Sunshine on a cloudy day

Lake effect clouds streaming in

Lake effect clouds streaming in

Yesterday afternoon brought a beautiful mix of clouds, sunshine, and lake effect snow.  I was so busy posting leftovers that I didn’t get around to looking at the photos from my walk.  That has turned out to be a good thing because I don’t have time to upload and sort through the photos from today’s walk.

Moss and fungus

Moss and fungus

I woke up to clear skies and cold temperatures this morning.  Ice was once again forming around the edges of the pond.  I had hoped to walk down to the woods to look at the ice near the creek, but it’s still too squishy in spots.  Maybe tomorrow.  It’s going to be in the 20’s again tonight so ice formations are likely.

The result of Dutch Elm disease

The result of Dutch Elm disease

Those of you who have been around Life in the Bogs for a while might remember that each year on the Winter Solstice I pick a word or theme for the year.  Most people wait for January 1st, but the Winter Solstice feels more like the start of a new year to me.  Always has.

Long shadow

Long shadow

The past three years have been variations on a theme.  Simplicity.  Decluttering.  Letting Go.  It has become evident to me that I’m missing something as my life seems just as complicated, cluttered, and grasping as ever.  (That sounds harsh, doesn’t it?  I don’t mean it that way.  I’m being honest.)

Pretty light

Pretty light

I’m pondering what the first steps towards simplicity, decluttering, and letting go might be.  It’s not that I haven’t made some progress.  There have been small victories which add up to a bigger victory.  Still, I have a long way to go towards where I thought I’d be by now.  Slow and steady is good.  Stuck is not.

I love the combination of dark blue clouds and sunlight.

The combination of dark clouds and sunlight gave the pond a greenish hue.

I’ve come across a lot of messages lately along the lines of this one from Yogi tea:  Empty yourself and let the universe fill you.  Interesting, but I’m not sure how I feel about Empty as my new theme or word or phrase for the upcoming year.  It’s certainly worth considering, although it is likely another variation on the same theme.

The woods

Outer edge of the woods

To be alive is to totally and openly participate in the simplicity and elegance of here and now.

~ Donald Altman

Around the bend

Around the bend

What does come to mind is, well, Mindfulness.  Or Be Mindful.

Peering in

Peering in

Mindfulness isn’t difficult, we just need to remember to do it.

~ Sharon Salzberg

Looking out over the Future Woods

Looking out over the Future Woods

Let go of your mind and then be mindful.
Close your ears and listen!

~ Rumi

December 2012 093a

One of the wonderful things I’ve noticed about a practice of mindfulness is that I not only ground myself in the moment, but I am grounded within myself and given a better feel for what it is I want or don’t want, need or don’t need, and the little bit of wisdom to know the difference between want and need.  Needs, it turns out, are simpler and fewer than wants.  Example:  I want a new camera.  I don’t need it, and am usually perfectly happy and grateful for what I do have.

The Birch

The Birch

That’s enough pondering for today.  Thank you for visiting with me here in the Bogs, and joining me on another ramble around the pond.  Be good, be kind, be loving, just Be.  🙂

The sky

The sky

You are the sky.  Everything else — it’s just the weather.

~ Pema Chödrön

26 Comments on “Sunshine on a cloudy day”

  1. I so hear you, Robin.. “empty” would be a welcome moment for me at the moment, then there’s room for life to fill me back up again with everything wonderful:)

  2. Phil Lanoue says:

    Very thought provoking post Robin with excellent images to accompany!

  3. Thomas Ross says:


    Reading this post put me there- the words and the images, beautiful, interwoven. Your creations- like the here and now- are simple and elegant.

    Thank you.


  4. jane tims says:

    Hi Robin. I love the branches reaching for one another in ‘The sky’ and the roots who have found one another in ‘Moss and fungus’. Mindfulness is a good mantra for the year. It would probably help me on my eternal diet. I like the idea of starting the year at the Solstice. Jane

  5. Elisa says:

    i wonder how many people try to be or act like what someone else shoulds them to be and the more hype behind it, the more some people try to notice how wrong what they are doing is, which then creates the situation that then DOES require some amount of cleaning and perhaps cleaving…just a thought

    • Robin says:

      I think I understood that thought, Elisa. It’s all the acting like someone else shoulds me to be that, I believe, has led me to my current state of affairs which is to say I’m trying to disentangle myself from the shoulds others thought I should be and become, well, Me. 🙂 So yes, cleaning and cleaving are certainly aspects of that.

  6. Oh, too many beautiful photos to ponder today.
    (so many thoughts, I’m empty …if that makes sense…must muse a bit)
    Mindfulness is such a great concept.
    Nice post!

  7. Chloe says:

    i agree with above; too many beautiful photographs ❤ i've learnt how to distinguish between a necessary and a want

  8. I’ve begun understanding just a bit more about wants and needs. Turns out much of what I want I don’t, in fact, have to have. I wonder when we as a species began the shift to wanting more than needing? I mean, I wonder if we have always been this way. Hmmmmmmmm

  9. “Mindfulness isn’t difficult, we just need to remember to do it.” The Sharon Salzberg quote resonates with me, as do this group of photos. The “Moss and fungus” one reminds me of the tree roots in my neck of the woods. I’m surprised the grass is still so green there!

    • Robin says:

      Thank you, Barbara. 🙂 I think it’s the species of grass. It stays green throughout the winter. The only time I’ve seen it brown is during drought situations.

  10. I love the mindfulness theme and the idea that we just need to remember to do it! Yes. So true. I love that last quote: You are the sky. Everything else — it’s just the weather. ~ Pema Chödrön.

  11. When our Angel gets overwrought about something, we tell her to Take Her Big Breaths, to help calm herself…
    ‘Breathe’ might be a good theme…it encompasses a lot.
    Love the photos!

  12. aFrankAngle says:

    Powerful paragraph about slow and steady accumulating small gains for a bigger gain … and well done supplying the images accompanying the thought.

  13. Dana says:

    I’m so glad to be reading through your ‘older’ posts, Robin (even though they are still new to me). I had forgotten that you usually picked your yearly theme at Solstice, and I would have been sad to miss your thoughts on the matter. I agree with the hesitation on “Empty”: it has both good connotations and lonely, unfulfilling ones, so Mindfulness seems much better. Good luck in 2013! 🙂

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