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The question is not what you look at, But what you see.

The question is not what you look at, but what you see ~ Henry David Thoreau.

Pretty flowers, right? Yes, I think so. But they aren't just any flowers, these are flowers I planted from seed and grew this year. I have never grown flowers, only vegetables. I'm not sure why other than a deep seeded need to grow only "useful" items. Wow, how I have been missing out. Not only are they "useful" as they are calendula that I use in my products, but they make me happy to look at, I think that's pretty "useful." I also am growing teddy bear sunflowers this year.

It makes me happy to look at my flowers; but when I am watering them, I don't just see pretty flowers. I see the fruits of my labor, I see poetry in motion, I see the beauty in it all.

I have been slowing down a lot lately to do just that: seeing the beauty in it all. Life. Flowers. People. Lessons.

When Mike & I were in Bennett Springs for our annual fishing trip we took our usual walk. We always take walks. We admire the nature all around us, one up each other.. I mean quiz each other on flower and weed identifications, look for pollinators and I take pictures, all the time. This year there has been so much rain that the wildflowers are in mass abundance. They looked different to me. I wasn't just passing them in admiration, I was truly studying the intricacies of each type.

What I was looking at was wildflowers, what I saw was abundance, beauty along with some imperfections (perfect imperfection by the way) and what I felt was awe. Awe is a relatively rare state for me as I am always thinking, always in my head, rarely in my body. Not this time. I was present, in my body, out of my head and in awe. I am going to print these photos I took that day to help me reach that state again if I am having trouble getting there.. it's often hard to get there.

It wasn't just the wildflowers, it was the essence of it all, the sky, the fields, the trees, the birds, the sky...

This fishing trip is a memorial trip that we take to honor and celebrate the life of Mike's son that passed in 2007. Each time we go it special. This year though, I really felt that not only Michael, but also Mike's parents that have also passed, are so happy that Mike and I are continuing this family tradition.

Maybe this awareness I felt this time was due to this state of awe I was in, that beautiful state of being out of one's head and into one's body.

With the summer solstice comes the height of all things in full bloom. Our garden is thriving

Enjoying all the frogs and toads this unusually wet June brought

We have been blessed with healthy calves

As usual, some beautiful skies while sitting on the porch.

Some quiet horse time

Fires on cool nights

Enjoying the bees

And attending a Summer Solstice party at an amazing nearby farm

And.... cutting/trimming lots and lots of grass

While this summer has been abundant and I feel so grateful for it all, there have been challenges as well. There's always going to be challenges. The way I handle those goes with the flow of "the question is not what you look at, but what you see."

It's what I say and preach (mostly to myself) "it's not what happens, but how you react." I think that walk in the woods recently, when I stopped thinking about the flowers and really looked at them, the "awe state" I previously mentioned, has been the exact same pause I have used to help me between stimulus and reaction. Do I do it every time? Nope. But I am getting better. I am a work in progress, we all are.

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