Weekly Photo Challenge: Ambience (or Ambiance)

This week’s challenge reminds me of that old joke, “Why are there no restaurants on the moon?”

“No atmosphere.”

So, what’s my ambience? or ambiance? (seems there are two acceptable spellings). It’s Wisconsin. It’s January. The light is distant, southerly, and often behind clouds.arboretum in winter

The air is dry, sharp, and very cold (even in my living room!).  frosty-window

The mood is stark and immediate, like survival, but it brings a certain excitement to the senses. We are alert, light on our feet. 


There’s a certain pride in the folks who are out and about in this weather. febThey are hardy and happy, eager and resilient.

There’s something in the silence of snow – in the wide, white spaces – that brings out a solitude from which we derive a certain strength.

Welcome to Winter Wisconsin. I find it refreshing. snowy emergence


Weekly Photo Challenge: RELAX

I can’t help being reminded of a T-shirt my late husband wore. It was commissioned by his barbershop quartet; they wore them together on a barbershop weekend retreat for practicing, hanging around the lake house, and just “chilling” (in Palm Springs). The shirt simply said: RELAX.  A lot of the people near and dear to me have been experiencing heightened anxiety – myself included.

November has been a difficult month. To cap it all off, my boss resigned on the last day. My boss and I are the ONLY employees of the Conservation Foundation where I work. And I just moved onto conservation land at the beginning of the month. I have a lot of questions about my local future to add to the bigger questions I have about a global and universal future.  

*sigh* So…what do I do to relax? I go outside. I walk. I watch the trees, the sky, the animals, the sun doing what they do without anxiety, on a larger scale, and with the simple grace of the present moment. It never ceases to be helpful to my mood. So, pull up a bench…and relax with me. 

benchLook closely at the beauty all around, and wonder in silence.


Now, don’t you feel more relaxed? I do.