This is one of my favourite images taken this winter.
The sky and lake almost as one. The horizon, not hard and fast (which is something I do love), but soft and barely there; it goes on forever.
Serene. Dreamlike. Beautiful.
Celebrating winter, and counting down to Spring: just 13 Days!
It’s almost spring!
To celebrate, I thought I’d start a little photographic countdown to the first day of spring which is only sixteen days away.
An image a day for the next sixteen days. Some will be new images, taken the same day. Others will be found beauties from my archive that haven’t seen the light of the day…the lengthening light of day, I might add.
To kick things off, today’s photo was taken at my favourite beach here in Toronto. It was the first time I’ve been back to the beach since February’s incredible storm, almost a month ago now. The snow is gone. And, the colours left behind are silver and blue….Blue skies moving in on the silvery skies of winter.
I’m relishing these last days of winter…the silvers and the blues….spring will soon be here!
The third Thursday of every month, Brenda of the wonderful How to Feather an Empty Nest extends an invitation to the on-line photography community to push ourselves out of our comfort zones. To try something new. Break out. And, expand!
I love this!
Except this month. This month, I have been struggling.
This month, I can’t find my comfort zone. It’s gone missing. Everything – EVERYTHING – is feeling uncomfortable. And, I don’t know why. I mean, I have been taking photographs for a while now, and I’ve learned a few things along the way. But, I’m in that place where nothing seems good, or good enough. Everything feels like a learning curve!
Now, this is familiar territory. (One might even say it’s a comfort zone!) I have definitely hit this spot before – it’s part of the cycle of growth and creativity for me. This I have learned.
The bottom line for today is, if I could describe my comfort zone, I would then be able to choose the image that stretches me outside of it. Not going to happen.
But, I’m not letting that stop me from jumping into the pool!
And, so, uncomfortably, I move forward, and present, ‘The Bathing Station, in Winter.’ Does it get more uncomfortable than that? 🙂 I think not.
The Bathing Station is a wonderful building at Woodbine Beach in Toronto, on the shores of Lake Ontario and this beach is tremendously popular. Swimming, sailing, kite flying, rollerblading and cycling along the paths at the edge of the beach. And, count them, 90 beach volleyball courts! Truly a hot spot for the city.
Now, if I was to try to describe why this image is outside my comfort zone, I would say that taking a shot of a single subject as the key focus of an image is not my usual practice. Rather, I (seem to) usually take photos of scenes – scenery or street scenes. (I’m not certain of this, but it’s my sense, and I’m going to run with it, for today.)
Thanks, Brenda, for creating this challenge. Not always comfortable, but always rewarding, always refreshing…like a cold dip on a hot day!
I have fallen in love with big skies. Big skies, and wide open spaces.
To some, vast and open space seems empty. And, some find it lonely. Not me.
Maybe it’s because I’ve recently left a long-time career, and a work-life jam-packed with things to do. Or, maybe, it’s because I live in a big city, jam-packed with all things urban – like crowded subways and sidewalks, rush hour traffic and sirens at all hours. Whatever it is, these days, I crave big skies and wide open spaces.
Empty and lonely, they are not. Open space allows for intuition and desire to arise. For that still, small voice, that inner wisdom and guide, to be heard. It allows for creativity and ideas and dreams to emerge. Wide open space, for me, creates room for things to surface that the clutter and clatter of day-to-day life have crowded out, or drowned out.
And, I’m having to learn to listen in new ways, tuning in to gentle messages about how to live my life in this new chapter. Listening and looking for the subtle and not so subtle clues about what I want to do, how I want to spend myself. Even seemingly small things are shifting. I didn’t enjoy cooking much. No time, really, to sink into it..to learn, and experiment, and relish the choosing of recipes, and ingredients, and the savouring of the outcome (or not, as the case may be!) There was more rush than relish before. Now, there’s space, and time, and a desire surfacing to make room for and enjoy really good, home-cooked, hand-picked food.
And, it’s not a small thing, food. I know. It’s a big deal. But, I really didn’t have the inclination before to dig into it. Now, I do. And, so, it seems, in some cases, things that were smaller and less important to me before are becoming big, and taking centre stage. Or, at least, taking up more space!
It’s interesting, and fun, and, at times, even surprising to see what wants more space, and what’s taking up less. The cooking thing is taking up a lot of room. Music, dance, (that would be, by others), photography and writing, and spending time in the country (more of me in these) are asking for space. Oh, and there’s a big desire for lots of white space in the calendar, to allow for the unexpected, and make way for the new, whatever that might be.
Big sky living, taking the space, making the space, to let creativity flow in whatever form it takes – cooking, writing, photography. Living. Creative living. That’s Big Sky living..at least, to me.
So, big skies and wide open spaces it is. Discovering and cherishing space in the exterior world, and creating and cherishing space in the interior world, in my soul, in order to live life to the full – creatively, intuitively, with appreciation, with attention, and lots of love
Big Sky living.
I have fallen in love with it.
Cross-posting over at the wonderful Vision and Verb!
It’s turned cold. Bitterly so.
And, the sky is closing in. Snow seems imminent.
Spring’s mid-winter appearance, like a movie star’s cameo in a film, was a delight – a treat to see, but the film must run its course. Winter’s starring role is not yet over!
And, so, perhaps, a sky full of cloud and light becomes the silver screen of winter’s film.
Certainly, it’s a silver lining to a bitterly cold day.
What is it that grips me about this place by the lake?
I visit this beach on the shores of Lake Ontario, right on the edge of the city of Toronto, almost daily. If not with the dog – he’s most often my excuse, then just by myself. I’m there to take in the big spacious sky, the long open beach, the contrasts of the white snow and, often, grey skies – although sometimes they’re bright blue.
Something about this space, this place, speaks to me.
I need wide open spaces. I think it’s from living a jam-packed life. Filled with lots of things – lots of good things, but lots of demands, too. Meetings, and appointments, and obligations, and chores. Wall to wall, sometimes, with things that take more out of us than give back.
And, now, in the early, early stages of retirement, (I must say, I still don’t like that word!), I don’t have that same jam-packed schedule. And, I’m not chasing after one, either. Instead, I am craving space – wide open space around me, in the landscape, and on my calendar.
It fills me up, this empty space. This incredible, beautiful, and, at times, haunting, place fills me with joy, and beauty and a feeling, sometimes, of the divine.
Three days into the New Year!
And, the blank page and I have been having a bit of a stare-down with each other. What to say to mark the start of the New Year? What image to post?
Feeling a bit daunted by the task, time has been slipping by.
Well, enough of that!
Time to show up and hope for the best! Hope that words will come. Or, that the image will speak. Or, that I will let go of judgement for a moment, and let the work – its strength and its weakness, and my experience and inexperience – speak. Take the risk of being seen – just where I am.
And, that is where I begin, on this day, in this new year. Stepping out to be seen. Taking the risk. Living with the ‘not knowing’ as much as I’d like. And not ‘being as good at photography’ as I wish I were. Letting go of all that, and just beginning.
And, in the midst of beginnings, I am sending the warmest of wishes to all for an amazing 2013 – full of joy, peace, good health and prosperity. Oh, and a big dose of creativity, too! All the very best!
This image was taken yesterday, in Toronto, on the shores of Lake Ontario.