Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Over the Hill

“The years between fifty and seventy are the hardest. You are always being asked to do things, and yet you are not decrepit enough to turn them down. ” – George Eliot

Donna of Wind Kisses is our host for this week’s challenge. She mentions that she will be turning 60 years old this week and invites us to explore the idea of “over the hill”. Coincidentally, I turned 60 last month, so the topic turns my thoughts to the long view of life’s journey.

“After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.” – Nelson Mandela

“The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time
Any fool can do it
There ain’t nothing to it
Nobody knows how we got to the top of the hill
But since we’re on our way down
We might as well enjoy the ride.” – James Taylor

The journey of my life has definitely been a range of summits and valleys, each with their difficulties and exquisite beauties. I’m not looking to quit any time soon, although my pace has slowed a bit. I strive for the wisdom and grace that will teach me to walk observantly, respectfully, and kindly toward unknown horizons.

Happy Birthday, Donna, and many happy returns of the day!

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Opposites

“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.”
― John Steinbeck

“You couldn’t have strength without weakness, you couldn’t have light without dark, you couldn’t have love without loss”
― Jodi Picoult

“Any life expands and flowers only through division and contradiction.” ― Hermann Hesse

Opposition, it seems to me, is a relationship where there are many similarities and a few striking differences. You wouldn’t say that the opposite of a lemon is an airplane. You might say its opposite is an orange – they are similar except that a lemon is more sour and an orange can be sweet. A mirror image is almost exactly the same, except that everything is reversed. So maybe, if you are distressed by getting the opposite of what you want in life, you can narrow your focus down to one or two factors that are making the outcome contrary. Then, you can see that your life, by and large, is quite satisfactory – a reason for joy, in fact!

Thanks to our Challenger this week, Tina of Travels and Trifles, for an excellent theme and inspiring photos!

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Urban Environments

“I have struck a city – a real city – and they call it Chicago… I urgently desire never to see it again. It is inhabited by savages.” – Rudyard Kipling

Chicago – I lived ten miles outside of the Loop during my Elementary School days, sequestered in an elite suburb, from 1966 – 1976. I raised my children in the far northwest suburbs beginning in 1991. When they left the nest, three of them took up residence in the big city. Those same three all moved out to Oregon by 2019.

I don’t think I am cut out to be a big city dweller. I find urban environments dangerous and frightening.

I imagine the only way I would be able to survive or feel safe in a city is to harden myself.

I do enjoy the occasional foray into the city for cultural events, but then I retreat to my preferred environment.

I do enjoy seeing the sights without actually being there, so thank you Sofia and fellow Lens-Artists for giving me a glimpse into the colorful jumble that is Urbanity!