“A poet is a verb that blossoms light
in gardens of dawn,
or sometimes midnight.”
“I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it.
Maya Angelou, Letter to My Daughter
I sat to collect my wits and it was then that I noticed this remarkable tree. It had somehow grown through an immovable boulder in an effort to claim its own place, its own life.
I found it an inspiring reminder about how we respond to seemingly insurmountable obstacles. And this photograph and print is the result. – Douglas
“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”
L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables
In the mountains of southern California there is a lake with an island in its midst. Outside this island a majority of trees were consumed in a forest fire in 2003 (The infamous Cedar Fire). Many of the trees had stood 200-300 or more years. But on the lake’s island you can still walk through a landscape of beautiful ancient oak and pine trees. On a fall day, as I walked the island’s edges, I came upon this spot- a still standing glorious ancient survivor. Autumn perfection – Fall color surrounds, the air is crisp and clear, migratory birds call above and the sun rests on the horizon.
“I was once told that certain spiritual masters in Tibet used to set their teacups upside down before they went to bed each night as a reminder that all life was impermanent.
And then, when they awoke each morning, they turned their teacups right side up again with the happy thought, ‘I’m still here!‘ This simple gesture was a wonderful reminder to celebrate every moment of the day.”
Susan Jeffers, Embracing Uncertainty
“I do believe in simplicity. It is astonishing as well as sad, how many trivial affairs even the wisest thinks he must attend to in a day… So simplify the problem of life, distinguish the necessary and the real. Probe the earth to see where your main roots run. ”
― Henry David Thoreau
“Both abundance and lack exist simultaneously in our lives, as parallel realities. It is always our conscious choice which secret garden we will tend”
Within our garden in the high mountains of New Mexico is a 150 year old Pinyon tree. Our first few years here we made a twice daily pilgrimage to sit beneath this beautiful tree — folding chair in one hand, espresso in the other.
We end up here in time to see the sun rise and the night’s mist vanish. And in book-end symmetry at sunset we sit silent observers of the distant mountains set beneath an O’Keeffe sky of crimson, orange and purple.
One day a question arrived. How about more permanent ‘season ticket seating’? How about an old-fashioned tree swing? How about that branch there? But it’s old like us and might break. Perhaps an arbor to support it – a little insurance.
Arbor done, swing hung, but something was missing. It needs some color doesn’t it? Many colors had potential. All were considered and it took some time to settle on just one. The final choice of vibrant yellow worked perfectly, poetically.
All elements in balance now and for 310 days a year (give or take), this swing seems to levitate in the rising and setting sun, like a magic carpet….two performances daily.