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Posts Tagged ‘reflections’

Living in the woods means I have to walk towards the horizon in order to get a clear view of the dawn.  Layers of clouds made this morning’s walk especially worthwhile.  Clear skies seldom give sunrises as spectacular as this one.  Who knew there could be so many varieties of pink?

Though many find it difficult to wake before dawn, I’ve always found it easy.  Even as a child I felt that sleeping past sunrise meant I was missing out on something.  Perhaps it’s because that quiet time of day allowed me to spend some time alone with my grandfather or my dad, a precious commodity when you’re one of five children.  Years later, I realized they probably woke up early in the hope of spending some quiet moments by themselves.

Besides silence and solitude, every dawn offers endless possibilities for the day ahead.  What will happen today?  A new challenge or the completion of an old one?  Even a change of heart is possible.  Nothing seems too difficult now before the hours begin to wear us down.

Returning home, the glow from the rising sun is barely visible behind the trees.  I wonder at all I would have missed had I not ventured out.

Did you catch the rosy glow of the rising sun this morning?  No worries if you missed it.  Nature has a back-up plan for all who needed that extra bit of rest and stayed in bed past dawn.

Some of the flowers captured the dawn’s pink light at sunrise and promise to hold it for you until sunset.

Text and photographs copyright Amy-Lynn Bell 2012

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The dark silhouettes of trees stand in stark contrast to the awakening sky. Dawn is on its way.

Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work: you don’t give up.
~ Anne Lamott

‘Good morning,’ the sun whispers to the earth. ‘It’s time to wake up.’

‘There’s a long, full day ahead, so I thought I’d make the transition smoother with a soft blush of pink.’

The beauty of light is reflected all around us…  if we’re willing to open our eyes to see it.

Each time dawn appears, the mystery is there in its entirety.
~ Rene Daumal

For the mind disturbed, the still beauty of dawn is nature’s finest balm.
~ Edwin Way Teale

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The salt marsh may look calm and peaceful in the pre-dawn light, but there’s always some nasty business afoot that we humans aren’t privy to.  These are good hunting grounds for coyotes, bobcats, weasels and bald eagles.

If the herons saw something last night, they’re keeping it to themselves.

The kingfisher is also mum.  Or is he just more interested in this morning’s breakfast menu?

Surely the crows will talk.  Whether in the woods or the marsh, they can always be depended on to spread the word if there’s a predator lurking in the vicinity.  You can always get the latest buzz from crows.

But not this morning.  If the crows are talking at all, it’s in a whisper for their ears only.  It’s all hush-hush as the sun clears the horizon to announce the new day.  What goes on at night in the marsh stays in the marsh.

It’s just as well.  Today is enough of itself.

Text and photographs copyright Amy-Lynn Bell 2012

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When you walk in the woods, do you see the forest or the trees?  Do your eyes come to rest on the bark of the closest  trunk or is your vision focused on the woods behind it?

Similarly, when you’re walking on the beach, are your eyes scanning the shore for a special shell,  a heart shaped stone or a bottle with a message in it, or are you gazing at the horizon line?

It’s easier to focus on the trees nearby if the path ahead is tangled with vegetation.  The possibility of ticks in the grass or mosquitoes lurking in the deeper woods may prompt you to take a closer look at the soft new growth on the branches  within your grasp.

If the path ahead appears clear and bright, you may be more inclined to venture into the forest.

At home or at work, I often find myself caught up in the details in my surroundings.  My eyes dart quickly back and forth looking to re-arrange or make right whatever seems out of place.  However, when daily life sometimes becomes cluttered, as the beach is with seaweed after a storm…

I lift up my eyes to focus on what’s ahead.  (One of these days I’m sure I’m going to see a mermaid sitting on top of that big stone).

Our ability to shift our focus is a gift that allows us to be happy in any circumstance.  All that’s required from us is a willingness to refocus our attention, perhaps for just a moment, before getting back to the task at hand.

Text and photographs copyright Amy-Lynn Bell 2012

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Whether you’re six or sixty, if you don’t already have a secret place where you can be uninterrupted by yourself, perhaps it’s time you found one.  Either in nature or near it, such a place offers you the opportunity to escape from the world for a few minutes and just… enjoy the view.

Your secret window on the natural world allows you to be refreshed and restored with a minimum investment of time.  You needn’t engage with anything except your imagination.

X marks the spot of this secret place in the woods.

Your secret place need not be large or spacious.  You only need room enough to hunker down for a short while to take a moment from the demands of the world.  A woodland setting is ideal, but  less remote places offer good possibilities too:  a spot beneath a special tree or the quiet corner of a deck, balcony, rooftop or beach.

A secret place beyond the sand dunes

Even a secluded park bench or stone can work.  The key ingredient is that it is available to you when the stresses of the day call you to it.

The view from here is especially magical on a foggy day.

As children, many of us had a secret place.  Perhaps we knew something back then about the need for balance that we forgot along the way…

I have a house where I go
When there’s too many people,
I have a house where I go
Where no one can be;
I have a house where I go,
Where nobody ever says “No”;
Where no one says anything –so
There is no one but me.

~ A.A. Milne  ~ Solitude

Text and photographs copyright Amy-Lynn Bell 2012

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stone beach

Finding the ideal love is like trying to find a perfectly symmetrical stone on the beach.  It’s not easy.  Even with so many possibilities, the task is more difficult than one would imagine.  And the longer you look, the slimmer the odds of finding that perfect specimen may seem.  Though some might appear somewhat perfect at a distance, upon closer inspection, it soon becomes apparent that they are not quite so.

That’s not to say that it’s downright impossible to find perfect specimens. They are indeed out there, but be forewarned that many years may pass between one discovery and the next.

circular stones

Whether or not we realize it, we also search for physical symmetry in other human beings. Characteristic of good genes and general good health in nature, perfect symmetry in a mate would likely increase one’s chances of creating healthy offspring.  No wonder we’re so drawn to people with beautifully symmetrical faces.

And yet, there is a certain charm and character attributable to the not-so-symmetrical. With perhaps an even stronger  magnetism, especially where romantic love is concerned, we are drawn towards the imperfect.  Why? One theory suggests that while our minds are pleasantly calmed by symmetry, they also quickly become bored with it.  Intrigued by complexity, when faced with marginally flawed symmetry, our minds are perked and subconsciously go to work to try and figure out what’s causing the disparity.

Although the human body is symmetrical in so many ways, the shape of the human heart is not.   Could that be a clue that perfection in matters of the heart was created to be elusive?   If we are to achieve any semblance of perfection in love, like the rare round stones found sometimes on the beach, it’s only due to years of surviving the pounding waves and stormy seas.  Now there’s something to ponder as we approach Valentine’s Day.

Text and images copyright Amy-Lynn Bell 2012

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