Friday, January 15, 2010


...Swiftly flow the days...
Seedlings turn overnight to sunflow'rs
Blossoming even as we gaze

It was in July last year when I decided to sell my flock of nine Leicester Longwool sheep (the lineage of the breed was brought to this country originally by George Washington) and make the switch from one joy, handspinning, to another--photography

Ages ago, I was a photographer, but I had decided--too soon, it turns out--that with my vision diminishing by virtue simply of getting older, I despaired of ever enjoying my inner "eye" again.  But a friend--close to my age--had a digital camera.  Envy set in ferociously.  Best of all...SHE wears glasses. And still she does graphic arts and photography.  I made my plan.

I got an eye exam followed by a pair of progressive, transition lenses, (voila, I could SEE!) and I was on my way!  We are not wealthy, so I needed to trade some assets to get the camera and PhotoShop Elements (the latter of which I wanted in order to "play" with my images.)  I looked around at things I had here on the farm, took some to the flea market and found good homes for the sheep--one of which was at Colonial Williamsburg.  The package was enough to purchase a Canon 450D Rebel Xsi with two lenses and PSE, plus a new desktop computer.

My first photograph was the shot of the sunflower, taken August 19, 2009.  Since then, I've taken close to 1,000 photos.  What pure joy it has been!

If I bring a message of any kind to Just Off the One-Lane Road--but especially to those, like me, already in or approaching the Third Age--it is this:  you now have the TIME.  And, it's time.  We've been on that one-lane road for a good part of our life, never swerving, dedicated to following where it led.  Now, though,  it's time to pull off to the side and breathe.

Follow those yearnings that center around the things you've put aside because you never had the TIME.  Now, you do.  Embrace this wonderful time in your life.  Open the shades and drink in the colors of your dreams.  Pursue them!  Yes, these are tough times economically.  But life need not be expensive, providing you have your health, as I so fortunately do.  Discover the smaller joys in living, the world in minutae.  Perhaps the horizon is closer now, but re-focus a bit, maybe take a macro view, and capture in your mind the images of a full and glorious time of your life.  Then share your vision with others who don't yet see.

So in this Janus month of looking forward and back, I take my cue from Goethe:

"Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it.  Boldness has genius, power and magic in it."

Have a wonderful weekend!  See you Monday!

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