The Lightning That Never Was

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What’s one to do stuck at home on a rainy day, waiting for some papers to be delivered, with no “work” work to be done? Well… a million things come to mind, but that’s part of the problem. Tedious house work to be done… exhausting, stressful thoughts and issues to be mentally sorted out, when one has no clue as to how they could be handled in a way that might provide a positive outcome.

Self-care does, of course, come to mind… but who can empty their mind for long enough in order for that to be an option? So I pace up and down, unable to focus and start doing any of the things I should be doing… knowing that when I’m like this, it’s impossible for me to sit still… hating that I have to wait on the damn papers to be delivered… hating that they never narrow that delivery window of time to anything less than their entire work day… well, hating all sorts of annoying little things, because hating annoying little things outside one’s control can be a lot easier to handle than anger.

What I really want to be doing is go for a photo walk in the park, grab some shots of the probably mostly dead roses that I just didn’t get to photograph yet, see how big the ducklings got, and generally empty my brain of all worries, concerns and fears while walking and shooting.

But no… stuck at home it is… watching the loud funny family of magpies from my window. The two young ones are so big already that it’s not easy to tell them apart from the parents. By the time I half-heartedly get my camera, they no longer are right outside my window, but further away in the garden, at an angle that doesn’t promise decent shots. After a few attempts, I put away the camera without even checking the photos.

I might as well cross some chores off the list, since I’m not able to use my time in more constructive a way. Then, as the wind stirs up, the sky darkens suddenly and loud thunders overpower any other natural noise, an idea emerges from my own mental noise. A delightful summer storm seems to be brewing.

I have a tripod, but I don’t use it often, I don’t like carrying it. So I get it from the back of the shelf where it lives, and I set it up in front of the window. I’ve watched many spectacular storms from this window, why would today be any different? I never tried to photograph lightning, so this might be a great opportunity.

The lightning storm I was hoping for didn’t happen, at least not for me. It rained, but thunder faded in the distance, the real storm happening somewhere else. However, I wasn’t disappointed. Without thinking about it, I just stopped thinking about anything else and immersed myself in my activity, figuring out camera settings, reading a couple of articles on the topic, breathing in the smell of the rain and staring at the sky, waiting for lightning to strike. It didn’t happen, but that made little difference, since what I really needed was reprieve, piece of mind, and not necessarily some great shots.

As the rain stopped, I left the camera on the tripod, hoping for some post rain magpie antics. They didn’t show up, but at least I this time I was enjoying taking a few photos of life outside my window.

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Bad hair day? Rain will do that… we’ve all been there.

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Almost harvest time… I don’t really like these plums, but surely some of the neighbourhood children will have fun trying to pick as many as possible without a certain mean old lady downstairs seeing them.

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Their fragrance in the evening is amazing. 🙂

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Not the nicest of the many neighbourhood strays… He would clearly love a nice juicy magpie rump, yet he’s the one who keeps ending up with his tail pulled and bitten by the birds.

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Finally, some shots of the magpies before the rain. The young one is still a bit shy, but mom and dad no longer care about me… not unless they expect me to offer them some nice cool water on a hot summer day.

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Everything isn’t miraculously better, but my photo session by the window was a step… something that came to me naturally, my mind providing me with a solution, if I was willing to acknowledge it and follow through, in spite of other conscious tendencies. Of course my first instinct was to not drop everything; my first thought was, “I shouldn’t waste my time like this, I should take care of the many things that need to be done around the house, since I have all this time on my hands.”

Somehow, taking care of ourselves instead of doing all those mostly insignificant things feels like a waste of time… Why does it have to be this way, why does self-care have to be so guilt-inducing? Oh, I can come up with several reasons, but there’s really no point. We all know them, we all struggle with them. Meanwhile, body and brain send discrete signals that they need a break, and they’re often ignored. Here’s to hoping we learn to pay attention to them more often!

Take care of yourselves, the best you can… don’t postpone it until irreparable damage occurs.

Spring Joy #30

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Sure, puppy love is sweet, but what say you about some cormorant love? 🙂 These two were so sweet with their PDA. I don’t know much about cormorants, so I was impressed with how affectionate they were. But I was spying from afar and then I cropped, cropped, cropped, which explains the quality of these photos. Still, I wanted to share these sweet moments with you.

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Spring Joy #27

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Lots of adorable hedgehogs in the nearby park this year… 🙂 I was lucky enough to see five different ones out and about during an evening walk. But it was dark and they were constantly on the move, so not many chances of decent shots… The flash seemed to make them freeze, but as you can notice, one of them is trying to hide behind the other, so I think it frightens them. That’s why I chose not to overdo it. 

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1 Song ‘Till Christmas

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Well, my blogging friends, have you been nice this year or perhaps more on the naughty side? Not much time left to make up for our transgressions… or is there? Personally, I believe the most we can ask for is to have someone to accept, respect and love us for who we are, warts and all… someone who doesn’t give up on us even when we’re at our lowest, someone who endeavours to point us in the right direction when we’re wrong and has the patience to let us get there on our own… someone for whom we can do the same. I hope you have such a person… I hope you are such a person for somebody… because if that’s the case, then yes, there’s still time – not everything revolves around a holiday (season) and there’s more to Christmas than unrealistic expectations, countless presents and excess of all sorts. So in case you celebrate Christmas, may you have a happy one, filled with joy, love and appreciation!

Be kind and stay safe!

20 Songs ‘Till Christmas

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I wanted to do a December Christmas song countdown ever since I started blogging. Ideally I would have paired the songs with holiday related memories, thoughts and opinions. Perhaps I would have added photos to reflect the festive – and sometimes not so festive – mood as well… But there was never enough time and/or determination.

Well, my blogging friends, this is probably the closest I’ll ever come to accomplishing that. I’ve already shared about my love-hate relationship with the holidays, as well as the reasons behind and it and how I managed to make peace with Christmas… and with myself, regarding Christmas. Hopefully I’ll manage to share some interesting memories and thoughts this year as well, but much like when it comes to the holidays in general, I tell myself, “no pressure”… But most importantly, no over the top expectations, from myself or from others. So there will be songs, there will be photos (most of them from previous years), and occasionally there will be stories as well. Continue reading “20 Songs ‘Till Christmas”

Same Old Story

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Every picture tells a story… even the subjectively bad, uninteresting, cliché or generally “blah” ones. Every picture is a moment in time, a snippet of personal history, the relevance of which might only become clear later on. There’s also that hidden layer, one involving unknown people and who knows how many unknown experiences… Continue reading “Same Old Story”