Sunday, August 13, 2017

The Secret Garden

When I am in the midst of struggle and feeling overwhelmed it is impossible for me to see an end to it. That was my year last year. We were on a week by week basis on making a decision about our dear golden retriever, Scout. His decline was so apparent, but nobody wanted to rush the inevitable. Our daughter was still living at home with her golden retriever puppy, Findley. I love Findley, but a puppy is a puppy, especially when I saw the constant contrast between him and 13-year old Scout. Our daughter was on the verge of making a job change, a much needed job change, but one that would drastically change everyones' schedules. I felt creatively empty.

It was this exact same time last year that I was able to sneak away with my husband for a couple of days up north. He had to go for work, and I was able to tag along and use the car during the day to go exploring with my camera. It was the break I desperately needed. While none of life's circumstances changed when we returned, at least I felt refreshed and renewed. Scout hung on until October, and then the decision was made for us, our daughter did change jobs and it was challenging, but we made it work, and thankfully Findley continued to grow up. 

Here it is exactly a year later and I find myself up north again with my husband, he again for work and me exploring the places I love with my camera. Many of life's circumstances have changed in this last year: Scout is gone, and we are dogless; our daughter moved out in February to her own place with Findley, she changed jobs one more time, and now has a stable schedule that allows her to provide for herself, go home at lunch to let Fin out and not work nights or weekends. 

I feel creatively alive this year, finally having time and space without having worry constantly nagging me. But I am most proud of myself for never giving up last year, I kept pulling my camera out every chance I got, I kept writing. Even if none of that is my best work, it taught me discipline and resilience which will get me through the next period of struggle and feeling overwhelmed, it is inevitable, it will come again. 

While we were up north and having drinks with one of my husband's coworkers, he showed me photos on his phone of this Secret Garden Lavender Farm. I made that my destination on our last morning away, what a peaceful, awe inspiring place at eight o'clock in the morning. 

What a difference a year makes. 


  1. Sometimes the right remedy is to get away out of town, the lavender fields sound perfect to me.

  2. Beautiful Sarah . . .
    Especially the reminder of "determination and resilience" . . .
    It brings us to soul filled gardens and life's rewards . . .
    Thank you for this Sunday Reflection . . .

  3. A wonderful post, Sarah. It makes me happy to see you in so much better a place than you were last year. It's also been inspiring to watch your determination to continue creating and growing through it all. Sometimes the best work comes out of the toughest circumstances.

  4. Your photos of the lavender fields are so beautiful. This great posts is a reminder that things can get better. We are dealing with our 8yr old Jack Russell who has lupus and polyarthritis which left her front paws deformed and her back legs weak. The lupus is under control thanks to a chemotherapy drug but we carry her in and out these days and I ride her in a buggy where we used to go for walks. So I fully understand your situation last year. I admire that you keep on with your photography while I put it aside for other pursuits. Your blog is inspirational and I'm glad that you share both the good and the bad of life. I'm glad things are better now for you and look forward to many more posts.

  5. What a difference a year makes indeed! This has been a year of changes for me too - my eldest son gets married next month and will move out, my youngest son graduated from University and is now supporting himself financially. Both happy occasions but we now have an empty nest which takes a bit of getting used to. Next year will be a time of rediscovering myself and starting in a new direction with my blogging and creative writing.

  6. What a great post, Sarah, and I am so glad that things are better for you this year.
    I hope it continues for you too, but no matter what, never stop making photographs.
    Your work is just beautiful.
    Have a great week!

  7. So many times photography is what gets me through the hard times of life. I'm so glad this year has been much better for you!

  8. A Secret Garden! The very name sounds exciting! All that wonderful lavender too. I agree that some years are more difficult than other. Getting out with out cameras, whatever our difficulties, can really bring us out of ourselves, so can writing.

  9. What a wonderful post, Sarah. And the lavender image... so beautiful, and such a perfect photograph for July. We have a few lavender festivals up here in the PNW, but I missed them all this year. Sigh...


Thank you so much for visiting today and taking the time to read my thoughts on life. :)