182: Transitions

(A leaf, having just landed on the pond.)

… paying attention to your transitions can bring your focus back to the journey instead of the destination.  When we rush through transitions, we fool ourselves into thinking that once we arrive somewhere — whether it’s a pose, a classroom, or a life stage — we will pay attention and become present.  But this is a fallacy, because presence takes practice.  And really, each moment in life is equally important, regardless of what the ego may try to dictate.

~ Jason Crandell, from an article in the March 2011 edition of Yoga Journal

I read the article about transitions in the latest edition of Yoga Journal sometime last week.  I took the time to copy the quote into the notebook I keep for that purpose.  And then I forgot about it for a little while.

I did not enjoy my outdoor adventures this morning.  I went out early, thinking to get it over with (bad attitude!).  Remember the slow walking I mentioned yesterday?  It didn’t happen today.  Today I hustled and bustled in an attempt to keep warm.  We had a light dusting of snow overnight.  The temperature, which was 59 degrees when I went out yesterday, dropped to 28 degrees this morning.

Dry grass, new green grass, and snowflakes

I have been spoiled by the milder, warmer weather.  I like going out without having to put on 10 lbs. of layers with an additional 5 lbs. of boots.  It was nice to be able to just slip on a jacket and my gardening shoes, and go for a leisurely stroll.  I am ready for spring.  Ready, I say.

But winter isn’t finished yet.  March is a transition month.  Some days spring is in charge.  Other days, winter has its way.  In between, there are battles with cold fronts and warm fronts and air masses colliding and clashing.

View of the pond from the cattails this morning

Transitions.  I know I am not always good with them.  Even in my yoga practice I often find it difficult to move from one pose into the next without some klutziness.  I am starting to learn some of the little tricks that help.  Still, I don’t move as smoothly, as gently, or as effortlessly as I’ve seen some practitioners flow from one asana to to another.  I know I’m making comparisons here — and you’re not supposed to do that in yoga — but it’s true.  I find transitions awkward at first, until I learn to relax and go with the flow of the change.

A pair of mallards

Today’s cold snap feels harsh, brutal, not spring-like at all.  I can’t remember the last time my fingers and toes felt so painfully numb with the cold.  I put on all of the usual layers, including my mitten-gloves.  It makes me wonder:  Did I acclimate to the cold at some point during the winter?  I must have.  Even on below zero days I was taking my time, looking around, enjoying the beauty of winter.  Yet today it was difficult to stay out there.  The wind sliced right through me and all of my layers.  Brrrr! Outdoor adventure?  Forget about it.  I wanted to be indoors.

I stopped to take the occasional photo, something I wasn’t particularly in the mood for (because it was cold!), and to watch a pair of mallards gliding across the pond.  They acted as if the cold didn’t bother them in the least.  The other birds were fairly quiet today.  Even the red-winged blackbirds, who have been dominating the bird symphony lately, didn’t have much to say.  Perhaps they were all hunkered down, trying to stay warm.

Reflections of spring on a cold day

About an hour or so after coming back inside, the skies cleared and it now looks beautiful, sunny, and crystal clear out there.  I’m thinking about braving the cold again, just to see if the sun and blue sky make a difference in how I feel about the cold.

Return of the buzzards

Even with the cold, we’re still getting signs of spring.  The buzzards are back.  The common name for them is turkey vulture.  Here in northeast Ohio they call them buzzards, and their return is celebrated in Hinkley, Ohio.  We saw a large flock of buzzards while we were in Florida.  The photo above was taken this morning.  I played around with it quite a bit in Photoshop to get rid of the overexposure of this morning’s gray sky.  Then I decided I might as well go whole hog and add some tinting.

That’s about it from the Bogs for today.  If I do decide to experiment with going back out into the cold, I’ll let you know how it all turns out.


26 Comments on “182: Transitions”

  1. k says:

    I am sorry you had a bad day; hopefully, tomorrow will be warmer. About the yoga and transitions, yes transitions are difficult, but if you think about it they are happening all of the time, every moment. Sometimes, the practice of letting go is even more difficult, as people often cling to past events or desired outcomes. Please understand, I am talking to myself here, these are things I am working on. I love your blog, your photos and your stories. They are very heart-warming.

    • Robin says:

      Thank you, K.

      It has actually gotten colder, but I decided to remind myself that in August I will be longing for this cooler weather so I might as well enjoy it while I can. 🙂

      I like what you wrote about transitions, and about clinging to past events or desired outcomes. These are things I am working on, too.

  2. SWK says:

    That reflection photo is beautiful. Transitions are hard for most anyone, I think.

  3. This is a really great post, Robin! I too struggle with transitions, don’t like the in-between, want to be one place or the other, forgetting that in-between is a place in and of itself.

  4. Bo Mackison says:

    This is so interesting. I, too, find transitions difficult. Even something as simple as getting ready to drive somewhere nearby. But once I’m in the car and on my way, all those transition woes are left behind.
    Good observations!

    • Robin says:

      I am the same way, Bo, when it comes to getting in the car to drive somewhere. I hadn’t thought about it before, but you’re right about how the woes are left behind once I’m on my way.

  5. Mimi says:

    Robin, I really enjoy stopping by from time to time to see your wonderful perspective on the world through your amazing photography. I just wanted to drop you a line to say so! ~Emily

  6. Kel says:

    hang in there Robin
    even though i’ve never had to live through the grey slush part of the snow season (and have only enjoyed the fun play part on holidays) i know spring does come
    i’ve seen it here on your blog for the past few years 🙂

    • Robin says:

      Thanks, Kel. 🙂

      That’s the odd thing about spring this year. We seem to have skipped the grey slushy part. We have had quite a few bright, sunny days. It looks warm and inviting, and then I step outside and get blasted with frigid air and an arctic wind.

      Ah well… as you said, spring does come.

  7. toemailer says:

    Nice pictures, bad day notwithstanding 🙂

  8. Kala says:

    That image of the buzzard in the sky is wonderful. The light, tones, and vignetting are all so good.

    It’s very cold here too Robin – more like February than March.

  9. I really like the two photos with the tiny snowflakes Robin. It must have taken a whole lot of will-power to brave the cold, just for the sake of a committment to blog every day! But I’m the nineth person here to show appreciation for the beautiful photos you have taken, so I do hope that makes it all worthwhile for you. 🙂 I can totally relate to what you have said though. When the weather is too hot here, I only leave the house if my life depends on it! Lol.

    • Robin says:

      Thank you, Joanne. 🙂

      Well…the commitment is to go outside every day. The blogging is the accountability side of the commitment. Either way, it did take just about every iota of will-power I have to get out there. I will probably find it just as difficult when it’s hot and humid during the summer months.

      • Bo Mackison says:

        I was just thinking the very same thought, well, almost the same. I am counting the days before I return to the Midwest, thinking how I don’t want to return until winter is truly gone. Then I laughed at myself, and thought how there is a short time in summer of hot and muggy, and I;m not too fond of that.

        Then it dawned on me that if the weather was the exact same each and every day — why I surely wouldn’t like that either. So you have inspired me to be grateful for each day’s weather, to find something positive about it. As long as I’m not in dangerous weather — thinking of the weather catastrophes in Japan, Christchurch, other places recently, then I will work to be mindful of the gift that today’s weather brings.

        Hard to do, yes? You’ve been living it with your outside commitment. Great job, Robin!

        • Robin says:

          What a coincidence, Bo! I was just saying to M that I need to be more appreciative of the cold because the way things are going, we’re going to slide right into hot weather and then I’ll be complaining about the heat and wanting to run the a/c.

          And thank you. I think you’re right. Being out there every day has made me more mindful of the gifts we’re given in terms of weather.

  10. milkayphoto says:

    I can sooooo relate to this post! I was in a foul mood yesterday as I watched it flurry all day long. I’d walk by the window and scowl at the ridiculousness of it all. Snow. In March. That’s N.E. weather for ya!

    I’m not so good with transistions, either. You should see me on my stability ball! Yep, klutz would be a good way to describe it! Getting better at it, tho, so there is hope.

    The top image is beautiful to me…probably because it doesn’t look winter-like at all.

    Let’s hope today is a better day! 🙂

    • Robin says:

      So true, Tracy. You never know what to expect this time of year. I should be grateful for the sunshine (and I am, when I’m not being a grump).

      The stability ball is a good example of something I’m glad no one can see me working with/on. There are times when I just let myself fall off. It’s easier that way. lol!

  11. penpusherpen says:

    Robin, did that man say he’d been coming to the Buzzard Roost for 47 years? The one with a stuffed buzzard hat on his head? I think he’s wonderful. I have this picture in my head now, of Buzzards as celebrities, dark glasses and waxed feathers, posing for the cameras. Just wonderful footage!!
    I think the problem is that once it warms up, we lose our sensible perspective and think yippee, springs here and warmer weather and then whoosh, such a complete disappointment when the temp drops again. It must catch out some poor wild life too.
    We’ve had strong sunshine today, but warnings of cooler time tomorrow, one step forward and one step back…dosey doe type of thing. xPenx

    • Robin says:

      Pen: Yep, that’s what he said. 47 years. He must really like the buzzards, or the fun of celebrating their return.

      I keep hoping for another warm-up but it looks like it will stay cold for a while. On the plus side, I’ll acclimate to it again. 🙂

  12. Barbara Rodgers says:

    Brrrr… I like “Reflections of spring on a cold day” very much. Transitions are never smooth it seems, and full of snags and setbacks. Yesterday morning I thought I’d run out and do a quick errand and was caught off guard, finding the car covered with a hard frost. So much for the “quick” errand… Scrape, scrape…

    • Robin says:

      Thank you, Barbara. 🙂

      Isn’t it funny how those “quick” things turn into long, often complicated procedures? To balance that out, I’ve noticed things my mind makes complicated (a simple chore, for instance) can end up being quick and easy.

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