Wall art in all its glory (Alberta Arts District, Portland, OR ~ November 2017)
I watch in amusement as the squirrely, tattooed driver (with an apparent love of country music) bobs up and down in his seat on the old, rugged school bus. The humid Texas air is whipping through my unforgiving hair. Bandera, Texas to be exact. A town I never even knew existed before this day in late July.
We make a quick turn onto yet another dirt road before the bus comes to an abrupt halt. The driver hops up and leads all of us eager passengers out of the bus before unloading the large blue tubes that will serve as our transportation for the next two hours down the Medina River.
The water is unusually low this summer, which is somewhat of a blessing for our particular group of inexperienced “tubers”, but unfortunate for our feet, which would end up propelling us through part of our course.
After our sloppy decent down the embankment and into the warm, shallow water….we began to find our groove (if I’m being generous). As I situated myself in my tube enough to find a happy medium between relaxed and efficient, I looked forward at the long stretch of still water, and then up. All I could see were rows and rows of tall, charming Cypress trees lining and hovering over the river, with peaks of sunlight flooding through. No sounds but the trickling of the water through the rocks and the slight brush of the trees.
In the day’s leading up to this excursion, my son’s and I spent a lot of time in San Antonio; a city with no shortage of people and things to do. This was the biggest vacation to date I have taken with the boys, including their first airplane flight, to visit my Sister in her new location.
If you have kids, you know that family vacation’s are a wonderful time to build memories, but also a lot of work. But in that moment, on the river tucked away from everything mainstream and distracting….all we had to do was float. Just float and move forward at our own pace.
And sometimes, that is all our soul needs.
My moto “live a colorful life” (Color Factor, San Francisco – February 2018)
Bookworm (Powell’s Bookstore, Portland OR 2018)
Like leaves in Autumn,
sure to kiss the ground
in a pit full of turmoil
is where I was found
They know of their fate
and yet colors they bare
I pick myself up.
I breathe new air.
Like leaves in Autumn,
making way for the new
sometimes after the fall,
comes the clearest view
Like leaves in Autumn
that change and depart
we shine, we crumble;
transformation is art
Autumn in all it’s splendor (Vancouver, WA 2017)
I’ve been reading a lot about friendships and relationships in general. The type of people we allow to affect our lives, our beliefs, and ideas. Who we choose to spend our precious time and energy on. Slowly but surely, we become like those we are around the most. It is up to us to do an honest assessment of whether those we are closest to serve as a “fountain” (positive reinforcers who support our ideals and end goals), or a “drain” (negative reinforcers who want us to stay stagnant to benefit their own complacency and inability to handle the growing pains associated with furthering oneself in life). And that certainly goes both ways; we also need to evaluate what sort of person we are and the impact we have on others by our words, actions, and the ideas we perpetuate. Like anything else in life, it’s about finding balance; allowing ourselves to be a valuable resource to others, and a listening ear when need be…but not so much that it affects us negatively, dampens our desire to be and do more, or dulls our disposition. Life is short and we should never apologize for being picky about how we spend it and who we spend it with.