California, USA
August 10
When I figure it out I'll add it, one blog at a time. I illustrated "Travel Tales I Couldn't Put in the Guidebooks" written by Lea Lane. You can get it at Amazon and on Kindle!


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JANUARY 10, 2012 3:35PM

A View of January

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This January I am not returning from a holiday cruise like so many years previously.  I actually stuck it out at home...and made some wonderful discoveries! 
I named the little tree Hope.  Hardly original, but there in the midst of 150 year old tree roots sprang a little hope.   Where two mighty oak trees once stood and reigned over the front yard this little tree popped up.  I couldn't have planned it better if I tried.  I like the fact that against the odds this little guy pushed it's way up from the rocky soil, nourished by little bits of rain and whatever nutrients the crunchy oak leaves crumbled and provided him.  I had to built a small rock wall around it to let the gardeners know it is important to me.
Nearby lay two hearts.  Nothing more than two slices leftover from the tree which fell last March, but which are too heavy to move.  Two heavy hearts meant to  become tables, but instead lay one straddled atop the other, afraid to leave the spot they have known for over a century.  Who could blame them?  
You'll notice the scars etched into them, mostly on the softer outer wood, where they grew faster though not much stronger.  It seems when the center of the hearts were formed over a century ago times were tough for them.  Through many years of droughts they conserved energy become tighter, more dense,  a solid core.  But as time passed the house was built,  water was pumped up where it had not been.  The hearts grew faster and got softer until disease could take hold.  It wasn't immediately visible, but one day when the ground was soaked she just fell over.  
2 hearts
 Two hearts. 
I'm now wrestling with making more changes to my life.  I need to figure out how I can be more flexible.  To bend with the breezes of change.  I needed to look no further than the little tree I placed at the entrance of my home.
 Bent, not broken.
You will notice behind it a slice of one of the old trees is leaning on it. (Dare I say pushing from behind?)  Everyone needs a little push once an awhile, or maybe I mean support?  
Sometimes a larger overview is helpful.
 The chosen path.
The bigger picture doesn't really show  the piece which props the tree up, but instead it shows a path, rocky yet along the way there are blooms of encouragement to get you to keep going.  
Sometimes the view doesn't show what is missing, but what is now, and often it is surprising.  Resiliance is within us all, we just need to keep the door open to the possibility.
I've opened some doors already. Some have closed too. Not only behind me, but some in my face with a gust of wind.   They can stop you for awhile, and it is easy to just let things be. To stop.  The hard part is to get that door open again.  I'm going for it.


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I hear you knocking....
I can tell you really looked closely, and discerned the deep connection between you and your immediate environment.
Beautiful photographical and philosophical perspectives, Sheila. Bent but not broken is the most inspiring view to follow. I like the last picture and wonder if that is a fig tree. The leaves do resemble one. But, go, answer the door. :o)
Isn't it interesting what one can see when you open your eyes, then look behind you to see where you have been. Often helps clarify what lies ahead. I really like that you named your tree....
The whole narrative - photos and words together - tell such a full story of you, right now. Loved it.
Wise and lovely. But I missed seeing you on an embarkation.
Love January for this very reason. Nothing like taking the first step on your new life.
You have an artist's eye and mind. So thoughtful and positive. thank you!!
You can do it. You're one of the strongest people I've met on OS, or anywhere!
I miss seeing flowers in January. I love the hearts. -R-
I know you and once you set your mind to it, I am sure you will have those doors open again soon.
I've always been bent but not broken even thought the big trees tried to push me down. Every day is a trial but then a seedling from your brain gives you the courage to go on.

This was so beautifully written, I will comment softly that the path indeed looks vibrant and, may I say, filled with hope.
I don't know which is more loely: your photo essay or your new picture...
Where have you been? Everyone missed you. Anyway, glad to see you again, and thanks for a look at your front lawn.
Glad to see you back, Buffy, bringing beauty to OS. Happy 2012.
Go for it!

I would, as a person of wood, like to have those hearts but know they are now a part there.

Wonderful post, pictures, life!
WD 40 for the difficult door...a fresh "gust of wind" to wake you up to new possibilities! Enjoy those gentle breezes and love what the wind blows in! xo
So much beauty and interdependence. Tell sweet little Hope to keep up the good work! (That's what I always tell tiny, new trees when I see them.)
You have such an interesting place...full of character and surprises. I love your front door and the path to it.

My daughter brought home an evergreen just like Hope from camp a few years ago and named it "Tootie". Her little tree is still doing well and growing slowly out in the yard.
Inspiring pictures and words.
January - New Beginnings - New Hope. Great piece Shelia.
Beautiful and wise, Buffy. Oh, and what Nikki said. R
Such a lovely photo-essay -- ! I love the thriving tree of Hope, the Two Hearts, the wisdom of bending so as not to break, the inspiration of "blooms of encouragement."
A wonderful, gentle introspection.
Your hope is my hope and I hope the best for you both...
Great analogies and writing, but that is only what I've come to expect from you. Love the photos too.

Resiliance you've proved a thousand fold and I can only add I hope your little tree thrives and hope takes you down a much smoother path. Love you.
Lovely path. Your home is so beautiful, always enjoy the photos.
Of course you'll go for it. That's who you are.
Lovely view of January and of your hopeful new life. Hoping this year is filled with wonderfulness and many happy things for you, my strong friend.


Flowers in January? Oh,to be in California. Nice piece. Rated
This reminded me of Split Rock, in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, about tow miles west of Crystal Falls. A pine tree found a place to grow on top of a huge boulder, and, over time it roots expanded and the trunk of the tree grew to the point where that little old pine tree split that big boulder right in two. I always took heart whenever I drove past it. Sadly, when I saw it this summer it had died; but still hung tough between the two halves of the boulder.
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WOW! very beautiful.You have an artist's eye and mind. So thoughtful and positive. thank you!!