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October 15, 2015

Paths



 
"Two roads diverged in a wood and I - I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference." - Robert Frost
 

 
I have been thinking so much lately about the symbolism of walking down a path, how we end up there and how it relates to life. Life is filled with so much symbolism and that is why I love photography and writing; you can turn the imagery contained in the mind into art.
 
My meditation on paths comes back to a feeling I have that we all end up where we are because we choose, consciously or unconsciously, to walk down a certain one and that leads us into the present moment. During the journey we encounter obstacles and circumstances that we did not plan or foresee and they challenge us and thereby humble us. These situations accompany us sometimes as a trusted friend or unwelcome foe and many times they define us. 
 
I think I am at a place in my life where I can pause and reflect on the paths that I feel I was called to by a voice greater than my own.

 

 
These pathways are still filled with road blocks and detours, choices, lessons and a lot of hard walking all the same, but there is something different about them.

 
 
 
They are filled with harmony, balance, connection and most importantly, they are filled with hope and joy. Wandering along I find myself pausing often, taking in all the little details that are important. I am a backpacker hiking a trail and I collect everything I need and I carry it with me.




I am not alone because I have the guidance I need inside of me. I have the wisdom I have gained through all this walking to consult with. I have fellow hikers, life wayfarers, to come and walk awhile with me. I have the songbirds singing melodies, the wind whispering secrets, the trees sheltering me when it's time to rest and dream a little. I have the Spirit leading me.  I have my breath to connect with, legs to move me, a passion for change directing me to travel deep into the broken places.  Most importantly I have LOVE and that can never fail me.


 
 
I feel grateful and alive. I haven't always felt this way, back when I walked some roads that tripped me up, but I walked them anyway and I can't go back. I move forward with thankfulness for every place I have passed knowing they made me who I am today.
 
 
 
 
This is it for me, walking these paths. This is all I have. I don't know what tomorrow holds. Life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone. I know I have answered a call to do what I can to help this world heal while I am still here in the world healing. I am the hands and feet of a great movement of love and I do not take this responsibility lightly.  For the good works that come from my heart, the credit does not belong to me. It belongs to the voice that called me here and asked me to keep walking, keep noticing, keep showing up to love and help using the gifts I've been given.
 
Much love from a fellow sojourner.
 
xx
 
 
 
 
 
 

October 10, 2015

The beauty of brokenness

 



 
 
 
What do you see when you look at this barn?
 
Worn, toppling over, hazardous, useless; perhaps just a collapsing barn like my kids pointed out? 
 
Maybe you see a perfectly broken object that tells a story.
 
Do you see art?
 
I would love to have seen this barn in its glory days, standing tall and strong, a sturdy shelter for animals or hard working machinery. I wonder if this barn would go unnoticed if each piece of wood was solidly in place as before? Would people see all the potential?
 
I can imagine all of the reclaimed furniture that could be created with this weathered wood: farm tables where family could gather over home cooked meals; mantles that lovingly hold pictures of toothless kids and grandparents who left a legacy of love. I can envision long beams placed high into the ceilings of houses, stabilizing the very foundations we build inside the places we inhabit.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
When I see objects like this barn, it reminds me that life is all about perspective and our histories often shape the way we look at things. It also points out that it's never too late to take a step closer to the brokenness and find the beauty residing there no matter how hard it is to get close.
 
Stepping near, into the shadow of this barn and all that it has become as a result of the physical storms of life, I can see where life springs forth from the fragmented, damaged spaces and it is so very beautiful.
 
 


 
 
 
 
Today this barn had a story to tell me about my own humanity.  
 
"Come closer to me. Don't just see me as broken down and weary from the downpours and the windstorms that have left me withered. Don't be scared of the fa├žade of my defectiveness because I can no longer meet the expectations you have always placed upon me.  I am not useless and I am not done. Step closer and notice the way the flowers cling to the framework of my being, how the sunshine streams in and washes the rust, the chipping paint, the shattered stone in radiant light. I may be insignificant by the world's standards but I am filled with  infinite potentiality.  When you are able to see the value in me, then so you will see it in yourself."