Tuesday, May 20, 2008

the places I love

The world is wide and the wonders are many. Life is short and time is shorter. And yet, given the wide world and the length of life, what is it about the familiar places that call us home again and again? Would I be narrow if I told you that the coast and the mountains are the places that speak loudest to me, that engender in me a sense of peace & smallness in a vast universe, that call me with the camera, again and again? I don't think so. I believe that my life will not be long enough for me to see everything I want to see. And I also believe that people who exist daily within the confines of four walls, four miles or even four minutes of their homes are missing a great deal this planet has to offer. But I also know we are limited by things we cannot control, or choices that must control us. And there's nothing wrong with going back to the familiar again and again, if it pleases us. And so, as I prepare for a whirlwind tour of Western Europe, I must pay tribute to that which, when the plane has landed, the bags unpacked and the money spent, will still be there, pleasing and peaceful, and waiting. First, I give you the mountains. Or a brief glimpse of them as I ended my week in North Carolina in Crossnore, outside Grandfather Mountain. Spring was definitely in the air.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

A week in North Carolina: Starting with Tryon Palace in New Bern

As always, when I travel back to the South, I feel like I am going home. While I believe that everywhere we've moved has been a learning and growing experience for me, and everywhere we go is exactly where we are supposed to be, some places just stick in my heart. North Carolina - yes the whole state (well, almost) - is one of those places. I left memories, friends, and much more behind. But the great thing is, I can always go back. And when I do it amazes me how my friendships manage to survive the ebb and flow of time and changes in location. Whether it's been a week or six months since we last spoke, we can pick back up where we left off and it's like I never left!

Yes, I left some friends like this in Goldsboro and on this week long sojourn to NC I had the opportunity to meet up with them. We met at Tryon Palace - an old favorite of mine from the GAPC photo club days - and had a great time. Here are some photos from our morning in the gardens and some silly photos of us winding down.

Overall, the week long business trip was a wonderful chance to continue to grow in my friendships, working relationships with the USC folks and the children's homes we work with, and, as always, a chance to capture some wonderful memories with my camera. From the coast to the mountains of NC and everything in between, I'll share the journey with you. For today, enjoy another taste of spring, and a little bit of friendship that, like perennials, grow, bloom, lie dormant, but come back again and again with proper care!

Suzi, Sophie Tim and me - yes we all set our tripods up and our cameras on timer so we could get this photo! We're officially a bunch of camera geeks! You can imagine us hitting the shutter button and RUNNING to take our place before the camera took the picture. It was a riot!

Some fun shots of Tim.