“The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.”
― John Muir
I recently returned to Belgium which I do each year sometime in March. In case you have not read this in the previous posts, Belgium is my husband native country, and he is just a few years from retirement. I have family in the states, so to balance I go back and forth to spend time with the people I love. So to say I am a tumbleweed is entirely accurate.
For many years this caused me challenges and adjustments. It still does, but I have now changed my attitude about my life and my circumstances.
I use to read all the time that you need to grow where you are planted. I believe this to be true and with so many of us using social media get frustrated because we may not think we live in as beautiful or exciting places as others, or it seems our lives feel mundane and ordinary in comparison to others as we scroll down the feed and view everyone’s life. But I am writing to tell that although my life appears exciting, I still feel like it is missing something in comparison to others on social media.
I have been conflicted with the syndrome of wishing to be somewhere else. If I am in Belgium, I think I need to be in Colorado, if I am in Colorado and something interesting is going on in Belgium I always wished I could be in Belgium. I have family in Illinois, so when I read about a summer BBQ or a wedding, I always wish I could be there. I feel guilty missing out on my grandchildren's big days like birthdays, graduations and take their first steps.
All these thoughts have only lead to the point of confusion and frustration for me and how I felt my life should be rather than embrace the life I am living at the moment.
It took a good friend’s support and persuasion to make me finally wake up and begin to grow where I find myself planted at the time.
I often feel like a tumbleweed that seems to find it landing in a different place with the wind at the control. I had dreams and things I wanted to accomplish, but I felt I was always at the wrong place and the wrong time. Then I realized that the soul purpose of a tumbleweed is so it can spread it's seeded far and wide.
As I visualized a tumbleweed in my head, I came to realize that rather than feel frustrated by always being on the move, I would embrace the excitement of waiting to see what the wind would have in store for me next.
My camera has always been my salvation from frustration. I would use the camera to help me see what I was not embracing in my head. I will admit that many days I just would not pick up the camera because I was frustrated, or bored with seeing the same things every day, or at least that is what I would tell myself. Why go out and shoot the same thing day after day. But what I came to realize is that every day is unique and will offer you a treasure if you just get out there and experience it. The other option, of not getting out in life is a sure guarantee you will not see or experience anything new and exciting.
So as I start my ninth year of spending spring and summer in Belgium I am going to embrace the beauty I know is here and begin to see again what is available right in front of my eyes.
As I started to go through my archive of photographs I have taken over the past nine years realizing that each place I call home has treasures to behold.
I will share with you here in this blog what I find, experience, and feel as I spend what time I have until the next big wind blows. My photographs are my seeds as I share them on social media and in this blog. I do photography because I love it. I am not worried about holding tight to my images as that is not the purpose of photographing. I like being in a place and feeling it and then try and capture that feeling with my camera. Then it is about sharing that vision.
So I hope to encourage you to grow where you have been planted. Maybe your life is more like an old Oak tree with strongly established roots, or maybe you are very seasonal and bloom at a particular time of year, or like me a tumbleweed that never knows where it will land next. The point is to embrace your life and experience what it has to offer every day. Tomorrow will provide a new and different view and perspective.
So pick up your camera, or iPhone or nothing at all and get out in the world and experience, create, and share what you enjoy doing. Then let the rest of the world see your world and vision.
Here are some early morning fog images I captured just yesterday. It was cold, damp, and a thick mist and I could have easily decided to stay inside next to the woodstove and work on an article I am doing for the Draft Horse Journal. That would have been a responsible decision, but I know how much the camera loves fog, and it does not happen every day, so I choose to grab a raincoat and hop on my bicycle and see what was out there.
Here are the results of that decision.