Final Weekly Photo Challenge: All-Time Favorites

FINAL? What? Wow. WordPress has been prompting and challenging us for 7 years. Now, I suppose it’s time to launch. Well, I will have to come up with my own motivation for posting now. Please keep watching this space! 

I have very much appreciated the WordPress team and their creative prodding. It’s been stimulating to play at word association and image association at the same time. I joined in the game on October 1, 2012 and have been participating ever since. The first WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge I posted was called “Mine”. I wrote: 

“What do we really possess? What possesses us? What is “me” all about? For years I called this place “my prairie”.  I do not own the land; I think it belongs to the village park district.  I cannot even claim to own land in the neighborhood any more, as I moved out of state almost 2 years ago. But I associate some of my deepest “me” moments with this place.  I walked into this prairie, with a feeling of reverence and retreat as if I were entering my personal sanctuary, on a regular basis while I was living nearby.  I was in the midst of  raising 4 children, nursing a dying husband, and striving to grow mature in those 20 years. My sense of identity, my sense of spirit and of sanctity and of God were all shaped by the time I spent here. I felt the place “talk” to me, as changes in weather, floral and fauna taught me to observe and ponder the significance of transience and transcendence.  I cannot say that anything here is “mine”, really, but much of me will always belong with this place.”

Which was my All-Time Favorite challenge? Scrolling through my archives, I found this one that I think is relevant and showcases some of my favorite images. The theme was “Temporary”. Which reminds me that even endings are temporary. As Thich Nhat Hahn points out, there really are no endings and beginnings, just continuations.

Blogging friends, may you all enjoy your continuations, and thank you for sharing!

All-Time Favorites

Weekly Photo Challenge: Twisted

A lot of things in life are twisted, naturally and unnaturally – like Jafar’s beard. (How many times did my kids watch that Disney Aladdin video? Too many, because that’s the first thing that popped into my mind when I saw the word!)
In case you missed out on twisting last summer, here’s your chance to look at some twisty stuff both natural and man-made. 

Twisted

Weekly Photo Challenge: Liquid

Liquid is a shapeshifter; it is diverse and can symbolize a million different things.  It permeates all of life and flows in our own bodies. Here are just a few examples of how I imagine LIQUID. 

Landscape is more than flat land covered by floodwater, the seeping of peat bogs, a river of liquid pewter viewed from a sentry tower. It’s an influence on what a person values, what she is willing to sacrifice or argue for. – Susan Vreeland

“Water is fluid, soft, and yielding. But water will wear away rock, which is rigid and cannot yield. As a rule, whatever is fluid, soft, and yielding will overcome whatever is rigid and hard. This is another paradox: what is soft is strong.” – Lao Tzu

Wine comes in at the mouth And love comes in at the eye; That’s all we shall know for truth Before we grow old and die. I lift the glass to my mouth, I look at you, and I sigh. – W.B. Yeats

 
Liquid

Weekly Photo Challenge: A Place in the World, The World in a Place

“We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.” Foreword, A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold (of Wisconsin). 

Being in a Place is about a relationship; it involves everything a relationship is about — communication, affection, honesty, respect. There’s a give-and-take, an evolving dynamic that’s always present. Places change and we change.  

How do you go about nurturing a good relationship with a Place? Much the same way that you might with a Person.

First of all, slow down. Take time to listen and observe silent clues. Feel with your intuition. What is happening here? What emotions do I sense? What kind of energy seems to be flowing here?

And always remember, you are in this relationship, too. Slow down and sense your own feelings, emotions, and energy. How are you in relationship to this Place?

Living in Wisconsin, I am aware of inspirational Land Lovers like Aldo Leopold, Gaylord Nelson, and John Muir, all of whom resided here, walked here, and shaped land policy. My partner Steve and I strive to be constantly aware of our relationship with Place. I personally feel closest to the Places where human impact is minimal, and my photo library reflects that. Here is a gallery of places that we have loved and that have loved us in return. 

Place in the World

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Unlikely

First, a nod to Michelle for an awesome post that includes this gem:
“2. 
If you ever have the opportunity to hang out in a pickup with an apex predator*, go for it.”

Similarly, if you ever have the opportunity to camp on National Park land in South Dakota with some large ungulates, do not hesitate to take it. 

This challenge got me to thinking about experiences I’ve had in the ten years that I’ve been a widow, and how much I would like to be able to tell my husband, “Can you believe it? This happened, and I’m sorry you missed it.”

For instance, I’d love to see his face when he hears that my little brother finally got married…and our youngest daughter officiated. 

And would he ever image that I would do the wedding photo shoot for our son?

Could he have pictured me as a costumed historic interpreter or a campaigner for a progressive presidential candidate? 

Ten years ago, I would have thought all these things were pretty unlikely, but change is always the surest thing in our future.  I’ve come to believe that’s not a bad thing.  

photo credit: Kim Schultz


Unlikely

Weekly Photo Challenge: Prolific

 

I’d never seen an entire field planted with purple cone flowers as a crop before. Echinacea is used medicinally in tea and as a supplement that boosts immune system health. Usually, I see a few in a prairie mix, …

…but this was something special. 

Prolific