As I was driving in South Jersey earlier this week, I couldn’t help but notice this fantastic view. I pulled over to the side of the road and grabbed a photo. To me, it is a reminder that behind all of the dark clouds in life, sunshine and blue sky are always there waiting for the darkness to pass.
The view of a sunrise from my hotel window in Virginia Beach, VA in November, 2015. So peaceful, isn’t it?
These beautiful sunsets that I can view from my front porch are some of the best things about living in my neighborhood. Watching the sun sinking below the trees with a glass of wine in my hand is a great way to wind down from the day’s activities.
What do you see? I think I see an eagle.
My favorite place on earth is the island of Isola Bella in Lake Maggiore, near Stresa, Italy. I wrote about it HERE on this blog a couple of years ago. The gardens are lovely, and the beauty of the mountain views is undeniable.
However, it’s more than beauty that draws me here…it’s the way it makes me feel when I’m there—joyful, loving, peaceful—a place that brings me contentment unlike anywhere else on earth.
What about you? Do you have a place nearby or at a distance that calls to you to visit because it makes you happy and stress-free to be there?
These photos of the Cathedral and Bell Tower of Pisa were taken by my daughter, Sherri, on June 30, 2006. I still remember how uncomfortable the heat and humidity were that day as we walked through the tiny town of Pisa, Italy to get to the Campo dei Miracoli (Field of Miracles) where the cathedral and bell tower are located.
And yes, it really does lean, although apparently not as much as it did previously. According to the resources listed below, the tower began to lean during its over two hundred years of construction from 1173 to 1399. Various method of compensation and reinforcement continued over the centuries without much success until the late twentieth century.
When the tower was in danger of collapse in 1990, it was closed to visitors while engineers took on a major straightening project. This was completed in May 2001 after correcting the lean 19 inches (it leans about 13 feet at the top) and more importantly, stopping it from continuing.
Pisa got its name in 600 BC from a Greek word meaning “marshy land.” Apparently this is the reason for the problem with the tower and the fact that other structures in Pisa, including the cathedral, are sinking.
I was delighted to find two baby robins in my front yard earlier this week. I watched as the mother hunted worms while the father kept an eye on the family. One baby hopped around a little, and the other one sat waiting for food about fifteen feet away. I had suspected there was a nest in my yard for the past few weeks as frequently robins sat out front just looking around. They did a good job at hiding it because I never saw it when I was gardening.
Sad note: before this post was completed, my daughter saw a crow swoop down, grab one of the babies and fly off as the parents frantically followed him to a high tree across the street. I ran out to the front porch, and in a couple of minutes the robins returned squawking. I didn’t see the other baby. Soon the mother began looking for worms and suddenly flew over to the edge of my patch of lilies of the valley. Much to my relief, she dropped a worm into a little mouth. I didn’t know how or when the other baby was moved to this location, but it was an excellent spot to hide her treasure. I only hoped that the crow wouldn’t come back and watch what she was doing.
Today’s peaceful photo was taken in Ascona, Switzerland. Ascona lies near Locarno along my favorite body of water, Lake Maggiore. It is a small town that attracts tourists and artists and has lots of unique shops and outdoor restaurants. I would love to be sitting on that bench right now.
A typical photo of lovely Venice. I literally had to pinch myself here to make sure I was totally aware of being in this famous, magnificent city…to know that this truly was the place that poets describe in such eloquent terms and where the dust of the ages hangs so heavily in the alleyways that I could literally feel the energy of the past.
This Friday’s photo is of Lake Maggiore near Ascona, Switzerland. It was taken from a ferry that sails down the lake from Locarno, Switzerland several miles into Italy.
So many shades of blue, and yes, the water really was that color.
I’m starting a new feature on my blog which I’m calling “Photo Friday.” Each Friday, at least for the next few weeks, I will publish a photo. Perhaps a photo that speaks to the heart will help us all to begin to unwind from the week’s busy activities. For those of us who are writers, an inspirational photo can inspire creativity. I know that when I look at something beautiful, I become more expressive and imaginative. Of course, what speaks to my heart, and what speaks to yours, may be very different, but we’ll see how it goes. Enjoy your weekend!
Endings can be beautiful, too. What do you think?