Sea Blue Lens


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Photo-Heart Connection: June 2014

DSC_5252Dear Old House

Dear House,

I just wanted to say “thank you.” For taking me in and giving me shelter. For warm winter fires and cool summer breezes. For snow drifts and icicles. For crocus and lilies of the valley and daisies and roses. For squirrels and birds and that one little chipmunk that came to say goodbye. For surprises and treasures from basement and barn, attic and cupboard. For your amazing light and all the photo ops. For fulfilling some lifelong yearnings over the past seven and a half months.

‘Bye, House. I’ll never forget you.

Love,

Me

 

Linking with Kat Sloma’s Photo-Heart Connection. I moved into my new apartment July 1, so I’m surrounded by the chaos of My Life in boxes, but didn’t want to miss posting this month.


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Photo-Heart Connection: May 2014

Two WindowsThread the Light  [249/365]

This month’s Photo-Heart Connection contains a tiny touch of Photo-Heartbreak. And a very large amount of gratitude.

I’ve had the privilege of living in this beautiful, historic home since last November. Now it has been sold, and in a couple of weeks I will be moving to an apartment. I’m looking forward to getting settled there, in what I hope and expect will be my long-term home. I’m tired of moving.

What I had not expected was that I would be so sad to leave this house. It is large, simple, gracious, and elegant. It’s over two hundred years old, with slanted floors, crooked doors, and wavy windows. And the most beautiful light, threading its way into and through every room. It has a warm, welcoming spirit, a “presence” of its own. It’s altogether the loveliest place I’ve ever occupied.

I moved in here knowing it was only temporary. I unpacked everything anyway. Yesterday my friend Susan asked if I was sorry I did that. That’s an easy one: No!  I moved in completely, bag and baggage, and apparently heart and soul, too. And I don’t regret it for a minute. Living here fully, not just camping out, has been a wonderful experience, and one I’ll always treasure and be thankful for.

The photo above was taken late one afternoon as the sun shone through an old window onto the rough-sawn boards of the mudroom wall. It will be the perfect reminder of the winter and spring of light (and delight) that I spent in this old house.

The title comes from the chorus of a song I’m very fond of, “Down Low” by The Swell Season, that goes like this:

Thread the light
Thread the light
Shine the light
Don’t hide the light
Live the light
And give the light
Seek the light
And speak the light
Crave the light
And brave the light
Stare the light
And share the light
Show the light
And know the light
Raise the light
And praise the light
Thread the light
And spread the light

I don’t know the meaning of the song (I don’t think it’s religious), but every time I think of this image, the tune and words start running through my head. It feels right, somehow.

Linking with Kat Sloma’s Photo-Heart Connection for May.


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Photo-Heart Connection: February 2014

Morning WindowsMorning Windows

I’ve been living in this house for three and a half months now, and I still feel a sense of wonder at being here. It is only a temporary refuge — the owners are trying to sell it — but for now, it is home, and I’m treasuring every moment I spend here.

There’s just something about this place. A sense of timelessness and of history (is that a contradiction?), of connection with people and a way of life long past. I like to imagine what it might have been like to live through a winter such as this one with only fireplaces for heat and for cooking. I’ve never seen or felt any ghostly presence, but I do feel a sense of companionship with those who were here before me. It’s almost as if the house itself were alive and glad to have me here. Fanciful, I know.

Pictured above is the room where I sleep. It’s a large and gracious room. Judging by the window casings and other details, I believe that when originally built it must have been the parlor or “best” room of the house. The mantel remains, though the fireplace was bricked up long ago.

At night, when the shutters are closed, the room is very dark and the quiet is profound. In the morning, daylight shows itself in small slices around their edges. I open them to see what the day is like, and the room floods with light even if the sky is cloudy.

On the morning I took this photograph, the sun had come out after several days of gloomy overcast skies, cold, and snow. I went to the kitchen to make tea, and when I walked back into the bedroom it was glowing with sunlight. And so I picked up my camera, to save and savor this moment in time. 

They say “home is where the heart is,” and this month, home is also where my Photo-Heart Connection is.

Linking with Kat Sloma’s Photo-Heart Connection for February


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And Then the Sun Came Out

Last night before I went to bed, I took this shot through the window with my iPhone:

IMG_2414Snow Mountain 170/365

This morning when I woke up, the neighbors’ landscaping looked like frosted desserts.

DSC_4381Snow Cones

Others, including us, have icicles hanging from the eaves — very pretty, though not good for the house.

DSC_4382Pretty But Perilous

DSC_4441Like Icing On a Cake

These could be dangerous if they fell, except that our snow mountain prevents our getting anywhere near them.

The sky cleared as the sun rose.

DSC_4407Look Out Below

Sunshine came streaming in through the windows, pale at first . . .

DSC_4393Treasure Chest

. . . but gaining strength.

DSC_4414And Then the Sun Came Out 171/365

DSC_4408Showing Her Age

I love that you can see the texture of the wavy old glass in the shadow on the wall. I believe this fanlight is original to the house, which would make it over 200 years old. No wonder the glass is a bit saggy and wrinkled.

DSC_4426Curiosities

Interior corners were illuminated, like my cabinet of natural wonders.

DSC_4434

White snow, blue sky, and sunshine are such a beautiful combination. Unfortunately, it didn’t last for long. In the afternoon, this happened:

IMG_2417What, Again?

and by evening it looked like this out back:

IMG_2452Yup, Again.

But that’s all right. There are compensations.

DSC_4455And life really is good.


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Observing the Natives

I don’t usually decorate for Christmas until about a week before the big day, but for some reason, I’m getting the urge early this year. It’s probably part of the nesting that’s going on here in my new home.

Anyway, yesterday I hung a wreath on the inside of my kitchen door and then left the room. Two minutes later (no exaggeration) I heard noises and went to investigate. This is what I saw:DSC_3469DSC_3470DSC_3473

Really?

Keep in mind that this wreath is: a) INSIDE the house, b) behind a dual-pane glass door AND a screen door, and c) is FAKE.

I was truly amazed that the squirrels could see it well enough to think that it looked like a food source. Oh, well. Onward, troops!

The direct frontal assault not yielding profitable results, they decided to try a subtler approach.

DSC_3475

The door handle.

DSC_3476

Well, that didn’t work either. Now she’s getting frustrated. Forget subtlety!

DSC_3477-2

Sorry about the motion blur, folks, but that’s not me. That’s Ms. Squirrel jumping up and down on the door handle.

Man, I’m glad I locked that door.

To give them credit, they are not stupid. After repeated attempts by several individuals over the next hour or so, they realized that persistence was futile, and gave it up. Today they are going about their usual business, without giving that tasty looking but unattainable thing another glance.

Here’s my favorite image, the one that made it as my 365 photo of the day. This guy didn’t even blink as I walked right up to the door and took his photograph.

DSC_3479The Creatures Are Stirring 96/365

I do love my squirrelly neighbors!


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Photo-Heart Connection: November 2013

OceanParkHomecoming

 I arrived back in Maine a week into November, and my household goods were delivered by moving van about 10 days later. I spent the next several days trying to bring order out of the chaos that was my immediate universe. The weather was cold, and a nasty storm was predicted. It seemed good to stay indoors.

Then…instead of that expected nasty storm…we got a day of sunshine and a high temperature in the mid-60s. Enough with the unpacking, already. I threw on a light jacket, put my phone in my pocket, and headed out to pay my first visit to “my” beach since my return.

Oh, my friends, it was glorious! The water was a deep blue-green, the breeze was gentle, and the sun so warm I took my jacket off and tied it around my waist. There were only a few people out — it was midafternoon on a weekday, after all — most of them accompanied by their dogs. It was the kind of day when strangers greet each other in passing with joyful grins and lighthearted comments, exulting in sharing such an unexpected blessing.

One woman, walking a bouncy small dog on a long leash, asked, “Did I sleep through winter?” Then, before I could respond, she said exactly what I was thinking:

         “What a gift!”

Welcome home to the sea, Sea Blue Lens.

That’s my Photo-Heart Connection for November. Come check out the linkup at Kat Eye Studio.


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Photo-Heart Connection: September 2013

DSC_2483-2Edge of the World

It’s funny how often my Photo-Heart Connection image turns out to be one that I took at the very beginning of the month. I just finished the first month of my 365 project, so I took a lot of photographs this month, and there were quite a few that I liked a lot. But when I reviewed the month, this image, taken September 1, was the one that had the most meaning for me.

That’s me sitting there — you probably knew that already — perched on the edge of the driveway, posed in front of the view that I see from my front window every day. It’s beautiful, isn’t it? The layered mountains with their ever-changing light and shadow, the wide-open sky, the rural character of the neighborhood, the horses down below peacefully enjoying their breakfast.

My mind also fills in all the things you can’t see here: the mountains that wrap the rest of the way around us, the birds, the bunnies, even the lizards and snakes and coyotes, oh my! Then there’s the cottage, perfect for my needs, everything I could desire. A charming small community. My sister and brother-in-law, their friends and extended family, all the kindest, most generous people you could imagine.

“Okay, so where’s she going with this?” you may be wondering. I’ve been asking myself that question for months. The answer is, I’m leaving. Moving back to Maine.

It wasn’t an easy decision (understatement of the decade) and I still ask myself sometimes if I’m crazy.

There is so much that is good here, so much that is beautiful, and I’m more grateful than I can say to have been able to explore and share it for the past year and a half. But my deepest heart is longing for rain, for trees, ferns, moss, and most of all, the sea. I fell head over heels in love with Maine the first time I set foot there. It somehow felt like home, like “me,” in a way no other place ever had. For twelve years it was home, and it’s calling me back now.

I had to come here, to try this, to know if it was right for me. I’ve learned a lot. I love this place, and I know I want to come here again — to visit. But I also know I have to go back, to where I’ve learned I need to be. There’s a lot of work to do to make it happen, and a lot of uncertainty at the other end. I’ll be leaving here the first week in November, returning to Maine just in time for winter.

I probably am a little crazy after all.

And that’s my Photo-Heart Connection for September. You can click HERE for this month’s linkup at Kat Eye Studio. Thanks to Kat for hosting this monthly practice and linkup!