Posted in Spiritual Sundays

Spiritual Sunday: Some Things Are Sacred

Note:  I’m playing around with a new look for the blog since my previous theme has been “retired”.  Please excuse the construction until I get things figured out.  Thanks!  And with that, read on! 

Here’s some fine print about reading my Spiritual Sunday posts, should you wish to respect me.  🙂

This weekend I went camping with a group of friends. Right off the bat, I have to say that camping (especially when you accompany it with hiking) isn’t ever something I would choose to do on my own.  It’s all instigated by my hubby.  My first camping trip was with him, and every camping trip I’ve been on since has been accompanied by him.

 That being said, I always find myself enjoying the camping trips.  There is definitely something to be said about being out in the “cheap showiness of nature” (as many put it), getting away from civilization to clear you mind, and getting back to basics.

 What I always enjoy the most by far, though, is the company these camping trips keep.  It is my sense of community, my coming together at a common table, my sense of a congregation.  For a moment in time, people from all walks of life come together and share a common experience and share stories.  It’s a beautiful thing.

 When I first met my then-boyfriend, now-husband, he gave me the much-cherished gift of allowing me into a group of friends and family who made a tradition out of going camping at a friend’s property in the middle of a lush, verdant, isolated valley twice a year (in the spring and fall).  I attended these camping trips for ten years, until, like all good things, it came to an end (the property ended up getting developed).

 It was a bittersweet goodbye:  I was thankful for the memories and the wonderful friends I had made over the years, but I was so very sad that I wouldn’t be able to come back to the beautiful region and see those people year after year anymore.  We made a halfhearted vow that we’d figure out a way to resurrect it, but as of now, three years after the fact, it hasn’t happened.

 During those camping trips, we had our rituals.  Out of respect to the event, I won’t divulge all of them here.  In addition to those rituals, there were things I looked forward to seeing every year, like an old long-distance friend that you rarely get to visit but fall quickly into routine with after reconnecting.  They came to be symbols of calm for me—constants I could count on to be there each and every time I visit.  Such a contrast to my ever-changing world when I’m not camping.

 You can only imagine, then, what a trip down memory lane it was when similar symbols appeared during this most recent camping trip.  It was neither in the same place nor with the same group of people (which I’ll get to later), but the similarities struck me just the same:

*Wooded mountain view
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Present

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Past

*Nearby creek

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Present

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Past

*Secluded, easy-to-miss road to turn off on that leads to campground next to horses

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Present

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Past

I didn’t realize until right at that moment exactly how much I missed the people and the place from the past. The strength of the emotional longing struck me so hard that tears came to my eyes and I had to take a minute to compose myself.

 The second night of the camping weekend, I remember looking up and just marveling at the multitude of stars in the clear night sky above.  It was yet another similarity, and I brought it up to my husband.  He suggested something that sounds so simple, but with so much meaning: A night walk.  Just a leisurely stroll, all flashlights off, guided only by starlight while we trudged down the dirt road a few feet to the pavement road.  A walk where we’d point to a specific star in the sky, strike a pose, and stay frozen in that position on the side of the road until a car passed by.  A walk where, sometimes, because we knew just how rarely a car drove on it, one of us from the group would lie down in the middle of the road.  One where the rule was you had to have a drink in hand while walking.

…one where we only ever did it at the camping trips that I reminisced about; the camping trips of days gone by; the camping trips that will never happen again exactly the same way.

 I hold those particular camping trips very close to my heart. They were the camping trips I very much came to be an adult in, the ones where, no matter what, I was accepted just as I am and I was expected to do the same to others.  The ones where I entered a complete stranger and left feeling like I was a part of a family.  Those camping trips—and the rituals that came with them—are ones so special that they can only be done in the circumstances I remember fondly, no other place. Which is why I had to take a moment of pause before answering my husband:  “I’m sorry.  I can’t.  Some things are just sacred.” He needed no other explanation.  He just took it at face value, gave an understanding nod, and went on with the rest of the night.

 As for me, I sat back and enjoyed the rest of the camping trip, letting the whispers of the past comfort me and wondering what new traditions would be born from what we were doing in the present.

To Holding Things Sacred and Creating New Traditions,

Violet

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Posted in Written Word Wednesdays

Written Word Wednesday: Crossroads (Daily Post Prompt)

From The Daily Post:

Life is a series of beginnings and endings. We leave one job to start another; we quit cities, countries, or continents for a fresh start; we leave lovers and begin new relationships. What was the last thing you contemplated leaving? What were the pros and cons? Have you made up your mind? What will you choose?

Photographers, artists, poets: show us CROSSROADS.

Isn’t it interesting how certain prompts come at just the right time?  This feels like one of those times.  Then again, I have the feeling that no matter what point of life I was at, this prompt would be appropriate.  People are always going through transitions, making decisions that create changes that are both big and small.

Right before I sat down to write this post, I replied to an email from a friend I hadn’t heard from in about three years.  We (actually I) reestablished contact about a month ago, and our subsequent back and forths, though slow to come, have been consistent.

I’m not gonna lie.  Those three years of no contact were rough.  This was a person whom I’ve considered one of my very best friends for over ten years.  To have a contact and confidant like that taken away can be quite the shock to system, and I was no exception.

That brings me to today’s prompt.

I’ve contemplated leaving the relationship, the attachment I had to this friend, leaving behind the memories of the past since they were too painful to recall.

One of the biggest strengths I think I possess, at least when it comes to my relationships, is that I’m fiercely loyal.  Sometimes, though, I’m loyal to a fault.  I stay loyal even when I’ve been hurt, long after the other person in the relationship remains loyal to me.  Perhaps it’s because I’ve moved so much in my life so I fight hard to have any semblance of a constant in my life, including relationships.  Maybe it was something I was taught–after all, my family comes with me everywhere and I remain loyal to them, even though we inevitably get on each other’s nerves.  Maybe loyalty is just in my nature–I give what I expect in return.

Unfortunately, I don’t always get that loyalty in return, and I feel as if that was the case in this friendship.  Somehow, somewhere along the line, distance took its toll and contact was broken.  Keep in mind, the friendship was long distance for years already, and that didn’t seem to cause problems in the past.  I don’t think it was really a transgression on anybody’s part; I just think laziness set in and there simply wasn’t enough care to keep in contact.  I’m guilty of the same when it comes to other friendships, I must admit, but I’ve been trying to make up for it.

Pros and Cons:  Ah, the ever-popular pro and con list.  I’ve been known to write pro-con lists many pages long, especially when it came to big decisions.  Weirdly enough, though, I didn’t write one for this particular big decision.  I think putting the words onto paper would make it real that I really thought hard about ending a relationship that had meant so much to me.  I just don’t think I was ready to face that quite yet.  But here I am, and here I go:

 PROS:

  1. The freedom of letting go and not allowing the situation hurt me any longer.
  2. Letting the other person move on with their life (which I don’t think I need to try so hard to do, as it seems as if they’ve moved on long ago).
  3. Learning that I’m strong enough to let go.

CONS:

  1. Pain.  Lots.
  2. The lingering knowledge of how I could’ve tried harder to save it, and feeling like maybe I failed.
  3. Not having that friend in my life anymore (again, not that this person is much a part of my life anymore anyway).

Have you made up your mind?  You know, every time I think I’ve made up the decision to leave, memories of how good the friendship was come and attack my mind, and my loyalty gives in and I can’t quite let go.  Horrible, isn’t it?

What will you choose?  I’ve chosen to work on reworking the relationship in a way that I’m not left disappointed.  This was largely inspired by the advice my hubby gave me when I told him how frustrated and hurt I was by the situation.  I’m learning to let go of any expectations, seeing any contact at all as a pleasant surprise.  And you know what?  It’s been working.  The sting of it all is slowly going away, and I’m keeping my propensity to care too much in check.  This makes for some highly impersonal emails from me, and that’s just going to have to be okay for the time being, and possibly even forever.  And if contact is lost again?  I will be thankful for the gift, and (try to) graciously let it go in love.

***

I have so many other things I’m considering letting go, and maybe I’ll discuss them at a later time.  This was just the first thing that came to mind.  🙂

To Learning How to Let Go Gracefully,

Violet

Posted in Fashion Fridays

Fashion Friday: It’s Never Too Late for Love

Ahem… *tap tap tap*

is this thing on?

Hi Dear Readers!

It’s been awhile, hasn’t it?  In fact, a little over half a year has passed since my last post!  Holy moly!  Well, no time like the present to get back into the groove, right?  I have to say that I fell in love with this blog over the months that I developed it.  So it’s never too late to rekindle it.  Mostly because blogs don’t judge you back or talk back to you, much like journals.

Anyhow, that’s not the real reason behind my title (though that was convenient, wasn’t it?).  This is a late Valentine’s Day outfit post.  Like many who shun or are not fans of the holiday, I agree that love shouldn’t be a one-day thing.  It should be an all-year thing.  As such, it’s not too late for Valentine’s Day outfits, because wearing outfits that make you feel fabulous shouldn’t just be a one-day thing.  Ignore the fact that this picture was taken on actual Valentine’s Day and that I’ve since been a bit too busy and lazy to wear anything too fancy since that day.  That needs to be remedied.  Starting tomorrow.

I really hesitated to go all-out passionate heart day outfit this year.  Don’t get me wrong; I love outfits that are well-suited for the day of love.  In fact, I recently put as a Facebook status that I wouldn’t mind dressing like it was Valentine’s Day every day of the year.  I love clothing in all iterations of Valentine’s Day:  hearts, red, lace, sexy, purple, pink, cute, feminine, girly, graphic tees with love birds or perfume bottles.  I soak that cheese up, because it just makes me smile when I wear it.  For some reason, though, I didn’t want to scream Valentine’s Day.  So this year, I decided to only have a tiny bit, by way of a rose at the waist:

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Oh, and you can’t really see it here, but my tights are also red (burgundy, actually).  I’m also pointing to my awesome Valentine’s Day present from the hubs in the second picture.  Have you guys ever heard of Origami Owl?  I’ve been singing their praises ever since I stumbled upon them at a convention.  I love them!  Anyhow, here’s a closeup of the chain and charm he got me:
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Isn’t it amazing?  He did all kinds of awesome for me that day, but seeing as this is a fashion post, I’m continuing on.

The day before Valentine’s Day, I held a “Gal”entine’s Day crafting night with a couple of my friends, and it was a blast.  I like any excuse to get together with my loved ones, so this was just the icing on the cake.  We had some yummy treats and great conversation, then made Valentines, Hershey kiss roses, and painted our nails.

For that occasion, I did a more subdued and casual Valentine’s Day look:  gray corduroys, red t-shirt, comfy and fuzzy cowlneck lavender sweater, and some red heart jewelry to top it off.  That outfit I didn’t actually get a picture of.  I did, however, get a shot of the nails that resulted from Galentine’s Day:

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Now’s usually the time in my post where I tell you what colors all the polish is, and also what brand all the components of my outfit are and/or where I bought them.  But seeing as it’s getting late and I’m slowly dipping my toe back into the blogging world (and also my hubby has been patiently waiting to use the computer), I’ll just leave it at this.

I’ll be back tomorrow, though!  How were your Valentine’s Days?  Did you do anything fun?  How did you dress?  Do you like to incorporate red?  Or do you celebrate Singles Awareness Day and wear all black?

Love, Hearts, Fluff, and Glitter (in the best possible ways!!!),
Violet