Has it really been a year?
Next week marks my one year anniversary of returning to Iowa from a three-month sabbatical of sorts in beautiful Myrtle Beach, SC.
As I write, I am staring out my kitchen window at the frosty, snow-covered tundra that is, heavy sigh, my back yard,
A mere 259 days ago or so (but who's counting) I was -- in early DECEMBER, mind you -- still blissfully strolling along a beautiful sandy beach, leisurely picking up sea shells tossed up by the Atlantic Ocean...and wearing a swimsuit (something I no longer do in Iowa, even in the mist of a scorching summer).
Yeah, it was a tad brisk -- for Myrtle Beach. But for this long-time Iowa gal, it still felt warm and wonderful.
As one might imagine, there was a bit of an adjustment to make upon my return to land-locked and chilly-bon-billy Iowa. No more ocean sunrises, no more leisure strolls along the ocean looking for shells...
If there is such a thing as beach withdrawal, I suffered from it.
But not for tooooo long.
For in the midst of last winter I discovered in me, not only an invincible summer (apologies to Albert Camus), but a passion for capturing via camera Iowa's beautiful sunrises -- and sunsets -- and a host of wondrous and soul-lifting gifts which Mother Nature has richly bestowed upon The Tall Corn State all year long.
In fact, I gave up writing and just started taking pictures of the beautiful Iowa landscape that surrounds me just outside my front and back doors. I didn't have to travel far. Up the street, over the next hill, a jaunt along one of our nearby tree-lined walking trails...
A thousand words a picture paints, they say. And since July, I've let my pictures do my writing. Mostly on Facebook. I did a lot of thinking, too, while out on those photo shoots. And slowly but surely, my beach withdrawal withdrew, and I discovered gratefulness and appreciation in its place.
Yeah, baby, it's cold outside here in Iowa. No swimsuits, no sea shells. But some new and heartfelt insights, inspired by the sea, yes, but also Iowa's beautiful land and breathtaking clouds.
(Gave the ol' Home Stretch a little makeover, as well!)
Time to write!