Lens-Artists Challenge: Sanctuary

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #108: Sanctuary

This week we invite you to share what Sanctuary means to you, where you find it or how you create your place of calm and healing.

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“Preserve, within a wild sanctuary, an inaccessible valley of reverie.”

Ellen Glasgow

sanctuary path
June 2020

Since the pandemic started, the Squamscott River that runs through Exeter, NH has been my sanctuary of sorts. The town “parkway” runs next to it and has been closed to traffic since March. Walkers have been able to go “one way” on the sidewalk and “one way” back on the street towards downtown. Social distance and all.

It is peaceful and calming…and what more could I ask for during these times?…

Unsure of what’s to come…

window sanctuary
August 2020

A chance to step back from life’s new realities.

sanctuary river
July 2020

Reflect on what remains to give comfort.

sanctuary reach
August 2020

A sanctuary…a safe place.

To listen or not to listen

V.J.’s Weekly Challenge #107: listen

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Breaking News! – more bad stuff happening everywhere!

Well, technically, that’s NOT what is announced nightly from my television. But it might as well be…as an earnest news anchor rattles off the News Headlines Of The Day when the show begins. She leaves the one bright spot – a friendly citizen delivering food to a neighbor or making someone smile – for the last 5 minutes of the broadcast. Saving the feel-good news for the end.

So…I ask myself…why do I listen at all? To the TV reports. To news radio. I jokingly (but not really joking) reply…well maybe there will be a cure! a solution! a miracle! Either that’s a sign of my foolish hopefulness or unfortunate naivety. I guess I want to know what’s (mostly) going on. It’s the continuous not knowing that I find so hard to live with.

So I turn on the news and try to pick up on what positives I can. There must be something hidden between the lines to hold on to. If I pay close attention.

However…what would I rather listen to?

The sound of waves hitting the beach. It’s predictable and calming and I don’t have to pay close attention.

This video of Hampton Beach, NH is from last year. Now, due to COVID-19 restrictions, it is next to impossible to access the beach in person. Too many people. Not enough parking.

I could listen to this all day.

 

Playing Perspectives

BeckyB July Squares: Perspectives

Today is the last day of Becky B’s fantastic month long challenge. Every photo has to be square – and in some way portray this month’s theme: perspectives.

It goes without saying that life around the world has changed in the last few months – and our perspectives along with it. I can only speak for myself as to specifics – but along with the isolation, restrictions and fear…there has been at least one silver lining in my family life.

My husband teaches guitar for a living – has been doing so for over 40 years. Both of our children have guitars and have benefitted from his influence and guidance over the years.

Our son’s interest in the guitar began during his senior year in college and he made do with my old acoustic from childhood. He started his post-college life in the Washington DC area and during a 2014 visit, Dad was able to give him a few lessons.

While I obviously snuck around taking photos…as usual…

March 2014 guitar lesson
March 2014

We gave our son a new guitar for his birthday shortly thereafter.

However, as a busy young finance professional, he hadn’t had much time to really dive into it. Until COVID-19 hit and changed everything.

Quarantined at home in Washington, DC, he picked up the guitar again this past March. He has been connecting with Dad on a weekly basis for lessons and conversation ever since.

Guitar lessons and connections during a pandemic…a new perspective.

guitar lesson
June 2020

 

Lens-Artists Challenge: Winter

Lens-Artists Challenge#107: Winter

“Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand, and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.”

Edith Sitwell

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Winter brings back the cold. Reliable get-out-the-thick-sweaters cold. Gotta put on a coat before stepping outside cold. Hats and gloves cold.

Most of the time, however, this season of cold shows off…with spectacular displays of snow. My favorite time is right after a snowfall…while it is still fresh and new.

snow maple

Before the city plows started piling it up at the end of our driveway…

snowplow

That’s how I remember winter days back when we owned a house with a driveway and a walkway and a deck. Where the oh-so-beautiful snow couldn’t remain where nature dropped it. When we had to shovel and snowblow and move it out of the way.

snow deck

Color exploded in the sky our last Christmas at the house where we lived for over 36 years.

sunset69
December 2015

Along with Christmas comes a gathering together of family. Complete with holiday lights and decorations.

Winter also brings about changes at the beach – the sand is groomed into hills to guard against storm surges. At least that’s what the hippy guy from town told me – who I crossed paths with the day I took this picture.

winter beach
Hampton Beach, NH – January 2020

A January walk in the woods isn’t totally devoid of color…if you look closely…

winter berries

And last…but not least…in my growing family winter always meant…
…are you ready for some basketball? 

Both of my children played for their high school teams and enjoyed it immensely. As did my husband and I…watching and enthusiastically cheering in the comfort of a heated gym.

Box Out! 🏀 Defense! 🏀 Go Team! 🏀

Macro Monday: Leaflets

BeckyB JulySquares: Perspectives

 

macro leaf family
I recently discovered a multi-generational family of leaves…all coexisting quite nicely. The senior leaf, age spots and all, appeared to be going strong as it generously showcased the younger flashier leaflets.

I’m sure they all have much to learn from each other.