For this week’s weekly photo challenge (WPC), illustrating a narrow view, is my photograph of a bow thruster on an old salty boat. We were in Oxford, Maryland exploring boat yards. I believe it was at Hinckley Yacht Sales. If only bow thrusters could talk…the places this boat has been.
The main attraction of Oxford, in my opinion, is Cutts & Case Shipyard. It has everything from an old Indian Motocycle (original spelling) to beautiful old wooden boats. Nautical bits and pieces seem to fit beautifully in and among the grounds. Oxford also has lots of bunnies, cottages and white picket fences. The general store, library, and Post Office are all on the tiny scale and complete the town’s old timey vibe. I used to ride my bike from St. Michaels, hop the short ferry to Oxford and bike myself to a divey place on the water where I’d eat fried oyster sandwiches.
Cutts & Case Shipyard
Cutts & Case Shipyard
Cutts & Case Shipyard
Cutts & Case Shipyard
An Oxford MD cottage
Perfection is most elusive to me. I know better than to pursue it. And yet I try and try again eventually slapping my forehead remembering “oh right, I’m imperfectly perfect”! For a while I relax in this space, temporarily eluding my own ego pursuing absolute perfection. Perhaps I should send my perfectionist tendencies away…maybe they would like a trip to Paris. I imagine The Perfectionist in me as a cute smiley face wearing a french beret, navy and white striped t-shirt with a backpack slung over it’s shoulder. It’s arm is sticking out of the bus window, excitedly waving goodbye as the bus drives off to Paris. I have no desire to figure out how the bus will get across the ocean to Paris. I guess that means the visualization is working already. See you later Perfectionist. Now that The Perfectionist is away I can get back to realizing what a wonderful human being I am…even with what I perceive as sometimes less than perfect behavior. But there’s the inevitable all too human situation that appears. It’s the party. I dread parties. I know that makes me sound like a loser. I’m not. I just don’t enjoy parties. They’re work. Being perfect would sure come in handy for the upcoming party. Once again I’m face to face with desiring what eludes me. In this case, the party is a low key neighborhood happy hour. It’s really no big deal. So, instead of my usual introvert behavior standing at the appetizer table and eating my way through the party, I attempt conversation. It’s just never been my strong suit. Even in my career, I dreaded “the party”. My parent’s parties…friend’s parties. Especially wedding receptions (why are they so long?), showers (double ugh), happy hours (unhappy because usually in a noisy restaurant bar), the annual office holiday party (it’s easier but do NOT drink), and networking events. However, in this case, I like my new neighborhood and I decide to make a good effort during our casual, mostly not scary, outdoor happy hour. The later it gets the more I literally throw myself into conversations. It’s election season so the best analogy is that I came off as though I was running for office and kinda self-absorbed. No, really. In some cases it seemed I was nominating my husband for office. Immediately afterwards The Perfectionist caught the next bus back and I revisited those happy hour conversations for days. I want to run after those who witnessed my vulnerabilities translating themselves to my less than perfect obnoxious? behavior and words. “That’s not usually me” I want to tell them. But imagined conversations are very dissatisfying because they aren’t real. My dissection of the evening of now epic proportions is just silly. It begins to take up my meditation time, makes an appearance while I walk in the woods, while I’m on a bike in my spinning class, driving in my car, and as I’m writing this blog post. After many days, I’m too worn out to have regrets or embarrassment any longer. I land somewhere between “bite me” and “whateverrrr”. I remind myself who I am, of my uniqueness, quirkiness, my healthy introversion, and other very human personality traits. That’s the good stuff. I guess perfection is elusive for a good reason.
Where I feel most safe and most me. When I find it I exhale and smile. It’s when I’m walking in the woods. Sometimes it’s up at our cabin where I can spend endless hours watching sunsets, boats and ships and my beloved blue herons fly by.
Bacon Ridge Trail
Ducks along our shoreline
View from our cabin sundeck
1000 Islands sunset from sundeck
Snipe and Hemlock Islands
Thuya Garden Northeast Harbor Maine
It’s in my home office where I can write, meditate, and paint. Or, in our backyard sitting on our bench at the edge of the ravine. Most mornings it’s listening to music as I stretch through a few yoga poses. I’ve found it on vacation in little places here and there. Noticing the way a sunbeam lights up a stairway and gate to what I imagine is a path to something wonderful. For many years, I found it on a Gulf of Mexico beach walking along the water’s edge admiring gulls and sandpipers and the occasional dolphins swimming by. Reading and napping to the sound of the waves softly rolling up on the beach. And even longer ago it was skiing to the feeling of pure joy and seeing nature’s beauty in the snow covered trees. It’s especially at the end of the day as I fall asleep to protective arms holding me. My sanctuary is wherever I am. There’s no conversation. There’s just my thoughts that I’m learning to gently shoo away so I can enjoy being wherever…
I know better, but I’m human and sometimes I fall into taking for granted all of the abundance and wonderful experiences coming my way. It’s easy to see good fortune as just good luck, but luck has nothing to do with it. I prefer to look at good fortune as a gift. A couple of days ago we headed to our small and friendly local hardware store that also sells trees and shrubs. Over a month ago we purchased a lot of shrubs and plants from them and a couple of them didn’t survive my care. It appears I either over or under watered two Rhododendrons. They finished flowering and then their leaves started drooping and eventually dropping to the ground. The terrifically nice man that sold them to us, and runs the landscaping department, offered to replace them at no cost. Furthermore, he gave us a free tree, and three additional shrubs, plus the two we’re replacing all for the same cost of the original Rhodos. Wow! We always enjoy ourselves there and speaking with him and his assistants, and this particular day was no exception. We packed our Toyota to the brim with the five shrubs and one small tree and happily drove home with our new plant children. But the very next day, my husband and I were lamenting that we now have six holes to dig! Later on I caught myself complaining and really hearing this ungrateful thought. Once again I realized what a wonderful gift we received and that it nicely allows us to stretch our budget. I apologized to what guides me, teaches me, and contributes so beautifully to my life. I’ve been feeling so in sync and lighthearted and everything is flowing so effortlessly. It’s no surprise that we would benefit from our visit the other day. As I enjoy more of my life, appreciate all that I have, it’s just natural that more and more of my life is enjoyable. Wonderful moments appear with greater frequency. It’s not luck. Luck truly has nothing to do with it. If I stop for a minute, remember and look around, I see there are many, many opportunities and experiences that are beautiful gifts. Including the clarity I received around this experience.