Lens-Artist Challenge #119 -My Hideaway

I have been missing my weekly early morning outings out in the country with no destination and no agenda. Just photography gear in the back seat and friend Julie along for companionship. Two women, both very comfortable with silence, communing together with whatever we saw on the horizon or along the road. Long lengths of quite time just being with the sounds, smells and sights that are experienced away from the human world.

I knew what I enjoyed about it but I don’t think I totally understood the significance that this solitary time in nature had for my very being. I seemed to know it was important but not just how important until I no longer thought it possible to find after some changes and losses. The pandemic continued, social issues peaked in importance, politics became crazier and my craving became more intense. Jim and I went out several times but I wasn’t able to get in touch with what I needed because overshadowing the outings was someone waiting for me, maybe getting impatient, maybe thinking I had spent enough time. He would deny it but these thoughts were still impacting my focus on what I was (or wasn’t) seeing.

On a sunny day last week I decided to go to the Hidden Lake Gardens by myself. This garden has lots of walking trails through woods and meadows and around kettle lakes but there is also a driving trail with lots of pull-offs through the acres of hills and woodlands. This trip felt much safer for a women who is alone than going down dirt roads. I wish it weren’t so but I believe I need to be ever vigilant about where I am and the potential threats. I learned this very young with no actual conversation taking place.

I started this outing with a plan taking into consideration my safety and time needed and side trip for a piece of fabric for a quilt. As I drove I felt the tension of getting to where I wanted to be, thinking about what I wanted to capture on my memory card for future posts. I thought about how I could use my trip to this garden as a post for the current Lens-Artist Photo Challenge #119: Hideaway. I thought about how I wanted to stop at the Liberty Mill Pond along the road south from our home because it looked so interesting the last few times we had driven past. And I felt the tension in my neck and the pressure around my temples. I felt the sadness in the back of my eyes. This isn’t what I needed nor wanted.

Liberty Mill Pond

Then I reached the pond just as the sun was coming over the trees that edged the pond. People fish this pond so there is a little pull-off created by people stopping, not county officials making it. The air was still really cool but there was no wind. Heavy frost covered the swamp grasses on the near edge where the sun hadn’t hit and there was a mist rising from the warmer waters. The water was perfectly smooth except for the lily pads and mist that broke the reflections of the surrounding trees in full fall color. The sun made diamonds of the melting frost on all the grasses and leaves.

See the guardrail and the rainbow? See the mist?

I would never think a hideaway could be somewhere in plain sight. I wasn’t hiding from the drivers who slowed their cars for my car parked on the edge and the old woman taking pictures. But they weren’t a worry for me and neither was the coronavirus, or the election in three weeks. I was focused on the world of nature in the very process of creation and recreation. I seemed to be in an effortless, easy being in the presence of my Creator to whom I belong, as much as the natural world belongs to the one who created the blueprints. I know this beyond a shadow of a doubt. It is just what I need.

How wonderful to find my hideaway in a place that I can take with me, can recreate anywhere I am. How wonderful to have a platform for sharing my experience and having an archive for future visits when my brain gets foggy and I forget where I need to be and why. Thank you for being with me and I look forward to reading about the ways you find distance between yourself and those things that seem a bit toxic.

Please stay safe, and wear your mask in public places so others stay safe. Please don’t shoot yourself in the foot by making mask wearing a matter of style, masculinity, or personal freedom. See it as a responsibility we are all willing to take on for the greater good of society.

27 thoughts on “Lens-Artist Challenge #119 -My Hideaway

  1. Hello I happened across your Blog and simply love it. Read far too many when I should have been working The photography is stunning and love the stories. Looking forward to reading more ( in between work, of course ! )


  2. Living as I now do on beautiful Vancouver Island, I have been blessed with hideaways and adventures that reside just around the corner. They are a comfort to the soul. So glad you found your spot. Thank you for your words and pictures. Always a pleasure to share a moment. Stay safe. Cheers.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I think Julie is missing your outings, too. She hasn’t been on a photo outing for a long time.
    I saw the rainbow in the mist + in the reflection in the water.
    The Creator knew just what you needed that day.


  4. A glorious day for a wonderful outing. Your images are absolutely beautiful and your thoughts are shared by so many of us these days. Good for you for knowing exactly what you needed to soothe your soul. Terrific post.


  5. I so loved your autumn outing, Pat – so grateful for taking me to your hideaway! Glad you reflected on the whys and hows like you did. Gorgeous watercolour images of our most beautiful season. ♥
    One question – I love your theme on WP- which one is it?


    • Hi Leya, My theme is Hemingway Rewritten. I really liked my old one but one day was playing around and changed it but then couldn’t remember or find the old one. I finally found this one and like it for photos and writing.


  6. I needed this peaceful getaway too. Thanks. I was talking with a friend today about how to keep our sanity. My state, SD, is hitting headlines for our surge. The rhetoric on TV is deafening. We took a breather and watched a PowerPoint program with many photos on cleaning out our houses! Throwing out or donating and keeping just what we want. It was mind-cleansing to get lost in these images for awhile!


    • Is your home any lighter? 🙂 As we are nearing the election I am finding that I need to get lost for large portions of the day. Maybe I’ll do some sorting from closets. We have lived in this house for 12 years and I am starting to find clutter.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. The sun was coming over the trees is beautifully captured. Breathtaking… These images are like beautiful watercolor paintings.
    Thank you, Pat for taking us there.


  8. Your photos look absolutely amazing and I love those beautiful autumn colours and the way you described the scene. I can easily see why you love visiting Hidden Lake Gardens. Thanks for sharing and have a good day 😀 Aiva


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