Necessity is the mother of invention as the saying goes, and with Oscar now 13 1/2 years old and the momentary health scare I had with Norman this past spring (he’s fine now as we just became aware of a heart murmur that we are tending to successfully moving forward), I was reminded that I do not have a “family portrait” so-to-speak of all three of us. While I have many of each of them and them together, one with me and my boys has never been captured. Consequently, this became one of my top priorities before traveling to France last month.
Not one for posed pictures, and rarely getting in front of the camera on my own Instagram feed, I considered a variety of ideas that would exemplify as sincerely as possible, Shannon. But the one thing that turned out to be the best idea was being amongst Mother Nature in Bend where we spend so much of our time together enjoying the everyday moments.
With the eye and photog know-how of my mom and my niece, we set out onto one of the many trails which the boys and I enjoy.
As someone who adores the rain, such days are few here in Bend, but we happened upon a day of sprinkles which offered the serendipitous setting for the images captured.
No, the images may not be what would be expected or wanted as a professional “author” or “about me” pic, but I am happy with them more than I could have imagined. I am grateful to my mom and niece for taking time to journey into the woods with the camera and espadrilles in tow not knowing exactly what we were going to discover and how to do so as runners were on their morning workout, the boys were … well .. dogs and weren’t quite sure what we were doing, and me trying to give directions, but I am sure I wasn’t as helpful as I thought I was being. 🙂
Needless to say, from the wearing of my favorite wellies, which each time I wear them reminding me of my love for the English countryside and growing inclination of being as much an Anglophile as I am a Francophile, to wearing a linen dress in the woods – all details and daily choices that enable me to feel most myself, these images are now the new ‘author’ images you will find on my “Start Here” page on the blog. No, there is no traditional close-up, but it is my hope that these images offer an introduction into the reality of sincerely living a life that is tailored to the individual who is living it and finding deep contentment in doing so. Living simply luxuriously – that is the close-up I have chosen to share as the blog moves forward. I am confident that so long as we each are authentic in what we are pursuing and cultivating, contentment is ours to savor in our everyday life.
TSLL began as an outlet and exploration, a place to connect with others from around the globe who were exploring how to live as well as possible all the while letting go of the unnecessary and deepening the quality of our lives. As the Start Here page shares, studying in France in my early twenties played a significant role in awakening this concept of quality over quantity in my life, and as I have continued to return to France, this appreciation and affection has grown; however, it was with my travels to England in 2012 and 2017 that brought to my attention the realization that many of my affinities for living the life I enjoy find their roots in the British culture as well. Beginning with the simple tradition of tea at-the-ready for sipping and slowing down, to the predilection of rainy day weather a favorite meteorologist report to see on the local news. Ironically, as I found it, both of my boys are English regarding their breeding, which made me smile upon recognizing this coincidence. But in all seriousness, there are many other aspects as well that speak to me culturally, and align with the life I thoroughly enjoy living. What readers of the blog and on IG saw last November, and kindly engaged with me about, was an experience that influenced me heavily, more than I anticipated in any predictable way.
While I will always want to return and vacation in France – the food, the sun, the people, the pace, the beauty, the history – I am beginning to understand that if I ever have the opportunity to live on the other side of the Atlantic, it will be in Britain with France far closer to be savored on a more frequent basis.
Thank you for listening and may you too discover those life journey ahas that clarify your direction.