October 20, 2008

Just Around the Bend

There are some days I would be grateful for the same strength, focus and spirit the tiger possesses. Tigers assess, take charge and effect change. Doesn't this striking fellow seem capable of taking charge? And yet he dwells, not out in the tall grass wild and free, but in a zoo. A good zoo as zoos go, but far from his traditional landscape and climate. Out of control it would seem.

This week has had some surprises; highs and lows. That's life. However, when possible, we can grab hold and raise the lows. Sometimes it requires a team to make the lift. For personal challenges our family and friends can be enough. Accomplishing broader change often needs the involvement of the whole tribe. Recently I have seen things in sore need of change along with interested and committed people working on solutions. I have also seen examples of projects completed following years of work by people who partnered, grabbed hold and took charge to make a difference. 

Seeing the positive results of big actions with your own eyes can renew your belief in possibilities of all sizes. It did mine, just when I needed it the most.

Learning from the tiger, maybe we have to first accept our limitations, hold the dream of change and take charge when the time is right. The tall grass may be just around the bend.

October 11, 2008

Looking Around and Taking It In

The arrival of autumn has given those of us in the Northwest a few surprises this year. Our oddly warm and extended summer days, with temps in the 80's, dropped oh so quickly into chilly nights. This evening is slated for 28 degrees.

It's time to layer up and take the camera out in search of changing colors. Fall has always been my favorite season and this section of the country does it well. Deciduous trees are tucked everywhere in WA and as they begin their seasonal changes the colors can make your heart dance. This western portion of our state is an especially good growing ground for maples of all kinds, giving the appearance of fire at their peak of change. Those colors coupled with moist firs and soils are a treat for the senses.

My early years were spent where summers were very hot with fall not much cooler and little seasonal color change. The onset of winter brought unusually dense fog banks. Grey didn't bother me but after being wrapped in a few days of that fog I could hardly resist bolting. Spring was the special gift of the area. As a farming and ranching region, once the soil tilling, planting and early growth kicked off, the area became a feast of angles and colors.

On a flight home recently my seat mate asked about the colorful squared and angled shapes on the ground she sees each time she flies over the area? "What are they?" Before posing the question she mentioned coming from a town just up the road and returning often. While I explained what she was seeing, I was trying to imagine how it was possible to grow up not seeing the farms. Not noticing their road divisions, the different tilling and planting patterns and crop types distinguishing one from another. Or the endless rows of grape vines.

Practically the entire region is farm country! Hundreds of thousands of invisible acres of farm land. What had taken years of this woman's attention, causing her to look in, not out, down and not up? She was a kind and earnest person who had simply missed what surrounded her and the vastness of it all, while focusing on...something else. Not a crime, just amazing to me.

Are you enjoying the fall where you are too? It is a wonderful time of year to look out and up, draw in a deep breath and envision what the birds are seeing as they pass overhead bound for warmer climes.

October 6, 2008

Ships a-Sailing

This has been the summer of tall ships. A gathering of them took place in Tacoma, WA recently. It was wonderful to sit and watch them slide into Commencement Bay parade style. Some were very old, others less so, some big, some small, yet each had an undefinable grace in motion.

I've never been aboard a sailing vessel of any size, yet when I see them it's easy to imagine the feeling of waves below, wind in the sails and uncharted seas ahead. 

How my ancestors gathered up the courage to board such ships in the 1700's, heading for unfamiliar shores while knowing of the dangers in crossing, I truly cannot fathom. What amazing grit. Today when I see the old ships, I imagine they still carry the essence of those brave men, women and children. And your family...do you wonder or know how they came to this country? Might they have shared passage on the same ships my family did? 

October 4, 2008

Catching Up

With the Fall season officially underway I may be cheating a bit including a Summer photo or two of Judy Collins here. We were lucky enough to have her visit our area a few weeks ago to be the headliner for the grand opening of the Chambers Bay Meadow. She put on a lovely concert while gracefully adapting to the evenings shifting weather conditions. 

Jonatha Brooke was the opening act and unfortunately bore the brunt of the wind and rain while hanging in there and giving a great performance. (More about Ms. Brooke at a later date.)

I've been a fan of Judy Collins for longer than I care to discuss at this early stage in our blogging relationship. I didn't gush or whistle that night, but it was pure delight to have the chance to hear her in person. The temptation to light a match at the conclusion of the concert was only over-ridden by the fact that I didn't have one. Drat. I was told later that the current version of this ritual is turning on a cell phone light and holding it up. Who knew?

No small feat hitting those high soprano notes at sixty-nine but she was right on the mark. And though I can't hold a match up here either, I can say Thank You, Judy... you are still amazing! 

October 3, 2008

Sea Mist and Sunsets...

Hello and welcome to the bare beginnings of my blog. I suspect it will take me a few evenings to make friends with this, new to me, blogger system. As my software and posting comfort grows, I hope to exchange thoughts and enthusiasms with you.

As is true with many folks these days, photography is one of my favorite activities in my off work hours. Some of my photos can be found at my website, which I will post once I have figured out how. For now, I hope you enjoy this recent sunrise in WA with Mr. Rainier in the background. This was taken in September and the morning was amazing. Awfully glad I made myself get up and go to town that Saturday. As time permits I will be posting more photos.

Thanks for paying a visit to my new blog. 
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