Walking on Water

Last week, we were up on Bays Mountain in northeast Tennessee, hiking around the reservoir.

Much to my chagrin (which didn’t last long because I was enjoying the crisp air & colorful beauty too much), I didn’t have my Nikon with me.

Regardless, I happen to live in this wonderful technological age where I can pull an i-magic box from my back pocket and still share some of my glimpses with others. (All are unedited phonography.)

Here was the first event that pulled me to the water’s edge.

Because of the loss of resolution in my zoom function, my i-art looks a little Monet-ish.
But those of you who remember the Tennessee artist Ben Hampton will appreciate that I’ve added some of his artistic flair (a piece of wildlife that blends into the imagery). Did you spot it right off the bat? (No, sorry,didn’t mean to mislead you – it’s NOT a bat…)

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A coot in the lily pads

Here’s a broader view of the lily pads with brighter fall plumage on the opposite bank’s trees than on our silly little coot.

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And here’s our first crossing over the reservoir. It was awesome to walk across a field of lily pads!

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Here are a couple of other great shots of crossing more lily pad mines – exploding with fall’s magnificence!

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On the way out, we spotted a funky little fungus (or maybe just a fun guy – get it? Fungi. If you pronounce it with the j sound, you won’t get it…) He’d artistically blanketed himself with contrasting & complementary colors for his photo op.

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More proof that nature has great taste! (No, um, I wouldn’t suggest eating him.)

Falling for fall again, -jody

Weekly Photo Challenge: FORWARD

Pardon me for being FORWARD, but…

Life often offers moments of resistance, even in times that might otherwise seem fluid.
To navigate the waters of life, we often have to practice persistence, dedication, balance, teamwork, community, creativity, and sometimes, even a little friendly competition.

As food (not of the fish-food sort) for thought, I present you with a few
Methods for Moving FORWARD (in life’s waters & beyond):

_____________________________Remember…Moving ahead is always better than being a behind – – – jody

THIS POST WAS CREATED IN RESPONSE TO THIS WEEK’S WORDPRESS WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE: FORWARDshare a picture that says FORWARD to you.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Red & White

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This week your challenge is to show off a few photographs of Colors of Red, White or Red and White together.

Red-y to make her own White-water splash

Snapped this at the gas station because I thought the license plate was so cute.

Snapped this at the gas station because I thought the license plate was so cute.

A surprise addition to my desk on Valentine's Day

A surprise addition to my desk on Valentine’s Day

Hangin' out where the wild things are

Hangin’ out where the wild things are

Signing off...in red & white -j

Signing off…in red & white -j

Water – A Falls Fetish

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Okay, I’ll just admit it. I have a Falls Fetish.

Now before you go labeling me as a weirdo or kinky, let’s discuss the actual definition of this word, fetish – from somewhere other than the Urban Dictionary. I’m going to default to Dictionary.com:

fet·ish     /ˈfetiSH/

Noun

  1. An inanimate object worshiped for its supposed magical powers or because it is considered to be inhabited by a spirit.
  2. A course of action to which one has an excessive and irrational commitment.

Synonyms: idol – charm

I can’t seem to resist being drawn in by a waterfall. I’ll assume it’s the associated magical powers compelling me to come find it – – either that or my State Parks Waterfalls Google search. (One can never be too sure about these things.) Waterfalls do, after all, have a certain charm to them. And, on occasion, I’ve found myself being irrational concerning my commitment to get to one of them – sliding deep into a gorge, of which I’ve then had to spend an inordinate amount of time searching for muddy roots by which to pull myself back out; or perhaps dangling dangerously over a ledge to assure that some nosy tourist’s ear didn’t get in the way of my camera lens’ view. But I digress…

So there was this meet-n-greet at our church the other day, in which one of the new attenders mentioned that his wife had gotten him a waterfall map for our area, and I immediately began to either try to coerce him out of it or set up a hiking date. His wife seemed good with it – I think she understood the waterfalls were the actual attraction. Church – spiritual – maybe a little irrational in my course of action? See the connection with the actual definition that includes worshiping, spiritual inhabitance, excessive courses of action? Yep, it’s a fierce fetish.

And then there’s my novel, At the Water’s Edge. Bet you’d never guess that it has a waterfall in the setting that makes a wonderful centerpiece to an important part of the book’s context. Here’s Wil giving his Aintin Aoife (and now you) a worded image of this magnificent waterfall by his own memory’s recall:

“Me senses could na’ quite take it all in – the scents o’ the blossoms, the harmony o’ the waterfall with distant birds’ calls, the vibrant colors more powerful than any I’d e’er before seen, the warmth o’ the sun mixed with the refreshin’ coolness o’ the water. ‘Twas sech an awesomeness ‘bout it – ‘til I realized I was there alone. I had this fleetin’ thought then.  It occurred ta’ me that ‘twasn’t mech of a gift if I didst na’ have someone with which ta’ share it.”

So it’s by Wil’s cue (and Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge on Water) with which I share my own water submission today, as well as make the not-so-confidential confession of my own Falls Fetish. It’s been a gift for me to be able to share a few of my falls fotos with you!

Life’s uPS & DOwns (as depicted by Foster Falls)

Life is a series of        F                                   S
                                    A                              B
                                       L                        M
                                         L                    I
                                           S               L
                                               and   C

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Of losses and finds,

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Of crossing bridges to unknown sides…

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Of pondering ‘what ifs,’

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Of nearing cliffs,

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Of skips and slips and unplanned trips;

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                    Of well-planned goals

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                                                     that get filled full of H O L E S…yet –

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Our feet oft resound

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On stray paths found

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In our trials,  

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     (to our surprise!)

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 Where                 ‘breath-takings’                still abound.

 Foster Falls

 © 2012 jody love

 

May your climbs continue on well past when your life becomes crepuscular,

day is done

And may you become as grand as all your falls, viewed only through lenses of spectacular!

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Sharing my wonderful day at Foster Falls, -jody

***

In response to “Me Time” – What’s your ideal Saturday morning? Are you doing those things this morning? Why not?

Foster Falls is one depiction of how I like to spend my Saturdays, beginning in the morning and travelling through a breath-taking part of my day. Those pictures were not taken this past Saturday though – they were from the one prior – nor were they posted this past Saturday, as originally planned. As I awoke on this particular past Saturday, after a week-full of worries from colleagues over a perceived threat that began on Monday, a mid-week mass mall shooting that intensified those concerns, and then hearing the very sad & further heart-breaking news from my office on Friday afternoon of what had transpired that day at Sandy Hook Elementary (and being thankful the majority of my colleagues were already safely at home), I realized by Saturday morning that my “me time” needed to be my “He time.” As much as I enjoy it being our “we time” as I marvel at His works in nature, I spent some quiet time, instead, going to His Word. My own heart was torn, in need of healing. Less of me; more of Him. Then upon reading post after post filled with despair and searching for answers, I decided this particular Saturday morning might best be spent trying to put to pen the words I was personally applying as a balm to my own soul, as others tried to sort through it and find hope and healing. I wrote this post that morning instead, in hopes of sharing some of the hope of which I, too, was being reminded: A Mean and Less Life.

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Related Articles:

Weekly Photo Challenge: HAppY

Weekly Photo Challenge: Changing Seasons

Wild Weekly Photo Challenge: Water

Wild Weekly Photo Challenge: Texture in Nature

Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections

Sometimes my Reflections are of the personal “me” kind –

Who I Am

Who I Yet Wish to Be

Where I’ve Been

Where I Yet Hope to See

Reflecting on Where I would Frame my Home

Reflecting on Where I would Frame my Home

All These Dreams Are Locked Up Inside of Me

Self-Reflection of the Narcissistic Kind?

Self-Reflection of the Narcissistic Kind?

When I can reflect beyond myself –

Only Then Am I Truly Free

To Become…So Much More Than Me

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Others’ Reflections can be viewed here.

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Liquid: A Fount Full of Blessing

Wherever I travel, wherever I go
My God blesses abundantly, this I know.

Corresponds to the week’s Travel Theme on Liquid from Where’s my Backpack?

Man Pouring out Baptismal Blessings

Baptism is a sacrament. In a sacrament, God uses common elements — in this case, water — as means or vehicles of divine grace.

Nowhere do I personally feel God’s presence and grace more than when I’m meditating on His creation alongside one of our many Appalachian springs.

Nature Pouring out Baptismal Blessings

En-toe-taining Toesday

I’ve only been a part of this blogging community for a couple of months. That means I’ve finally set up my own house here, and now I’ve begun adventuring out into my community to get to know others better. Home, Sweet Home.

To do this, I’ve worked on a few enjoyable challenges lately and made some ‘get-to-know-you’ comments along the way; but this week, I’ve really spread my wings. I’ve come to find there are many engaging opportunities with open invitations to explore the possibilities. Beyond writing a haiku for The Cheeky Diva about LeClown’s great new haircut (read it here), I’ve also submitted a short story (then a poem on Take 2) for Traveling Marla (because I’m green with envy over her beautiful endless scarf – not really; I just did it for fun, but the scarf is lovely on her). My most triumphant feat (feet?), however, came when I shared a picture of my toes on toemail ! I found this idea, at first, to be so creative – to share places and experiences through toe shots; but then, as I looked over pictures I had taken of people, I realized how absolutely innovative it truly must be. Why, you ask? Because people don’t really care that much for toes & feet – these appendages get cropped out of a lot of pictures (at least, they do in mine)!

I just happened to have one (and apparently only one) that my sister snapped of me after I’d climbed some rocks to sit in one of my favorite places. I thought it was worth sharing the view. It’s at Fort Walton Beach in Florida (you can click here if you want to see it), which is a beautiful place. But that’s not really what I meant about my favorite place. I meant because I was hanging out at the water’s edge. It’s no great pic, to be certain, but I did like the way my feet looked like they’d been candy-coated in sugar (which is what those Gulf Shore sands remind me of). And I do always come back from there feeling a little sweeter! And, oh those beautiful emerald and turquoise waters…

 That picture reminded me that I do spend a lot of time at the water’s edge

(not only in real life, but often in my dreams and in my writings), so it’s not surprising that I would’ve been drawn to that same place for my first major writing project and would have given it that same endearing name – At the Water’s Edge. I have to say, the title’s so much a part of myself and that work, I’m pretty certain considering a change would be non-negotiable. It would be like saying, “I don’t like your kid’s name. Give him a new one.” Not gonna’ happen. And that’s truly not me being difficult. (Okay, maybe it is a little bit.) It’s mainly because, just like my own child, I know it well and know that name fits. The characters in that book have become precious to me; their stories are important to me; and the title of that book encompasses the importance of who (and why) they are. Even my characters wrestle with their own identities based in this context:

Danielle laughed at the innuendos being passed between the brothers, but her mind continued to ponder on Wil being a water sign. Isn’t that where she’d always met him? At the water’s edge.

 Here’s a different sort of edginess at the water.

Fall Gauley Gals

Here I am with our all-women crew getting ready to take on the Fall Gauley (Otherwise tenderly named ‘The Beast of the East.’) Hoo-ah! (I’m the tallest one in the group if you’re trying to locate me.)

You might have noticed from this and some past images that I have an affinity to whitewater too. Now that I’ve wrapped up At the Water’s Edge, I’ve entitled my current writing project, Rolling River. Its setting encompasses the early years of an eastern whitewater guide outpost start-up, circa 1980. I always said I’d be my happiest at a dream job where I could chase the world’s whitewaters as a guide throughout the year; so I’m going to dip my pen in the waters, experimenting from my characters’ perspectives. I figure, this way, all my research excursions can be tax-deductible. 😉

Don’t think I didn’t find a way to sneak the water’s edge (literally & literarily) back in.

Here’s a little snippet from Rolling River, of a quaint (and poorly cultured) ceremony used to induct new guides, as told from Cody’s (the narrating character’s) blind-folded point of view:

“Eric,” his voice boomed in the night, causing all voices of tree frogs and crickets and other critters to become still. The fire popping its sparks was the only returned sound. “Here, at the Tahoma…” (I would later learn that meant at the water’s edge and was how all good ceremonies or oaths started out at Rolling River) “…Qaletaqu, Guardian of the People…” (that was Herschel’s Indian name) “…hereby grants me, Metoskah, White Bear…” (I called that one. I definitely had no trouble seeing Big Mike named for a big, white bear, so it made sense whoever named him saw it too) “…with the authority to take you under my paw as my brother of the river, Istaqua, Coyote Man.” Apparently, Coyote Man’s blindfold had already been removed and White Bear was marking his face up with mud from the river. Then there must’ve been a head nod or some kinda’ sign, since Eric began to howl like a crazy man at the moon. It was obvious his name was gonna’ suit him just fine. We went through this again with White Bear giving Sammy the name Tatanka, for ‘bull’, and taking him under his paw, too. I could see Sammy, short and stocky, living up to being a decent bull, even though I didn’t hear him make any noises like I had Eric.

I feel a little here like Cody did at the water’s edge, as I’ve begun this new blogging adventure –

blind-folded to some of its customs, but ready to explore and seek out some awesome new adventures. I keep my online ears perked, trying to figure out some of this civilization’s established traditions, as though I’m an e-anthropologist of sorts. Why, I’ve even gotten my own persona, as have you, in which we’ve somehow experimented around and become inducted – like my humanTriumphant handle (that’s 80’s CB talk, in case you didn’t recognize it).

So thanks for allowing me to share a little snippet about myself today and the early stages of my journaling adventure here, as well as sharing in some engaging opportunities in this wondrous online community. Can’t wait to get to know you better!

Here’s to putting our best feet forward as we journey onward….

Toe-tally enthralled,

-jody

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And to get a little more in-toe-active…

How do you most enjoy becoming engaged with the blogging community? Or, better yet, what new thing about yourself are you willing to share? (Hey, there’s a comments section for that!)

Wild Weekly Photo Challenge: Water

Up a Creek

I’ve spent a large portion of my life in creeks.
(I’m told several people in our area have Creek Indian in their blood. Perhaps I, too, have a smidgeon – maybe that would explain it.) 😉

I’ve also found myself up a creek, a time or two or three or more, without a paddle. Rather than share the particulars of those life incidences with you, I thought I’d share a shot I took of my friend, Chief, finding himself in somewhat of the same predicament during a recent expedition. Now where is that Sacagawea when you need her?

Up a Creek Without a Paddle

Up a Creek without a Paddle

I’m grabbing my paddle & participating in the LetsBeWild.com Wild Weekly Photo Challenge.

This week’s Challenge is: Water.

Link here to get a Splash of the Wet & Wild Winners!