Stopping the Car and Taking It All In

Well, here we find ourselves in December, a month with 31 days that feels more like 15.   As a terminal procrastinator, I struggle with all of the preparations and hecticness that is the Christmas Season.  Kind of a contradictory statement in a blog post about serenity.  These images were all the result of literally slowing down. Physically stopping the car to enjoy the beauty around me.  The first photograph was made while I was out delivering gift baskets for my husband, John, to his clients.  Many of them live in rural Ottawa and my route that day kept me on the road for four and a half hours, time I was resenting spending behind the wheel knowing what needed to be done at home (a puppy to walk, groceries to buy, gifts to wrap, decorations to put out…).  As I was leaving one of my stops,  I knew I had to pull over and capture the lines of the long country road.  I live on a busy street in the city and this is about as opposite a place to live than my home.  The clouds had lifted a bit and the blue sky was peaking through.  The long straight lines of the road, receding into the distance in a hypnotic, calming manner.

The other three images were taken going to (image two) and leaving the cottage this past weekend (images three and four).  To be perfectly honest, it really is difficult to not feel serene at the lake, but we (and by we, I mean the guy behind the wheel) are usually in a hurry either coming or going that I am whizzing past the gorgeous scenery that I am mentally photographing in my mind or trying to capture through a dirty truck window.  On both days, Friday and Sunday, the sky was glowing behind a haze.  I had the door practically open before we had come to a complete stop and I was able to take in the last light of the day against the fresh snow.  The last two were taken about 100 meters from each other (I think, I’m terrible at estimating distances).  What a different location makes.  The snow blew off the hood of the truck and onto the windshield and with the light shining through the trees and onto the snow, it painted the most beautiful winter abstract that begged to captured.

The last image is a final reminder to me of the peaceful calm that I feel at the lake.  As I head into the week leading to Christmas,  with all of the rushing around and last minute preparations, I know full well that I will stress myself out, I have that final picture as a reminder of the bigger picture, that we shouldn’t sweat the small stuff.  The things that matter cannot be bought and wrapped up to open on Christmas morning.  Despite the pressure that we put on ourselves this time of year, and quite frankly throughout the year, we have to take the time to slow down, whether it’s for a couple of minutes or a couple of hours.

The Serenity Blog Circle is a collaborative photography project in which we want to share images that convey peace and calm.  Please follow the link to my very talented friend, Kathy Roberts.  Thanks so much for looking and all of the best to you and your families for a Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year.  xo





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  • WendyDecember 21, 2016 - 11:49 am

    Om goodness Susan…. these images are absolutely stunning! The atmosphere around them is amazing!!!ReplyCancel

    • adminDecember 24, 2016 - 8:27 pm

      Thank you so much, Wendy.ReplyCancel

  • KathyDecember 22, 2016 - 7:43 am

    I can so relate to the mentally taking pictures when someone is whizzing by the gorgeous scenery. This is why I like to drive! That abstract image is amazing!! Uncanny what a little blowing snow can do! Merry Christmas to you…ReplyCancel

    • adminDecember 24, 2016 - 8:27 pm

      Just a little (lot) of snow on the windshield. Love that this isn’t a double exposure or an overlay in Photoshop. Merry Christmas to you too, Kathy. <3ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer CarrDecember 22, 2016 - 8:23 am

    Beautiful! I love the depth in the images. It makes me want to bundle up and take a walk down your snow covered path. My favorite is the snowy windshield, though. It’s abstraction (word?!) is incredible!ReplyCancel

    • adminDecember 24, 2016 - 8:25 pm

      We’d love to have you join us up here to walk through the woods! And yes, I do believe that abstraction is a word.ReplyCancel

  • NadeenDecember 22, 2016 - 9:18 am

    I cannot choose a favorite. Love them all!ReplyCancel

    • adminDecember 24, 2016 - 8:29 pm

      Thank you so much, Nadeen!ReplyCancel

  • Jillian BaudryDecember 22, 2016 - 11:25 am

    Stunning images and beautiful sentiments Susan, thanks for sharing!ReplyCancel

    • adminDecember 24, 2016 - 8:14 pm

      Thank you very much, Jillian!ReplyCancel

  • Nancy ArmstrongDecember 22, 2016 - 7:30 pm

    Sue these are absolutely stunning.ReplyCancel

    • adminDecember 24, 2016 - 8:13 pm

      Thank you so much, Nancy!! Merry Christmas to you and Jeff! xoReplyCancel

  • Nina MingioniDecember 24, 2016 - 11:03 pm

    I love your winter imagery, Sue! I love the snow (unless I have to drive in it) and the magic it adds to the surroundings. I am in love with the second image – gorgeous light and composition!ReplyCancel

    • adminJanuary 8, 2017 - 4:07 pm

      Thanks so much, Nina!! I hate driving in the snow too, but even worse is the ice. Winter truly is beautiful and I remind myself how lucky I am to live in a place with four incredible seasons.ReplyCancel