A Few Charms (Banner)

A Few Charms (Banner)

Wednesday, 31 December 2014

On the seventh day of Christmas... winter wonderland clip

On the seventh day of Christmas Pandora gave to me... the winter wonderland clip... Santa's elves and toys... the tree of lights... Santa's stocking charm... a pair of silver bells... a polar bear charm... and a clear cz pavé lights charm.

In March 2012, after about three months of recovery from my eating disorder, I started doing a daily meditative walk. After the first week I rewarded myself with the "Wildflower Walk" charm, and called those outings my "Wildflower Walks." You can read more about this in my very first blog post entitled  Walk this way... in the moment.

And while I was on these walks, I started taking photos of flowers in the gardens in my neighbourhood. I've always done a lot of photography but usually scenery or travel, and then of course I took LOTS of pictures of my twins. But that was the first time I really took pictures of flowers. Walking went from being something I forced myself to do, to something I began to look forward to - I wanted to see what was in bloom each day as the weeks and months passed. And I posted a photo on Facebook every day. I started to see that taking these photos was good for my soul - trying to "find beauty every day."

You can see my photos in these Facebook albums Wildflower Walks 2012 Wildflower Walks 2013
Of course, as will happen, summer turned to fall. And I kept up with my walk every day that fall. Even when I was teaching four days a week I got up early and went for a walk - quite a feat considering how much I am NOT a morning person! And then fall turned to winter. And I realized that I couldn't really take pictures and put them in an album called "Wildflower Walk" so, on December 21, 2012, the first day of winter, I started a new album titled "Walking in a Winter Wonderland."

My goal for that winter of 2013 was to start walking mid-day, when we have some sun, and take photos over the winter - photos of things that I enjoy about winter, things that make me happy, things that help me "Beat the Winter Blues." One year later Pandora came out with a snowflake clip (in their winter collection of 2013) and they called it, "Winter Wonderland." Coincidence? Or serendipity?

And then there was last winter, the winter of 2014. Quite literally the longest winter in the past twenty years! When the end of February rolled around and I started to despair that winter would never end, I decided I needed a new project. There are two things that are important for my mental health; two things that I was NOT doing consistently last winter; and they are: 1. pursuing my passion for photography and 2. going for my daily meditative walk. So I resurrected "Walking in a Winter Wonderland."

At that time when I was bemoaning the length of our winter, my fellow Ottawa citizen (and Pandora fan) Florina reminded me of my affirmation to "find beauty every day." Because that is part of what makes my morning walk a "mindfulness meditation" - paying attention to, being mindful of, my surroundings - the light, the shadows, the shapes, the textures and the colours.

I decided I needed to accept the fact that winter was not over yet, and the fact in this part of the country we were likely to have fresh snow into April! So my goal was to go "Walking in a Winter Wonderland" and "find beauty every day" - and post a photo each day for 30 days.

I thought a Pandora reward might be something to look forward to and motivate me to get back into this routine - and survive another month with old man winter. And what could be more appropriate than the "Winter Wonderland" clip? I found some pretty scenes over the next month, but I was oh so happy to see these crocuses poke through the snow.
Finding beauty every day March 2014

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