Category Archives: Mother Nature

It has been a long few days …

or has it been weeks?

I haven’t posted anything new.

No blog posts.

No photographs.

Nothing.

I have been in a holding pattern of sleepwalking, nightmares and erotic dreams that leave me confused, wondering and bewildered …

and all the while, trying my very best to make it, without losing my cool, through the seemingly endless days and eventful nights.

I have had patients cry on me, their families strike me, people pulling at my heartstrings which are linked directly to my tear ducts and during all of this, trying to find out if I am to blame for something I had no control over.

I wonder if I have severed a crucial friendship and have already began to mourn the loss of it.

I have a way of ruining beautiful things because I rarely feel worthy of them.

I have slept outside, sent messages I wasn’t aware of and tried desperately to hold it together.

A difficult few days, indeed.

But tonight changed all that.

It came a storm.

A big one, with lots of lightning and torrential rain.

Normally, during such an event, I would be set up on the porch with my tripod and camera, but this time was different.

This one wasn’t to be documented and photographed.

It was to set my spirit free.

And it did.

I stood on the porch with my jeans and t-shirt, getting soaked.

But as time passed, I wanted no earthly barriers between me and the blessing that God was giving me.

A cleansing.

A fresh beginning.

Letting the past be past and bygones be bygones and memories no more than a blip on my radar.

One piece of clothing after another was discarded until I found myself standing nude and vulnerable under the rain, with the lightning flashing, the thunder bellowing, echoing between the mountains and valleys …

tears running down my face.

I prayed to a God that I had decided had forgotten me.

He hadn’t.

I think He was just waiting for me to remember Him.

It was frightening.

It was freeing.

I was liberated from the hold this world had on me.

I was, for that span of time, one with nature and the God who created it.

I still struggle with the emotions and thoughts in my head, but He designed my brain and is well acquainted with my mindless and sometimes senseless ramblings.

He doesn’t hold them against me and so I won’t hold them against myself.

Not everyone believes in my God.  I don’t find fault with them.  I know what I know, they know what they know.

I can only be who I am and, despite all my faults, and they are many, I feel at peace.

And despite that, my friends who don’t believe in my God like me anyway.

I am humbled by that.

Just  as I accept them, they accept me.

With our differences of opinions and thoughts.

It is irrelevant.

Isn’t that what it was supposed to be like?

Love one another?

Are my thoughts still burning through my head? Yes.

Do I still sometimes feel out of control? Yes.

Do I have someone to share the thoughts and emotions with? Yes, and I am thankful for them.

Do I wonder if I am making the right choices? Yes.

Following Christ doesn’t mean that everything is just peachy.  In all honesty, it is the opposite.

I don’t do it right, I never have, but I hope to at least encourage somebody along the way.

And selfishly, I hope to be encouraged.

I wonder sometimes if I am nothing more than the punching bag of the universe.  I don’t mind it if it keeps someone else from suffering, but every now and then, it wears on the soul.

And then, an incredible storm comes, I stand in the rain, and all is right again.

The circle of life.

It is what it is what it is what it is.

It is what we make of it that counts.

So make it count.

a beautiful human, inside and out.

a beautiful human, inside and out.

Advertisements

Here comes the rain …

as it has for the past several days and, if truth be told, off and on during the entire summer.

I have heard much complaining and lamenting about the rain but I am not one of those lamenters.

Lamenters, for those who are shaking their head and saying that Gina is making up words again, is a real word.

I love the sound of the rain.

The song it sings, the  music it makes, the symphony it employs, the instruments of nature it brings into its midst; wind, leaves rustling, grass shuddering, thunder bellowing.  There are few things more magnificent than the first drops that fall only to be followed shortly by a cacophony of sound that only God can make.

And soon, it will be Autumn and the leaves will be, much in part due to the gratuitous rain, brilliant.

Anyone who lives in the mountains where seasons meld one into another knows that a rainy summer brings on an awe-inspired, much-anticipated, brilliant beyond imagination, much sought after, Autumn.

I shiver in anticipation of October.

Tit for tat.

It can’t all be perfect.  Can’t all be just exactly what everyone wants for everyone wants something different.

My dreams are different from a hundred others’.  Their dreams are different from mine.

But with patience, they all come to fruition.

Patience is the key.  That and faith, which makes the patience less daunting.

James Taylor sang “I’ve seen sunny days that I thought would never end’.

I feel like that sometimes.

Feel that if there isn’t rain, or a storm or some wind and some lightning that I will simply wither away into nothingness and everything I ever hoped to accomplish will be in vain.

I need the rain.

I need the thunder.

I need the storm.

Without it, I am insignificant.  And I don’t want to be insignificant.

Embrace the rain.  Stand in it and let it saturate you to the skin.  Revel in the wonder and magnificence of water falling from the skies.

It is beautiful if you let it be.

So let it be.

Play in the rain.

And be joyful.

without rain, an impossibility

without rain, an impossibility

I am not a fan …

of Mother Nature’s pranks … her dark clouds, whipping wind and errant bands of rain should not be allowed to play with my emotions.

It is, on many levels, unfair, to anticipate the power, brilliance and soothing qualities of a wild summer thunderstorm only to find the clouds whisked away; the sunlight filtering through, laughing and dancing as though it were there all along.

Dark clouds, upturned leaves in the wind, the enticing smell of rain in the air … these things tell me a storm is imminent.

I quiver in anticipation as I prepare to absorb the extravagant power of it.

The mood of it.

The overwhelming presence of it.

And then …

As though it never was, it is gone.

I hear many folks complaining about the rain.  I don’t complain about it, even when it threatens to wash me out of my valley.

I love the sound of it, the feel of it, the thought of it.

Add some thunder, lightning and wind and I am in my own personal Heaven.

Nothing, at least to my way of thinking, is quite so soothing as the sky split open by slashes of lightning while the rain falls; big, fat drops that soak the earth and water the trees all the way to their roots.  The sound of thunder, bellowing, rolling, rumbling is a beautiful thing.

It reminds me that I am alive.

That I am a part of, however insignificant, the whole of the world.

The sky, the grass, the mountains, the trees, the wind, the rain, the clouds … I am part of each of them and they of me.

For a space of time, we are one with one another and I am as free as the birds that inhabit the space between earth and sky.

It is hard to feel insignificant when surrounded by such incredulous power and energy that beats within my heart and soul and takes me into itself.

I am the storm.

I am the lightning.

I am the thunder.

For those moments when I am standing in the midst of the chaos, I am one with nature.

If there is a greater feeling than embracing the full fury and magnificence  of an awesome storm, I fear it; I’m not certain that I could bare the emotional and physical magnitude of it.

I’m content with the storm.  Nothing else is required.

lightning

sudden, immobilizing sadness …

is one of those emotions that catches me unawares.  When I least expect it, am most vulnerable to it, haven’t the strength to fight it; it strikes.  I don’t feel sadness everyday.  As a matter of fact, I rarely feel sad and yet …

there are moments.

Moments when it feels as though the whole of the world is upon my shoulders and my soul is stripped bare.

Then, out of the blue, a thunderstorm approaches.   I find myself on the back porch, tripod in place, waiting patiently for the the lightning; the strains of piano from my favorite music playlist resounding through the darkness as the photographer in me readies for the beauty that seems to be displaying itself just for me ….

And then ….

much to my surprise and unexpected, heart-lifting joy …

the first lightning bugs of the season appear in their magnificent beauty.

I wonder, as I watch them flicker playfully among the trees and grass and rocks if they they know how much I have longed to see them.  How much I have missed them.

They are magical, as they blink and fade before my eyes.  I feel, at this moment, that they are here for the sole purpose to encourage me.  To give me hope and to lead me to a place that is full of light and beauty.

Do they know that I have been looking for them … waiting for them … wishing for them?

The lightning that encompasses the oncoming storm dims in importance as I find myself mesmerized by the display of mother nature’s incredible display of magnificence.

I am encouraged.

They encourage me.  I wonder if they know that … if they understand how much comfort they bring to me.

I wonder if they understand that I have been waiting for them, if they know how much they calm my overstimulated system, my aching heart, my yearning soul.

I can do this.

I can face that which paralyzes me … that which takes me back to a  desolate time when my heart shattered in my chest …. when time stood still.

We all have those things that bring us joy in the midst of sadness … friends who listen to our laments and judge us not.  We have them.

We often take them for granted, at least I know I do …  take for granted that they will be there in our time of need, but we have them; and they are there, without fail, when we are vulnerable and struggling simply to breathe, to live, to move from one moment to the next …not to judge but only to hear our thoughts and fears.

No judgment.

No harshness.

No rebuke.

No unsolicited advice.

No condemnation.

Only understanding , often in silence, as we fight our demons.

I am thankful for the lightning bugs.

And I am thankful for the friends who tolerate me, even when I am intolerable.

I am blessed well beyond what I deserve.

Thank you, Lord, for the lightning bugs, for friends who understand me and for loving me even though I am, many times, unlovable.

I count my blessings and they are many.  While I am sorry that there are others who have stood in the rain, blinded by the sheer magnitude of the sorrow, they, as I have, have made it through the rain.

We are one, we are many and we are survivors in the midst of adversity, sorrow, death and pain.

We made it.

Amen.

Gallery

I know a trail shoot was succesful …

This gallery contains 25 photos.

when I come home filthy, covered in mud, bleeding from my brush with thorns and other sharp things of nature and smelling of the earth that I was crawling around on.  There are few things in this life that renew … Continue reading

Rate this:

It’s raining, it’s pouring …

the old man is snoring.  I don’t know if he is snoring or not, but I have always been told, since I was but a wee child,  that he was.  Rain.  Something that folks in the East, Northeast and Midwest have had a fair share of this year and, it’s only January.  It’s easy to start hating rain, I suppose.  I know that it has thwarted a few things that I would have liked to do, but in order to appreciate it, one must look past the present situation of inconvenience and saturation to the beauty and bounty that water from the Heavens provides.

Rain is essential to all living things on the earth.  It fills up the creeks, rivers, lakes, wells, streams and it gives lifesaving water to the trees that I so adore.  I can only image the conversation the trees must be having, among themselves, at this very moment; knowing that their roots are full to capacity and there is excess to aid in the dry times that are bound to come.  They must be ecstatic even though there will be some, as in the human element, that will fall under the pressure that the reality of life deals them.  We, as the trees, begin to die the minute we are born.  This is a fact.

It is easy to decide that rain is a bad thing, but I love it.  I love the sound of it, the feel of it on my skin, the taste of it on my tongue.  It is such a beautiful thing, that which pours from the clouds.  It is true that, at times, rain decides to exhibit its power and influence; filling waterways well past their spilling points.  I don’t discount the damage it can do if it decides to go on a full-out tirade and at the same time, I watch, in amazement, at just what it is capable of.   A single raindrop, on its own, has little impact, but when paired with millions of others falling steadily; well, the result is astounding.

While under normal circumstances, without tornadoes, hurricanes or other brutal natural occurrences, rain is just …. well, it’s just rain.  Water that falls from the heavens and makes a sound that nothing else on earth can make.  How many people who will read this blog post will have a CD or some recording of a thunderstorm or rain for relaxation or meditation?  It is food for thought, anyway.

This is where the idealistic photographer steps in.  Yes, it can sometimes flood, but through the lens of my camera, it is astounding.  The wonder of nature as it shows its power is a beautiful thing.  Don’t get me wrong, I wish for no harm to anyone, but if it is going to happen anyway, I want to be a part of it.  It is during these times, when Mother Nature decides she is going to show off, that I am truly sorry I have a day job.  It takes everything I can muster not to pick up my camera, head out to anywhere and everywhere and say “to hell” with my job.

Reality, however, has a way of kicking me in the head and reminding me that it is prevalent in my life.  I, at times, hate reality and feel that it picks on me purposely just to remind me that I don’t have nearly as much control as I think I have.  What reality doesn’t realize, however, is that I’m not the one in control and it is picking on the wrong being.   When my experience and wisdom is cooked proper, don’t doubt for a minute that reality will have little bearing on where I will be or what I can accomplish.

In the meantime, I will listen to music that soothes me while the rain falls with torrential force and know that, when tomorrow dawns, if I am blessed to live, it will be a wonderful day; rainy or not.

backwoodstrailshoot_092012-5

Isaiah 55:10 ~ For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater:

I thought I was prepared …

for the sheer depth of joy that would come with the total immersion of mind, body and spirit into the wilderness.  I wasn’t even close.  In three short months, I had forgotten the thrill of knowing the exhilaration of finding that there is nothing between me and nature except the air I breathe and my Pentax.   I had forgotten how awe-inspiring creation is when I can see it up close and personal.  I had forgotten just how alluring the smells of the earth in winter could be.

Today, however, I was reminded.   The sights, sounds and smells took me from my present self and put me in an altered state of mind.  One that thrives on finding out where the trail leads, then, when the trail has run its course, the adrenaline punching adventure of veering off to become one with the hills and valleys, the streams and creeks of my mountain; for today, it was on my mountain that I wandered.  My mind was peaceful, my thoughts were clear and my body strong as it responded to the challenges and physical demands of making my way through thickets and briar-laden brambles on steep, rocky hillsides.

The mind-numbing exhaustion of the past few weeks dissipated like fog under a summer sunrise.  With every step, I felt my energy level rise and my stress level fade into oblivion and it didn’t escape me that I can find myself in this same state of mind over and over; that nothing can happen to me in a week’s time that I can’t undo with a hike into places both known and unknown.  My mind is already full with thoughts of where I will go next week. I am blessed beyond measure by the simple things in life that God knows I have a need of.

Even now, I feel as though the energy inside me will simply burst forth, creating a display of light and shadow all around me.  I suppose, since there happens to be no other, more enjoyable outlet, I will expend that energy on laundry.  Pity.

underwater

Psalms 96: 11-12 ~ Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof. Let the field be joyful, and all that is therein: then shall all the trees of the wood rejoice.