Tag Archives: nature

Out of Focus Bliss


This is me, one year ago today. October 14, 2011 in St. Augustine, Florida. I love this picture. Absolutely, positively, love it. Yeah, it’s out of focus and fuzzy, but that’s okay. I remember walking on the sand that cold morning, wearing my favorite pink Hurley hoodie, waiting for the sun to peek over the water and rise high into the sky! My bare feet squished down into the scrumptious wet sand and the air was crisp and inviting. My love affair with the water has been going on for years and I don’t foresee it coming to an end anytime soon. I’m hopelessly head-over-heels in love with the sea.

This picture captures a lot of the essence of me one year ago. Life was not perfectly in focus, a lot was wrong, and a lot was right. I was physically beginning to be in a healthier place while emotionally working through difficulties. The sun seemed to be rising on my life, though the air had a chill to it on some days. My smile was completely genuine, a reflection of what I felt inside that day, and on many days.

We cannot go back in time and relive our past, nor should we want to. But I would like to have more days where I’m blissfully happy, even if totally out of focus! I don’t think those days happen by chance all the time. Circumstances don’t allow for that. So I believe we can make some of them happen, indeed we must make them happen. Oh, it’s hard! Trust me on that one, fellow joy-seeker. Sometimes it takes digging deep, pushing our feet down into that wet sand to anchor ourselves. We can be happy. We can smile. We can laugh and dance and sing. We  can even do a celebratory cartwheel on the beach! We can be joyful. On purpose.

A Little Out of Focus, Yet Blissfully Happy = Joy



112 days… the number of days Brian lived after being diagnosed. 122 days… the number of days I have lived since his death. Yesterday, Jordan and I left the house and unplugged from technology for most of the day, and drove to the mountains. We followed the winding road to Golden Gate Canyon and found a spot with a great view. We hiked down a trail, over rocks and branches, through the pine trees. Jordan spotted a grouping of rocks off the trail, so we broke away and found what we thought would be the perfect place to scatter part of Brian’s ashes. I’ve said that Brian probably would have found a much more precarious spot, one that would have taken a greater degree of stamina, courage, and agility to reach, but Jordan and I did a pretty good job. I think Brian would be happy. Twenty years ago Brian and I had honeymooned by camping nearby and we’d hiked many of the trails, including the one Jordan and I took yesterday. Now Brian will be part of Colorado forever.

I had anticipated it being a very emotional day. It was, but not in the sense of tears and sadness. It was a happy day, one to remember great memories of mountain hikes and picnics and two little boys who enjoyed our trips in the Rockies. Jordan and I even had a few laughs, which can happen when you are attempting to be more serious than you should. On the way back up the trail to the car, we passed a family and a little boy was bringing up the rear, with his hiking stick in his hand. I told Jordan how he and Brian Jr. would always find a stick right away when we went hiking, but they spent more time hitting trees and rocks with their sticks than using them for hiking! And those sticks would come home with us, along with rocks and pine cones and other forest treasures. Jordan and I continued our drive and ended up at a shop that sells rocks and fossils and things like that. I bought myself a rock the color of the ocean and a couple gifts for the boys. I love my rock – a piece of the earth that is the color of the sea that I miss so much.  The drive home was peaceful, Jordan asleep in the passenger seat as I drove back down the winding mountain roads.

When I got home I found a box on my desk. It was from my parents and contained sand from Sanibel Island. I was able to put my toes in my perfect Florida sand on a chilly Colorado day. It was a nice and fitting end to my day.

There is so much that equals joy about yesterday and today and life in general. But I think I’ll go back to where I started and leave it at this:

Going Full Circle = Joy

Simply Saturday


I’m sitting in Central Park! Okay, it’s not that Central Park. It’s the one just around the corner from where I live, the neighborhood park next to a school. It is 74 degrees and sunny with a light breeze. The leaves are turning brown and falling, little by little, to the ground, leaving the trees half naked. I don’t like leafless trees, so I prefer looking at the pines. The shrubs and grass are beginning to turn yellow and brown as well, another sign that summer is leaving us and autumn is taking its place. It’s been seven years since I experienced fall. I’m bracing myself for what comes after that! The bare trees will be shivering in the cold winds… but today is beautiful.

On my short walk to the park I passed a baseball diamond where a few people were practicing. I don’t care much for sports, but there are a few sounds I enjoy: the crack of a bat making contact with a baseball and the squeak of tennis shoes on a basketball court. I also passed a family loading up the minivan to head out for the afternoon, or maybe even the weekend. The dad sang, “just the four of us…” and in my head I continued, “we can make it if we try…” As I approached the playground, I saw the sign that lists all the no-nos: no loud music, no firearms, no fireworks, no misuse of the park property, etc. I think they could have saved some time and money, and made a much more pleasant sign by saying, “Welcome to Central Park – Be Nice!”

The playground was deserted when I arrived so I picked a spot under the shade of the gazebo at one of the picnic tables and pulled out my water bottle, journal, and phone (for the camera… I’m disconnecting for a bit). A family arrived… actually, what appears to be two families or maybe just a group of friends, and seven kids made their way to the playground. I love listening to other people’s conversations, especially kids! One little boy made it to the top of one of the structures probably not intended for climbing (harmless rule-breaking in my book) and looked rather proud. He then proceeded to pick his nose! Oh, kids!! There’s a lone runner  making his way around the perimeter of the park, making me feel slightly guilty that I have not been running. I really want to start again, but this altitude makes it hard to breathe! It’s much easier to take a long, full breath at sea level. But my breathing won’t improve unless I put on my running shoes and start.

This must be the time of day people head out. Traffic has picked up and there are more kids, some arriving by car and some walking from the nearby houses. This reminds me of Park Days with one of our homeschool groups, where moms would relax and sit around talking while our kids would be kids. Those were fun days. I love seeing kids act like kids – running around like maniacs, climbing on everything, jumping, laughing, showing off for each other, and pretending they are all sorts of characters as they play. And then, if you’re lucky, they go home exhausted and sleep for a few hours!

It feels nice to be at the park. I live so close, yet I haven’t been over here since before Brian died. He liked walking to the park and that brings good memories too. I’m glad we had those walks and talks. The breeze has picked up and the air feels a tiny bit chillier. I’m going to head back home… lazily stroll back home. I’m happy today. I hope you are too, wherever you are, whatever you are doing.

Simply Saturday = Joy