horizon. The forecast this week is for freezing temps and cold rain. I see that the emergence will be slow, but the momentum is moving forward. Often the really great stuff of life is found within these messy moments, these tough seasons. For it is out of this primitive place that the greatest beauty grows.mud-2I took two images this week that really spoke to me, they include the elements of water and fire. I am always amazed at how spellbound I become when I stare out at the water or look deeply into roaring flames. I am simply mesmerized. During this years "Mud Season," I have learned that we aren't ever really stuck. Life never holds still, even when we don't feel anything at all, we are constantly growing in the most unexpected of ways. What held us down will soon set us free.

Water and fire, cleansing and purifying.takedown-3mud-3

But The Birds Are Still Singing

snowday-11I stumbled into the living room after a deep and heavy sleep. Sleep doesn’t come as easily as it used to, but last night I had a full night of uninterrupted slumber, it felt luxurious yet almost dizzying. Mike, who had already been up for hours greeted me full of life and smiles. With a joyous grin he looked up at me and said, “Lynne, something really wonderful happened this morning.” I’m thinking, Wow, what big news is he about to share? With bated breath I asked, “What, what is it?” In my shallow thoughts my mind was racing, Is this about money? Is someone getting married? Having a baby?…."What, what’s the big news?” He said, “The birds have returned and they were singing their hearts out high up in the trees, it's happening, spring is returning.” I love that within this simple moment he saw such hope and joy. It’s been a two steps forward, one step back sort of jerky momentum lately. We have been so eager for new beginnings to start, both figuratively and literally, that it felt completely out of sequence to have awakened to 8” of snow this past week. SNOW!!! NOW??? Ugh! So often this is exactly how life flows. We begin a momentum forward with hopes riding high, expectations become bigger and bigger and suddenly you find a snow drift at your back door. Reality, a harsh realization that everything happens much slower then we desire or plan. But perhaps that is the best pace of all. Slow. Making sure that the cart does not go in front of the horse, so to speak. Embracing the moments that are standing in front of us instead of waiting for perfection that is often so elusive.snowday-17

snowday-2 snowday-6Back to my morning stumbles into the living room. I finally ended up with a warm cup of coffee in my hands as I sank into my comfortable chair. I have a thick soft wrap that I throw over my shoulders and it always feels like a big cozy embrace. I feel safe in these moments, the calm before the rush of the day that often sweeps me into a million different directions. These moments of stillness that allow me to feel grounded, like roots being planted in the earth, I feel plugged in.

I walked away from my morning meditations today with feelings of acceptance. Making peace with snowdrifts instead of blossoms and slow paces instead of running with wild abandon. But the birds are still singing, no matter what is going on in the world today.snowday

The Blossoms

blossomWe arrived home after spending a glorious week out in Oregon with Mike's family. I didn't realize how thirsty my eyes had been to see greenery and blossoms. I simply could't get enough of it. I've dedicated this post to the fresh blossoms of spring that bring with them so much hope and to the Oregon coastline with it's amazing views. Soon springtime will follow us back to Maine, but for now we are immersed in what the locals refer to as "mud season." I won't be posting any pictures of that because it is exactly as you are imagining, it's muddy and full of potholes. But hope is on the horizon. The lake is now completely free of ice and for the first time this morning I noticed some ducks have returned to the open water. Next up the peep frogs will be singing their songs and life will keep opening up and up. Spring is in the air. oregon coast-18oregon coastoregon coast-17oregon coast-16oregon coast-14oregon coast-10oregon coast-5oregon coast-4blossom-13blossom-17blossom-22blossom-21blossom-18blossom-12blossom-9blossom-2

The Winter Lake Speaks

https://vimeo.com/157000204 "The Winter Lake Speaks," is a title that conjures up all sorts of beautiful imaginations.  Mike is the one that came up with that great title. The minute he said it I knew it was the perfect fit for the message of my heart.  It would seem that we all have an inherent attraction to staring out at the open water. If you think back to a time when you last did, it will more then likely evoke calm thoughts and clarity. In my own life water has been a medium of communication that spoke to my heart's longings.

I love watching the evolution that takes place out on these waters. The seasonal contrast of the carefree summer days, to the deep silence of winter's night, is a stark and rigid divide. Last month Mike and I went for a long walk out on the frozen lake. We were walking along very quietly for a time when suddenly a deep echoing thrum cascaded past us. It stopped us in our tracks. We looked at each other with puzzled eyes. "What was that?" We stood motionless, suppressed breathing to have a better listen. A few moments later, there it was again! "Could it be the lake making that sound?" "Does ice make this kind of sound?" I laugh now because at the time we thought there may be a wild animal encroaching. There was even talk of a bear. But with hibernation how was that possible?  It was a warm winter so maybe it was. "Oh my Gosh, a bear?!!" Slowly these "city slickers" began realizing that the menacing sounds were simply the pulse below the frozen sheath sending out one slow and steady heart beat at a time. A reminder saying, "I'm still here, I'm still with you, don't lose hope." The prophetic words of hope now echoing true, an unstoppable warming trend is before us. The sun is now sitting much higher in the sky and spring quite simply will not be denied. As winter closes its doors upon this meditative season, our lake is shaking off it's winter cloak in the most dramatic of ways. Bending, snapping and cracking open it's spine to reveal a new chapter before us.

As I look out, I can't help but think of the many cycles we all go through in life.  Vibrancy to dormancy, the yin and yang of expansion to contraction as we learn to make sense of it all. The ice playing a metaphor to our own story. Since coming to Maine we have found ourselves in a season of quiet, not by our own design, but rather an enforced solitude. It would seem that a conspiracy of nature has brought us to a place of stillness that demanded deep soul searching. It's been a time full of growth with a deeper connection to love and learning to simply trust. We find ourselves breaking open into the beautiful spring of possibility. A very wise man recently said to me, "We could never understand comfort without pain, laughter without sorrow, success without failure, warmth without cold..." In that moment it began making sense to me, the reason for winter, for without it there would be no hope in spring. As I loosen my resistance and allow myself to grow in new ways, the words, "just be" begin to resonate deeply. With the wrestler inside having now been pinned, the fight in me is gone and a new acceptance has grown in it's place. I will quite simply bloom where I am planted.

Welcome to Maine!

Peggy's Cove

https://vimeo.com/156142265 Welcome to Peggy's Cove. I find myself captivated by the haunting beauty of this small fishing village. It feels ancient as though preserved from a bygone era. For those of you not familiar, Peggy's Cove is about a 45 minute drive south of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. I visited Peggy's Cove about 10 years ago and I have wanted to go back ever since. I envisioned returning during the winter season as I knew the snow would add extra layers of texture to this spectacular backdrop. As you will see by the pictures, the snow did not disappoint, it made everything even more beautiful.

I have included more photos then I normally would in a blog post. I just had to. Because honestly, it was an impossible task getting it down to this many. Every place we went, everywhere my eyes fell, I was completely captivated by the depth of character that so easily held me spellbound. It's a place that makes me feel deeper, look farther and pause longer. From a creative point of view, it quite simply makes my heart sing.

novascotia-7 novascotia-21novascotia-17novascotia-11novascotia-32novascotia-41novascotia-4novascotia-24novascotia-30novascotia-6novascotia-28novascotia-33novascotia-22novascotia-29novascotia-14novascotia-32novascotia-3novascotia-8I was especially intrigued by the boat called, "Freedom 55."   The exposed frame seemed skeletal in nature. The boat that holds a thousand stories deep within it's bones.novascotia-2novascotia-45novascotia-17novascotia-34novascotia-35novascotia-9novascotia-7novascotia-11novascotia-9novascotia-10novascotia-39I'm already planning on a return trip this summer.

The Ice Fishing Community

shanty-15Last week the ice shanties began appearing out on the lake. I love going out and looking at these little shacks with so much personality.shanty-6Out on the ice, a makeshift community emerges. Everyone is very friendly as they even came out of their shacks to talk with us. They were probably wondering why on earth we were out there photographing them instead of fishing.shanty-12shanty-16shanty-3 Sadly though, as quickly as the fishing shacks appeared, they disappeared. A big warming trend happened this week and the solid sheet of ice that served as a foundation has rapidly disappeared. Winter seems to be eluding Maine this year. We see glimpses of it, but it feels more like April then it does January.shanty-14 It was fun while it lasted.

A Sunday Stroll

Yesterday morning I got up early to go for a walk. I love to observe the quiet of the day. It is during these moments of silence that I begin to really hear. I find answers to the turmoil, hope in the broken places and most of all my heart just opens wide. I could hear the ice cracking on the lake, the crunch of snow underfoot, crows calling to one another, busy chipmunks chirping as the stream was breaking free. Take a moment, and come enjoy a stroll with me.


The Line Into the Distance

"So what is your New Year's resolution going to be this year?" It's the same question I get asked every year. I don't really believe in making New Year's resolutions, but in that moment I blurted, "I want to be more brave with my photography and put it out for public viewing." There, I said it. Then I immediately retracted the statement. As I began calculating the risks of vulnerability it would be for me to let people see my work, it felt scary and raw. Yet lately I've been feeling this need to blow open the doors off my crazy fears.  Perhaps by letting my work out of it's cage, I might actually be allowing my heart to open in the most wonderful of ways. snow-6snow-14snow-23snow-16snow-10 Little increments of bravery may not look like much initially, but if I were to draw a line out to the distance, having moved the line by only a few degrees, the change is vast. Back in my flight attendant days I remember having a conversation with a pilot regarding this very thing. On this particular evening we were flying out of New York  on our way to the west coast. He said, "We are flying to San Francisco and if I were to change the dial of our heading by just a few degrees we would end up in LA." I had Mike (who is a pilot) look up what the heading would be from NY - San Francisco and it's 281 degrees. NY - LA is 273 degrees, that's only an 8 degree difference. The distance between San francisco and LA is 378 miles, a six hour drive. A prime example of a small shift creating a huge distance out into the future. Initially the shift in degrees is barely noticeable, but over time the change is vast. OK, I have talked myself into my own bit of bravery, I will shift my dial by a few degrees and I believe that I will soon find myself standing in a whole new space.


The Holidaze

xmasThe Holidays, when all is to be Merry and Bright. xmas-6Our first Christmas in Maine. It didn't look exactly as I had expected it to be.  But then again, does anything ever turn our the way we think it will? I thought I would be posting about the progress of our new home, along with photos of our new shiny lives. Funny how life has a way of making other plans for us. As we keep hearing everyone say, "everything happens for a reason." I'm not exactly sure why yet, but I am learning to let go and be at peace with it all.

Our new house has been put on indefinite hold, along with so many other things that I thought would be happening for our lives. At moments it has all felt rather heart breaking and embarrassing. But recently, my Dad wrote a letter of encouragement to me. His words were so wise, so soothing. Somehow he helped to turn my heart around and for me to begin looking at things from a different perspective. I'd like to share his words here as I think others will find solace in his wisdom.

He wrote:

I just want to say to you and Mike, keep your heads up high. You have so much going for you, first you have each other. Second, very successful people experience setbacks and sometimes many set backs and then things come together. Their secret is they keep moving forward and they don't look back at the negative situation. So what I'm trying to say to you, everything is going to be ok . In time you will look back and say it's a good thing it didn't work out back then. God has a way of directing our path towards a better situation, better timing etc. But for now, just enjoy being together. Look at nature and realize they haven't a care in the world and God provides for them. How much more He will open the doors for you at the right time . Your Mom and I love you and Mike so much and I pray that you can realize your dreams in good time. May the Lord bless you and keep you safe. Love Dad

With encouragement like that, how can I feel anything but peace in knowing that we are exactly where we need to be in life. I am finding that true acceptance has been key in order to move forward. The struggles and obstacles from my heart get removed as I begin to learn and grow in the most unexpected ways. I am learning to trust life even when I feel so vulnerable. I recently read words from a very wise woman about this very thing. She said, "It is in these moments, these situations when we are feeling our most vulnerable, that real healing and growth can occur in us. It's the crux of where true life begins."

One thing that has always helped me process things is to spend a lot of time out in nature. We've been going for lots of long hikes that last for hours. Our hikes are often filled with long periods of silence as we walk side by side in a meditative state of being.  I notice that we are both quietly absorbing the beautiful calm that can only be found along these sacred corridors. I will share with you some of the scenery from our Christmas Day hike in Acadia. The weather was unseasonably warm as the sun shone brightly upon us. And yes, life is Merry and Bright.Acadia-8Acadia-9 Acadia-2 Acadia-6Acadia-11Acadia-10

The First Snow

From out of the corner of my eye I could see something moving in the window. I went to look outside and there it was, big fluffy snowflakes. They fell so peacefully, quietly falling to the earth like soft blessings. A very welcome sight after a heavy week of dealing with a terrible cold. I know that so many people hate the snow as they endlessly complain about it and they even devise big plans of how they are going to run away from it. But I look at winter and snow as a time to turn inward and enjoy the quiet solitude that it naturally brings into life. It reminds me of the many phases we go through along our journey. The quicker we learn to embrace instead of fight against everything, the quicker we will grow and move along our path without so much resistance.

I am going to embrace this season and enjoy the beauty it brings with it.