(I've been traveling and was unable to post last week's Project 366, so you get two posts this week. Hurrah, hurrah.)
"Every now and then you will feel a dull ache in your soul. A gentle humming around your heart. A longing for something without a name. If I ever told you to obey anything, this would be it. Listen to the call of your authentic self. That part of you that lives just outside of your own skin. Let it have its way with you. I have died a hundred times trying to ignore it. " | MIA HOLLOW
These photos aren't technically "right." But they do my heart good.
A typical, mildly chaotic evening.
Josh getting home from work.
My sister on the phone with Granny and PaPa.
The boys. Logan hamming it up and with a freshly shaved head so he can be "like Daddy." Hagan trying to figure out the secret of opening my water bottle.
The dogs, staying out of the eye of the storm as much as possible.
"To know what you prefer instead of humbly saying Amen to what the world tells you you ought to prefer, is to have kept your soul alive."
ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON
Week 23 Recap:
1. SCHOOL'S OUT FOR SUMMER.
3. A huge bramble of wild blackberries by the house that I've been picking and eating from daily.
4. My good old, tried and true Birkenstock sandals. I wear them all the stinking time.
5. Finally getting the Subaru's oil changed.
6. The smell of fresh basil lingering on my fingertips after making lunch.
7. Naps in the camping hammock.
8. A free scone from Panera because last month was my birthday month.
Also - there's no consistency with this week's photos...they are just a bunch of random shots from here and there over the last few weeks and I didn't want them to just languish about and never see the light of day. (p.s. Every time I use the word "languish" it makes me think of O Brother, Where Art Thou? and the scene where the governor is blasting his crew about his campaign languishing. Good stuff, that movie. I just don't get tired of it.)
The above photo was taken with my craptacular phone camera because it's all I had with me. But I couldn't pass up the gorgeousness of it.
Also, the photo below was the best I could come up with from the Chris Stapleton concert I went to awhile back...that's him singing a duet with his insanely talented wife, Morgane. Such an amazing concert. Go see them.
Happy Thursday, friends. Here's to looking for the good.
This post somehow found its way to me this morning. I don't know this family personally, but that doesn't matter. What matters is that their story, and what they are going through, does matter. Emily, from The Freckled Fox, and her 5 children (all under the age of 5) are facing the loss of a husband and a father. I read the updates this morning and it took all I had not to weep at the sadness of it. She posted a recent update and she and her husband were told that it is only a matter of weeks before he passes.
There's a lot in this big world that needs our attention and sometimes I feel overwhelmed by it. But kindness - even towards complete strangers - goes a long way. I have been on the receiving end of incredible kindness from people just met and hopefully this post can do a little towards passing that on.
I borrowed the following from her blog and included a link below where you can donate to the family.
Click HERE to donate.
Well, this hike was all sorts of eventful -
Scared a black bear cub off the trail about 15 minutes into the hike. Bishop started to follow it into the rhododendrons because, why not? Fortunately, he is an amazingly good dog and listens well so he came right back to us as we called to him with barely restrained panic. And then we just stood there for a good minute or two listening and watching and all the while my brain was screaming, "WORST CASE SCENARIO! WORST CASE SCENARIO!" Chris, as per usual, was calm. The cub did not leave the cover of the rhododendrons so I just knew ol' mamma bear was going to appear soon. And I did not want to be between her and baby bear. Chris thought we could just head on down the trail but I dug in hard and said, nope, it wasn't going to happen. I was not going to be a headline (Melodramatic? Maybe. Maybe not.). So we slowly backed up and headed out the way we came, my nerves wound tight. As my eyes wildly scanned the woods, Chris was nonchalantly saying things like, "Just make sure that if it does appear, get a tree between you and it," and, "It'll probably come from that direction," as he gestured mildly uphill (since clearly, he is now a bear expert). And I muttered something along the lines of, "I can't believe we are having this conversation."
So that was fun for all of the 15 minutes that it probably lasted.
Resolved to keep hiking, we took a bypass section of old fire road below the hiking trail and then reconnected to the main trail. I don't know that I really relaxed the whole time knowing we were in "live bear country," but it was a beautiful day. We continued hiking and around 12:30 I told Chris I needed to stop and eat. That happened probably 30 more times, and he kept saying things like, "Just a little further," and "We'll find a good spot soon," and then I became hangry and demanded that we EAT LUNCH RIGHT NOW and refused to go any further. After wading the river to get to the other side (chosen, because it was less likely that other people would be on that side...when no one else was in sight - clearly I am not the one who made this decision), and stubbing my toes on river rocks, I was pretty belligerent. And uncooperative. And then Bishop rolled down the riverbank, not once, but twice, as he gleefully rubbed his snout in the sand and I was both wildly irritated and greatly concerned. He was fine. Finally, we ate. And my beligerence wore off and I mumbled an apology of sorts.
We waded back across the river, hiked back down the trail, and then set up at a campsite that was spectacularly beautiful. We piddled around, took naps, and played in the river. And then it clouded up. And then it thundered off in the distance. I looked forlornly at my hiking backpack and regretted my decision to leave my raincoat on the hook by the door. (Never do that. Always take a raincoat.) The thunder drew closer and the sky opened up. Fortunately for us, the forest canopy was pretty dense so we didn't get utterly soaked. Just sort of soaked. (Are there degrees of soaked??) And because Chris delights in challenges worthy of Outdoor Life articles, he managed to start and keep a fire going even in the rain. We sat hunched around the fire for about another 30 minutes, but then decided since we both had to work the next day that it was probably time to hike out. So we did. Without event.
It was actually a really glorious day.
"Do not wait; the time will never be "just right." Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be
found as you go along."
Week 22 Recap: This week can be summarized well by the phrase, 'hurry up and wait.' Bouts of busyness with stretches of impatient waiting as the machine of public education blundered along. Hot puffed up air that boiled up mild-mannered thunderstorms which ruptured at thin seams and then dissipated just as quickly back into the atmosphere. A morning run with Bishop and Iris to celebrate the first day of summer and then idleness all day long on Saturday. I was surprised to feel acute resentment towards this project earlier this week when I realized it was 10:00 p.m. and I hadn't taken a picture yet. I found myself just not wanting to pick up the camera but made myself do it anyway. This project is cyclical - I am grateful for its inspirational periods, but frustrated when I am in cycles of sameness that I can't seem to escape. Trying to be patient and revisit fundamentals - mainly light and composition - and trying to see everyday things and tell the story in a different way.
Sites I Dig
The Road is Home
The Seed & Plate
Sharon Covert Photography
The Define School
The Noisy Plume
Sarah Gee Photography
Fox & Owl Studio
The Stork and The Beanstalk
Mellow Yellow Photography
A Simple Little Journal
Radiant Heart Acupuncture
What I've Been Reading
Yoga Girl by Rachel Brathen
Steal Like An Artist by Austin Kleon
One Foot in Eden by Ron Rash
The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert
Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee
Above the Waterfall by Ron Rash
Rising Strong by Brene Brown
Saints at the River by Ron Rash
Guides for Living Sustainably
Easy Green Living by Renee Loux
Super Natural Cooking by Heidi Swanson
The Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters
The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver