In The Streets of Lyon

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I recently went to France and stayed in Lyon as my last stop. It is a beautiful city and is the third largest city in France. I did not realize that walking about the city might lead me into neighborhoods that were not friendly to people who were not of their same religious beliefs. (I do think there should be an app for that, by the way.)

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Stunning City Art

I am a firm believer in not talking about religion, politics, or weight. With that being said, I was so filled with the evil feeling that I received, I decided to write a poem about my experience. (That’s how I attempt to settle things in my mind.) I’m going to share the opening and closing stanzas with you. There are eighteen stanzas in-between as the opening and the closing stanzas are mirror images of each other.

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Swans on the Rhone River

I walked the streets                                                                                                                          Of grand Lyon                                                                                                                                    In a place,   I,                                                                                                                                Should not have gone,      

The evil that                                                                                                                                          I found that day                                                                                                                                 Is not a thing                                                                                                                                     To wash away                        

This sleeping world                                                                                                                    Needs to awake,                                                                                                                                To realize                                                                                                                                      What is at stake

If you would like the other eighteen stanza’s you can make a request at bon73sc@gmail.com and I will be happy to supply the entire poem for you. I am putting this out today because, as much as I tried to resolve what I felt that day by writing this poem, those feelings are still very much with me. I just can’t seem to shake them. So the moral to this blog is perhaps, as we age, we should try to stay on the main streets (when in a foreign place) as we are traveling through life.

 

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Leaping Lavender

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When we visited France, we were a little early for the blooming of the lavender. I was excited to see this lavender in Avignon, but not so excited that I wanted to skip and leap through it. I am glad that this lady was excited to see it too. She even had purple on. It was an amazing sight to see.

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Leaping Lavender

I found myself settling for lavender doors and shutters and lets not forget the gorgeous red poppies that were blooming all about us. This world does come in such beautiful Technicolor’s.  

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Behind Lavender Doors

One of my favorite and most colorful times was when we took the electric boat up and down the Gorges de Verdon. Those blues of the water are some of my favorite colors and the day was so peaceful. Well, it was peaceful until the boat stopped and we had to paddle back to shore.

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Gorges de Verdon

All those pictures I take, every one of them tells its own story. That’s for sure! So now I’ll have Rod Stewart’s song running through my head for the rest of the day. I might have just planted that seed in you too. Hope your day comes in its own, very vivid, Technicolor.

Corals and Crimson

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With the recent large waves that have been crashing into the California Coast and Hawaii, I’ve been reflecting on the stillness that can also be found on the coast.  One of my favorite places is Half Moon Bay during very low tide and sunset.  There is a magical presence that I find there.  It revives my soul and calms my spirit.

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Copper Colored Bluffs at Fitzgerald Marine Reserve

I’ve also been thinking about the old saying, “home is where the heart is.”  I always thought that saying was referring to a structure but I think I was wrong.  Anywhere can be home as long as you find peace in that place.  Even fond memories can be home if they lighten your spirit, like the childhood memory of warm sand moving in-between your toes.  I find that I need to keep these pleasant thoughts close to me in this chaotic world that we find ourselves living in.

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Tidepools at Sunset

I want to share one other sunset that wants to linger in my mind.  It was beautiful and the company devine.  The whole trip was such a wonderful time.

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Etretat France

Waves are everywhere, pounding and changing the landscape but in my mind it will always look like this until I return again.  It was almost a bronze color and then in an instant it returned to grayish white.  This is one of the places my heart finds it’s home.  I never want to let go of those lovely memories.  I hope this stirs up some lovely memories that you want to hold on to also.

Far Beyond Normandy

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Lately I’ve been thinking about our trip to France a couple of years ago.  We walked down the Normandy Beach on an eerily still Fall day.  When you are there, you are consumed with thoughts of WWII and what those young men must have been thinking while being dropped off to perform an unimaginable task.  What is most remarkable, is that it is so very peaceful there now.  

Normandy Beach

Normandy Beach

While wandering around Paris, we happened upon a very large building with a glass roof, The Grand Palais.  I was told that tourists seldom get to see inside of this building, but there we were with the giant side doors standing wide open, and I was allowed to take a couple of photos.  It was immense and beautiful.

Surprise Opening

Surprise Opening

Around every corner was a gorgeous church and often the pipe organ would be playing.  Music is the most amazing universal language.  I wish that everyone around the world would be touched by the spirit of lovely music.  I don’t think that all people seek peace in their lives.  I am so sad about the events that occurred in Paris this past week.

One Peaceful Universal Language

One Peaceful Universal Language

With that being said, I think the world could use a little more things to celebrate and be light-hearted about.  You can find this happy frog in the pond at the Schramsberg Caves near Calistoga.  We went there with some friends a bit ago and had a remarkably memorable day.

More Bubbles Please

More Bubbles Please

It’s on days like that, when I realize that my little life, in my little piece of California, is quite lovely.  I hope that, wherever you are, your life is peaceful and lovely too.

Giving Thanks

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That’s not a very original title, now is it, given this is the week of Thanksgiving.  I’m going with it because I have so much to be thankful for.  I gave the eulogy last Saturday at my mother’s celebration of life.  I did not realize the weight that I was carrying around in anticipation of fulfilling my duties in this regard.  I feel light as a feather, except for those odds and ends that I still must look after.  Light as a feather, as if I could fly.  So here is the photo that popped in my mind when I thought about having photos of feathers.  It was a lovely day that we spent in Monet’s Gardens and I remember it well. 

Bird in Monet's Garden

Bird in Monet’s Garden

The truth is, you don’t need to go to France to be filled with the wonder and the beauty that surrounds us everywhere.  I took this shot last Sunday in the Napa Valley.  It was an amazing day.  It was different than Monet’s Garden but equally as lovely and well-tended.

The Covering of Fall in the Napa Valley

The Covering of Fall in the Napa Valley

So I am hoping that everyone who reads this blog has the loveliest of Thanksgivings ever.  We do have so much to be thankful for.

Stony Creek?????

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I don’t know what it is about Stony Creek, Connecticut; it seems to have fully pulled me in with its beauty.  I am so tempted to return, this summer, to take photographs of the quarry where my grandmother enjoyed viewing the water lilies as a child.  In her 1954 travelogue, there was mention of going for a walk to the quarry, but there were no photos of the lilies.  I think her travels may have been too early in the season to view them.  I’ve heard that it needs to be hot and humid for the lilies to be in full bloom.  Certainly in California, that is not the case.    

 

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Returning to the CT shoreline is completely compelling to me.  Being there when the humidity is high, is not nearly as attractive.  Is there anyone who could let me know the true story behind the water lilies and when they bloom on the east coast?

 

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It is times like these that I think, I never would have gone to France to get this shot next to Monet’s Garden if it hadn’t been for my sister-in-law, dumpster diving about twenty-eight years ago.  Her second grade teacher had passed away.  The teacher had never married and left her belongings to nieces and nephews who obviously had no regard for her things.  They had a dumpster delivered in front of her house and emptied her mementoes into it.  We happened to drive by and see that someone was going through those things in the dumpster, and we recognized her!  There was this lovely painting of a dome, that I brought home to reframe.  I did not recognize where it was, until I was at Union Square, in San Francisco, and I saw it again in a photograph.  I asked the artist where the photo was taken and he told me it was Sacre Coeur.  I needed to go to Paris, France.

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Here it is.  It was a rainy day but the views were still spectacular.  I also acquired a lovely lithograph on that dumpster day. I don’t know where that location is either, but when I figure it out; I’ll be going there too.  Below is the lily pond, at Stony Creek, in the fall.  I was hoping to find the lilies in bloom.  Wrong time of the year for me as well.  All I could see were spectacular fall colors and hundreds of lily pads fading away.

 

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Here’s where you can help me.  I know how many views I get on this site.  If you “like” this post this week, that will be a vote for me to return during the humidity to photograph the lilies.  If over half of the viewers like it, I’ll be sharing those photos with you by September.  There is something inside of me that feels like Grandma’s travelogue of photos would then be complete, as I would add the color photo to all her black and whites.  Should I or shouldn’t I go?

I must add one more thought; my sister-in-law has an adventuresome spirit.  I think sometimes it has rubbed off on me as well.  I know that there are many places on this planet that I probably would not have gone to, had it not been for her wanderlust.  So I want to say, “thank you for that, it has opened my eyes to our beautiful world.”