Sunday, December 17, 2006

A Day Off

Michael and I are finally getting caught up with the unprecedented amount of giclee prints ordered this holiday season. We actually took the afternoon off and visited a park that my dear friend Marilyn had told me about. It's called "Shalom" and it was exquisitely sacred and special. Gardens, forest trails, fish ponds and a mystical labyrinth combined with warm temperatures made for a very relaxing and introspective walk. And hidden in southwest Ocala.

A pond full of koi entertained us as we put quarters in a gumball machine that dispensed fish food. We came upon this tree while walking the labyrinth. It's called Wounded Tree and it had a great scar on the thick part of the trunk.

This is the other side of Wounded Tree which appears healthy.The metaphot deals with wounds experienced throughout life and how we persevere and strengthen as a result, and do we want to hide the scars or share the learning experience. If you've never had an opportunity to walk a labyrinth, it's a contemplative, meditative walk in which the physical action of walking aids in concentration. It connects the mind/body. There is one path into the center which usually has some sort of seat to rest and reflect. You return the same way you came. The path itself is as simple as this one today at Shalom or as intricately designed as a British maze.

I walk the labyrinth at my church, Oakbrook Life Enrichment Center when I'm feeling overwhelmed. I ask for an answer to whatever is troubling me and it's usually revealed by the time I'm finished. Their labyrinth is patterned after the elaborately designed Chartes Cathedral labyrinth.

There was an abundance of this Florida indigenous bush call Beauty Berry. It's a gaudy food source for certain birds who then poop this brilliant fuscia color on your car.

I can never resit photographing a group of horses, especially in waning light. On the way home from Shalom park, we drove by this clan and I got lucky enough to shoot them before they noticed me. The challenge of photographing horses on farms is to be quick, before they spot you, which will inevitably peak their curiosity and they will begin to walk towards you ruining the composition. Their heads turn to you as they say to each other: "Oh look, visitors."

I wasn't as lucky with this photo. It was a horse and this piggy sharing a hay bale together. The horse immediately walked over to greet me. The pig was less interested.

Oh gawd, not another sunset photo. Humor me - winter sunsets in Florida are always spectacular. Tomorrow I get back into the studio to work on just such a fou-fou painting.

No comments: