There were so many images from this session that I loved so narrowing them down for this blog post was a little tricky. Lucky for you, this l'il dilemma o' mine gave me a wild and crazy idea and it involves a teeny tiny contest of sorts. Here are the deets: if you guess my very favorite image in this series (and yes, even though they're all sooo lovely, there really is one that I love above all the others), you will win a
free Facebook profile pic mini-session from yours truly. This is what that looks like:
*3-5 fully retouched, artist-selected, web-sized images (72 dpi) for your online life
*if more than one person guesses the correct one, I will draw one winner
*one guess per person and it's helpful if you and I are going to be
in the same city at some point in the near future! ;-)
Ooh, this is gonna be FUN... luck o' the Irish to you, lads & lassies!
Oh, and in case you were wondering, I happen to know
that this girl is as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside.
The oft-quoted Mother Theresa once said "it's not how much you do, but how much love you put into the doing that matters." I've always loved that thought because it empowers you to do what you can, where you can, withwhat you have and, really, how hard can that be?!? It gives credence to the smallest of efforts and reminds us that the little things have their very own special import and meaning. Yesterday, with a desire to relieve some of the suffering in our own community, we headed out with a group of friends to do a little thing with a whole lotta love.
Bundled up in our motley winter attire, we made our way to an organic family farm just north of town to glean vegetables from the fields to be distributed to the poor and hungry. Under threatening skies (which eventually unleashed their rainy wrath upon us), we wrested perfectly round heads of cabbage from their leafy stalks and filled boxes upon boxes with a brightly-colored assortment of squash and pumpkins. When all was said and done, over 12,000 pounds of food was collected in several hours time. See how remarkable it is when the 'little thing' becomes the 'big thing'? I was also reminded that there is something uniquely satisfying about having such a direct physical connection to our food source. To see, to pick and to taste fresh produce in it's original state, still clinging to the vine, is it's own beautiful thing, but to do all that while providing sustenance for others gives the experience an even deeper dimension. As those boxes became more heavy-laden with the abundance of this season's yield, our hearts became adversely lighter, knowing that it meant fewer people in our community would go to bed hungry this Fall.
Giving thanks for every delicious morsel on my plate today.
Sorry for the radio silence over here. I'm on day 9 of an 11 day nutritional cleanse and it has literally and figuratively BROUGHT.ME.TO.MY.KNEES. One of the unexpected side effects of this 'cleansing' is that I have very little to no creative drive and that elusive thing called 'mental clarity'?? Yeah, none of that either. Big fat boo is all I gotta say about that. :-( For a person who really needs and craves a creative outlet on a daily basis, this is saying A LOT about where I am right now. Even though I know it's temporary, it also saddens me because I derive so much joy from documenting life with my camera. While I'm still in the midst of this cleansing wilderness of sorts, I wanted to jot down a few of my jumbled thoughts, lest I forget them once I've gotten some time and a very comfortable distance away from the discomfort and difficulty of this experience.
1. I have a fuller understanding and deeper compassion for the issue of hunger. I have worked through some significant and prolonged hunger in this cleanse and it has been very destabilizing for me. I have already begun to explore some ways that I can use this increased awareness to reduce hunger in my own community. Baby Step Number One: This Sunday, my family and I will join a group of friends to glean for food that's left behind in the fields after the harvest. All gleaned food will be donated to the Larimer County Food Bank. Baby Step Number Two: Join the fight against hunger by contributing in multiple ways to the Cans Around the Oval project:
2. I have a renewed appreciation for the abundance of food we all enjoy. The ugly truth of the matter is that I have been eating way too much food and truly appreciating and savoring far too little of it. I intend to be more mindful about this part of my life from here on out.
3. I have been struggling with a CRAZY complexity of emotions throughout this process. I've discovered that I'm more weak and vulnerable than I previously thought and yet I'm also paradoxically more capable and courageous than I ever thought possible. In one moment, I can be filled with an all-consuming self-doubt and in the next, I can have complete resolve about this challenge. I don't expect any of this to make sense. It's a messy and complex jumble of feelings and it's been like that pretty much every moment of the last nine days. Sounds like fun, no??
4. I embarked on this cleanse with a team of 3 of the most amazing women that I know: my mom, my aunt and my cousin (a.k.a 'Beth's Babes'). We intentionally named our team after the strongest woman we all know and come from: my maternal grandmother. I believe she's proud of us and I hope she is smiling down on us in the midst of this and hopefully having a good chuckle at our expense as well because we are ... well, how do I say this?? Um, let's just say ... flat out CRAZY for taking this on! These fabulous relatives of mine have been my rock and they are the ONLY reason I'm still in the game (and not in the looney bin!) on Day 9 out of 11. The most redeeming thing about this whole journey has been the reconnection, relationship-building and community that I have found in the three of them. In a word, priceless. Mum, Robyn & Farah ... thank you from the bottom of my cleansing heart for being the very bestest traveling companions a girl could ask for and, oh yeah, another thing?? NEVER let me talk you into this again, k?!? Two of the toughest days lie ahead of us. Somehow, we will overcome. Love and prayers to my little cleansing tribe!!
See the rest of you on the flip side with a full belly, a more functional brain and a much lighter take on life. Can hardly wait to be sharing beautiful images and coherent thoughts with 'all y'all' again soon! :-)