Tag Archives: changing leaves

October is …

unrivalled, my favorite time of year.

It is a month of contrasts for me.

The joy of Autumn.

Leaf-strewn country roads, leaves falling as I drive with the top down, deep colors in the forests, tobacco hanging in aging barns, hay waiting in long fields and orchards full with ripe, red apples.

These are the joyous things that lift me high and make me feel as free as the raptors migrating along the spine of my beloved Clinch Mountains.

The sad parts have a say, but they are muted; dulled by the magnificence of Mother Nature as she concedes, under the watchful eye of Father Time, her reign to Old Man Winter.

Time, which has no regard for anyone, will pass without fail or regard to any of us.

The voice of things past becomes harder to hear as years go by.

That, in and of itself, is a good thing.

If I stumble and fall over what is in the past, then it’s not possible to say that I have moved on, adapted, regained my balance.

I could wallow in what can’t be undone, but to what purpose?

I could brood (I’ve been told that I brood in the fashion of my Irish and Scottish ancestors).

And sometimes, I do, simply because I feel like brooding.

During those times, I throw breakable things at breakable things and have completely awesome meltdowns that leave me purged, yet restless.

Most often, however, I just go with it.

Time doesn’t care about me, mine, you or yours.

It simply passes, and once it’s gone, it’s gone.

I’m claiming this October for myself.

Not for what I’ve lost, but for what it is.

My favorite time of year.

A peaceful, easy feeling.

That, for the here and now, is how I intend to roll.

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Spiritual Encouragement… we’re all on a journey to somewhere

Over the years, I’ve taken tens of thousands of photographs and created nearly 800 greeting cards; birthday, love, funny, serious, soulful, uplifting and more… but of all of them, the Spiritual Encouragement ones are my favorite.  They are thoughts and verses that have come from the ashes of the trials and difficulties in my life, the sorrows, disappointment and heartbreak… born of the refining that I didn’t realize was even happening.  I know that just as I stumble and fall, there are millions of people in the world I live in facing the same trials… hitting the same walls… struggling with the same demons.  During my own journey, with each refining came learning and the more I learned, the more I knew and the more I knew, the more I wanted to know and I started listening.  Once I became still and listened to what The Spirit was whispering to my heart and soul, it all started to fall into place.  Before I created a single card, spiritual encouragement or otherwise, there was a phrase that exploded in my mind and it was crystal clear ~ Through the Eyes of the Spirit ~  He was setting me on a path and I didn’t even realize it…

In the late winter-early spring of March, I felt compelled to create a greeting card for people who were struggling with the death of a loved one and the profound feeling of loneliness, sorrow and pain they would face that first year.  The words were there, and they were not mine, for there was a wisdom, though I had never experienced such a loss, of complete understanding and empathy. The photograph on the front of the card is one that was taken on a country road in the Fall, beneath a canopy of the brilliant colors of the changing leaves.  It was on the way to Bark Camp Lake, a beautiful lake park located in Northern Scott County in Southwest Virginia. Dad fishes for trout there and tells me how pretty it is and that he thinks it would be a good place to take pictures.  So in late October, Jim and I made our way up to celebrate our anniversary.  It was a beautiful day, the trees more beautiful than I had seen in years.  The sky, a perfect October blue, was dotted with fluffy white clouds and the wind rustled the leaves, causing an occasional windfall.  Along the concrete paths and on the wooden dock, fallen acorns, not yet discovered by deer or squirrels, lie among the fallen leaves.  Yes, it was a beautiful day…  And it was the last anniversary we would celebrate, but I didn’t know that.  Even so, I found comfort in the words, and after Jim’s sudden death a few months after, they sustained me with encouragement.  My sweet Jesus was, as far as I am concerned, speaking directly to me and His encouragement inspired me to encourage others, using the photographs and verse that I see and feel Through the Eyes of the Spirit, an incredible gift and a blessing that I cannot describe.  It consumes me.

For more Spiritual Encouragement cards from Through the Eyes of the Spirit, click the links on the right to open a new window, or visit the homepage of Through the Eyes of the Spirit by clicking on the photo below: