The purple hour

Christmas star

Christmas star

Christmas Eve was a night of song that wrapped itself about you like a shawl.  But it warmed more than your body.  It warmed your heart…filled it, too, with a melody that would last forever.

~Bess Streeter Aldrich, Song of Years

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Sunday walk

Snowy trail

Snowy trail

(1) The more thoroughly a photographer explores his subject with the camera (i.e., the more pictures he makes), the more he sees and the better his chance of getting good results.
(2) Even slight changes in subject approach can make significant differences in the effect of the picture.

~ Andreas Feininger, Principles of Composition in Photography

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Dependability

Reflection on a snowy day

Reflection on a snowy day

Dependability is that quality of sureness which makes folks know that the task assigned will be accomplished, that the promise made will be kept, a golden quality — but to be effective it must be accompanied by at least a moderate amount of something to give and a pleasant manner of giving.

~ Clarissa A. Beesley, Young Woman’s Journal, Salt Lake City, Utah, November 1925

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Happy Solstice

Winter Solstice

Winter Solstice

It snowed and snowed, the whole world over,
Snow swept the world from end to end.
A candle burned on the table;
A candle burned.

~ Boris Pasternak

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Portrait of a maple

High-rise

High-rise

Maples produce seeds or “keys,” designed to spin like helicopter blades.  Strong winds carry them great distances.  Foresters class the family as invasive “pioneers,” being among the first to colonize cleared ground.

~ Daniel Butler, How to Plant a Tree

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A dark, damp day

The alcove

The alcove

The lotus is the most beautiful flower, who petals open one by one.  But it will only grow in the mud.  In order to grow and gain wisdom, first you must have the mud — the obstacles of life and its suffering. …  The mud speaks of a common ground that humans share, no matter what our stations in life.  …  Whether we have it all or we have nothing, we are all faced with the same obstacles:  sadness, loss, illness, dying and death.  If we are to strive as human beings to gain more wisdom, more kindness and more compassion, we must have the intention to grow as a lotus and open each petal one by one.

~ Goldie Hawn

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Sometimes all you can do is give up

December 2012 041a

But what avail the largest gifts of Heaven,
When drooping health and spirits go amiss?
How tasteless then whatever can be given!
Health is the vital principle of bliss.

~ James Thompson

Mr. Thompson’s sentiments seem a little extreme, but I can relate to the general idea.  The flu has infiltrated my defenses.  “Drooping” describes how I feel very well.  Rather than fight it, I’m giving up and going to bed, at least for today.  I’ll be back soon.

Comforting

Comfort and joy