Yesterday, my daughter and I took off for a day of togetherness and a teeny tiny hometown adventure away from the same ole, same ole of junk rehab and internet activity. Okay, I did spend a couple of hours adding another coat of white to the "beast" to try and mask the smell of that primer (yea, it helped!), but that was the extent of my project work for the day.
Yes, the day away served, in part, as a good excuse to put off the decision about the final color. I like to think this white coat is a necessary step to cover the brown that keeps seeping through, but in reality, it's also serving as perfectly good procrastination time.
I ran out of paint before I was done anyway, as seen above, that is, after we made tracks for the ocean and before we went out in search of food and a shopping excursion.
At the edge of the Atlantic, we walked a little ways, sat with toes in the sand, took photos (me of waves, I'm fascinated by them) and Casey took pictures of our feet and did a rather unkind exposé of my rear as I bent over in search of sea glass in the surf. (A zoom lens in the hands of a child, even at 19 can be unfortunate.) I will spare you the atrocities evidenced therein. The images have been deleted for all time, except from my mind. Unfortunately, what has been seen cannot be unseen.
It was relaxation, togetherness and a bit of time away to do things differently, that's what it was.
Distance = kindness. I made her back waaaaaaay up.
Is it just me, or is this some cute seaweed. You didn't know seaweed could be cute?
Leaving the beach, we crossed the street to walk the path in the nature area that leads to a lookout tower. We wanted to see what kind of view we might find. We'd have preferred to climb the Jupiter Lighthouse further North, but we will save that adventure until one day at sunset.
The walkway starts out shady and winds through a canopy of trees and greenery, opening to a wide sky and a vast scrubby old Florida landscape that I had always thought of as barren and ugly in my youth (the same view I now often prize as beautiful in a sentimental way).
I truly despised Florida for this as a kid. People up North had it going on, I was convinced, lush scenes of hills, mountains, towering fruit trees, berries that could grow in the back yard, snow, fields of flowers, barns, colorful birds we didn't have. I always felt we in Florida got the shaft, obviously failing to count the blessings of the ocean and the blues skies and the joys of sunshine on the skin and seaspray in the hair.
There was lots of this...
...and some of this.
Weathered, stripped and lonely
Beauty lies at the feet of this old battered trunk in a dry unassuming scene, but is hardly noticeable unless you stop to take heed of the tiny specs of color sparsely scattered across the seemingly boring ground cover and get in close.
As we neared the "tower" we could see the ocean. This area is on a dune, the closest thing to a hill for miles and miles, so it's not really all that high.
It was sweltering out, and the mundane scenery wasn't doing much for me despite my connection to it through the years and the fond memories made here as a child. The pamphlet showed beautiful colorful flowers, but just walking the path, you would be hard pressed to believe the photos were taken here. So I pressed...hard. I began to walk slowly and look closely. From a distance, some of the plants appeared to be barely more than just another patch of tolerant plantlife, trying to make it where gusty salt spray and an overabundance of sunshine rule the land.
However, as with so much of life, what is hardly noticeable from a distance or with a sweeping glance is altogether intriguing up close. Thank heavens for the eagle eye and focus of a zoom lens.
This beauty reminded me of little twinkle lights, and you know how much I like those.
A humble weed, but rather striking when made the subject of a photographic study.
I caught this bevy of beauties sunbathing along the way.
So much character in a simple tree limb.
Dry and feather light, ready to fly away with the breeze.
This one chose to wear red today instead of green.
Delicate and reaching.
A waterfall of intricate lace.
We made it to the top and the tower turned out to be no tower at all; it was merely a covering with benches that lined the perimeter on three sides. What a let down.
We wanted to climb! We wanted a towering adventure that wowed us with a vast and beautiful glory as we looked out across the ocean! Instead we had to stand on the benches to even see much.
Despite this deflated end to the trail, what we got along the way was exploration, the adventure of a good walk (me running to catch up to Casey after stopping constantly to zoom in on all the plant life - exercise that those butt shots argued a need for), and a close-up look at the hidden vignettes God has created, each a work of art. Up close, they are every bit the beauty I was looking for on our little adventure.
Yet, if we pull back, we're liable to see the whole of it; something unsightly sitting off to the left, an unfinished piece of furniture quietly waiting out the days against the wall, collecting dust and maybe fading as it longs for attention, great ideas in-process, and the less than appealing and/or downright ugly failures that need a complete redo and a whole lot of time I don't have at the moment. What one might see in the big picture could even appear as pointless and clumsy as a giant dry, shaggy, brown sheep dog creature does on the Juno Dunes...
...yet within and around those ragged and silly silhouettes are the beautiful sparks of God's creativity busting open wide in small and large measure, adding to the colorful undercurrent and the overall scenery of life... and they do manage to make us smile.
Caught in the sunlight, this seagrape leaf lit up and struck a pose for me.
I suppose it's all a work in progress, and I am always in the middle of something. With every completed projected comes the mess, the dreary work that gets me there; the shaggy, the dry and dark, the muddled and even the shocking, risky choices that burn the eyes and embarrass the family. Quickly squelched, I bury the evidence and move on, learning lessons and hoping next time I'll be more savvy.
Rising up on the heels of all things lovely is something hideous to be battled and beaten into beauteous submission. It doesn't help that I bring "ugly" into the scene at every turn and create scenarios whereby perpetual construction or reconstruction hang out just at the edge of each and every something new and glorious.
Again, I present...the Beast and its messy entourage. Ha! I just noticed the ad on the newspaper there on the floor - NO SURRENDER. How fitting! I will not give into the beast!
Painful color decisions
Those who would pass over my front porch step and into my world in the hopes of witnessing rooms to ooh and ahh over would do well to consider another sort of beauty; that being the thrill of junk adventure and the triumph of taking "the bruised and battered", restoring and remaking them into something usable or charming or with a distinctively sentimental connection to the past.
I am not sure if the stuff of sweeping, glorious magazine layouts will ever be wrapped up and sitting unmussed in all its fresh loveliness at my house. What we do have here are the moments, the glory, the pain and the little sparks of hoopla and triumph that come with creative endeavors and Quirky Vistas.
Focus if you must, wear blinders if you are afraid, but the good stuff's posed and waiting to be noticed, up close and individually, one by one, if not altogether in panoramic view. These vignettes of life at home are ready for the zoom lens. They aren't shy. If you catch them on a bad day, no worries, it's all a part of their story.
That's the story of the "profound" hiding out and living right here under the guise of our "ordinary".
Stick around and you will see the tale unfold.
I'll be sharing at