One year ago today, I came across this quote:
“Too many of us wait to do the perfect thing, with the result we do nothing. The way to get ahead is to start now. While many of us are waiting until conditions are ‘just right’ before we go ahead, others are stumbling along, fortunately ignorant of the dangers that beset them. By the time we are, in our superior wisdom, decided to make a start, we discover that those who have gone fearlessly on before, have, in their blundering way, traveled a considerable distance. If you start now, you will know a lot next year that you don’t know now, and that you will not know next year, if you wait.”
~The William Feather Magazine
After reading this, I immediately went to the blog URL address that I had set up 8 months previously and wrote my first blog post and hit publish. Yes, it was a new adventure and a little scary, but one that had been put on my heart. I had no expectations and wasn't sure where it would lead me but I was excited to know what I might not have known had I not started. I had no idea it would lead me here to all of you, the ones who come week after week to join me in my journey through life, and this journal I call Picking Poppies. I had no idea that I would make some of the connections that I have and I have been humbled by many of you who have let me know how much you enjoy what I share - it drives my inspiration - and for that I thank you.
It turns out that in this last year my camera has taught me things. Things I didn't know, things I knew but had forgotten, and most of all it helped me to think about things in a way I had never thought of before. My camera slowed me down so that I was able to hear the whispers of my heart and has been an instrumental tool in self discovery, understanding and thought about ordinary things in life that also created reflection about their meaning. No, I didn't solve any world problems, heck I didn't even solve any of my own but I did discover some things along the way and when I paused long enough I found lessons about life that are everywhere for us to learn. All we need to do is to open our eyes to all the things around us, the things that all too often we look at but do not see.
One of the things that I have always known is that there is magnificent beauty in nature, but not just in the seeing of it. My camera has brought even more attention to the delicacy of how it all works together. If you have been with me on this journey for any length of time it won't be a surprise that one of my favorite places to be is the beach. It's the place where my worries wash away with the tide and the secrets of my soul are revealed. It's also where a child paid me one of the greatest compliments when he asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up! And even though I told him I didn't know, it was then that I realized that the moment I cease to be amazed at the wonders of this world and forget the child inside will be the day I grew up too much!
One day while out in Galveston, clicking away, I realized I had a repeating theme in those photos. Almost all of them were of some kind of fence and it got me to thinking about the boundaries they keep that at times can sometimes be comforting. But I also realized that some of those fences that I find along my journey I put up myself, ones that have neither an entrance or an exit, and how I am trying to find the courage to jump them despite it.
And then there were doors, which can be tricky things. Doors prompted me to think about opportunities in life, those I've passed up, those I have ignored, and those I feel are impossible. When it comes to doors I often don't read the enter and exit signs very well but because of God's grace he continues to grant me more opportunities to walk through open doors, which for some reason is difficult for me.
After being at the beach one day and looking back at those photos I again had an unintended theme. Nearly every photo from that day was of a bird in flight. There was yet another lesson but this time it was about wings. As I thought about wings and flying, God was reminding me that he has gifted each one of us with our own unique set of wings. Ones so unique that we are the only ones that can use them and that no one can do it for us. But the only way to know how to use them is to just jump off the ledge, knowing He will mend them should we fall.
This last year I have learned even more about the importance of being still in a busy life. That couldn't have been more evident as I looked back though each post. Starting about September when school started I had less thoughtful posts and I'm sure it was directly connected to the increase in my busyness. I don't thrive on being busy and the older I get the more stillness I enjoy. It allows me to better recognize my blessings so that I can truly receive them and that is not a gift I want to give up lightly.
Well, I guess I had to find somewhere to end this since I could just keep writing, as this is really only a handful of things that stood out to me as I went back through a years worth of posts. And until right this very moment I really wasn't sure why it was these particular things that I chose. But like everything else this year, I guess this too was a lesson for me. And to be really honest, I'm in tears right now because even though I don't always believe in myself, I see that God does and He never gives up on me. I just realized that with the posts I chose from this last year, Keeping Boundaries, Who's There, Taking flight and A Still Moment in a Busy Life, that He is trying to tell me something. I think He is asking me to be still enough to recognize which door(s) to
walk fly through, using the wings he gave me to soar above the boundaries I put in my own way.
Continuing in a forward motion is important, even though I may be stumbling and I need to use the wings
He gave me to get there wherever that may be. And it's in my looking back that I see the distance I have traveled and by not standing where I have always stood, things are starting to look different.
From my heart to yours, thank you for picking poppies with me!
P.S. What do you know now that you didn't know last year?
Is there something that helped you see differently?
P.S.S. You're a rock star if you read this whole thing!! ; )