Pluck the Tomato from the Vine

Tomatoes on Vine 11.8.17

After I pluck the tomato from its vine, I move the tomato to my nose and breathe in the smell of the freshly broken connection of vine to fruit.

That smell and feel of the vine take me instantly to my mammaw Downs and her garden. A garden I despised as a kid and teen. I so disliked the chore of all the grandkids to help in the garden.

Stooping, bending, and squatting in the hot, oppressive Mississippi sun to pluck Natures bounty. I thought it so unfair at the time.

Yet, now. Now I love this memory and how a smell and touch acts as a time machine that allows me to BE there once again.

I wonder the thoughts that occupied mammaws mind when she stood in that same oppressive heat, years earlier, as a sharecropper at such a young age.

I love you Elnor Downs!

Mammaw Downs

Real food is indeed a treasure … I hardly ever had store bought veggies, pickles, jams, or preserves until I moved from Mississippi in 1989. If you needed those, you just went to her house and went shopping! HA! xoxo

Grew up in the Jackson area. Spent my Jr High Years in Houma, Louisiana and then back to Jackson for high school. Deep roots down south. My great, great, grandfather was a full blooded Chickasaw Indian. Here’s a picture of him and my great, great grandmother (Irish).

Great Great Grandparents of Camilla

Moved from Jackson in 1989 up to Washington state and then in 2006 moved to Reno. My grandmother lived in Germantown, TN for quite some time when I was younger. Spent my summer vacations as a kid at Gulfport, or Biloxi, or Fort Walton Beach. xoxo

My mammaw had blackberries in the backyard too! Nothing like picking them off and popping into the mouth. Yum! She would send us out with a big bowl to pick some for her and it was great eating them as we picked.

My Aunt Mary had plum trees in her backyard and we’d climb those for plums!

I had Thomas and Lillian make a list of what they want to eat for Thanksgiving. Thomas: fried okra …. xoxoxo

Blessings,

Camilla
See It. Share It. BE IT … Spread Love Everywhere You Go!

Amazing news! My 16 year old daughter, Lillian Darnell’s debut book, “Where Would You Fly and Other Magical Stories” is arriving November 2017. Learn more and order here

Wonderfully exciting news! My 11 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

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Poetry and Photography: Whisperings of the Heart

Pink Flowers Whisperings of the Heart October 2017

The heart whispers secrets
Try not to hear it you do.

Continuing to be in this life’s game
Following the rules, filling out the papers,
conforming to the this-is-the-way-it’s-done norms.
Too busy for interruption
to hear the gentle whisperings of the heart.

Yet, the whisperings never quiet fully.
They are there.
The whisperings are ever delivered
with love and gentleness.

The whisperings of the heart judge not.
The whisperings of the heart
are patient and steady.

Ever so gently the whisperings continue
to impart the truth of one’s soul.

At times the whisperings grow louder
At times they are heard with deeper clarity.

In youth the whisperings were strong
and vibrant with a deep knowing.

As the years passed the whisperings
were quieted by the outside world.

As the seconds pass
as the minutes pass
as the hours pass
as the days pass
as the months pass
as the years pass
as the decades pass

Ever faithful and resilient
the whisperings settle into the
unconditional love of ones heart.

Awaiting the precious time
to once again whisper the
knowings of ones soul.

That time does indeed arrive.
Uninvited, invited,
unexpected, expected.
With struggle, with joy
With peace, with pain.
Yet, it does arrive.

The veil of illusion
begins to lift.
The whisperings of the heart
awaken to the light allowed
to penetrate.

Begin to listen, one does.
Listen with clarity.
Listen with knowing.
Listen with deep understanding.
Begin to take action, one does.

Yet, many times still ignoring
the whisperings of the heart.
The pull of the way life is
supposed to BE lived is strong.

It arrives.
It brings enlightenment.
The day of realizing the
whisperings of heart
bears the key
to one’s freedom to live
and serve as one has always known
one was meant to BE.

Free to sing the song
of one’s soul.
Free to step out of the
board game of conformity
Free to shine the Pure Light
the whisperings of the heart
have always shone from within.

Free to share Divine
Unconditinal love
to all beings.
Free to listen and live
the whisperings of the heart.

Blessings,

Camilla
See It. Share It. BE IT … Spread Love Everywhere You Go!

Amazing news! My 16 year old daughter, Lillian Darnell’s debut book, “Where Would You Fly and Other Magical Stories” is arriving November 2017. Learn more and order here

Wonderfully exciting news! My 11 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

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Poetry: A Drive Down Memory Lane

Fall Trees and Leaves Memory Lane Poem November 2017

A Drive Down Memory Lane

Why did the beautiful and fun
memories hurt so badly
Why did her chest feel
heavy and her stomach in knots

The place where she and
her children had spent
seven years of their lives.

The place where her son
spent his young life
from one year old
through eight years old.

Driving past the many sidewalks
and trail where she had taken
walks alone, walks with
just her son, and walks
together as a family.

Driving past the home
her parents had lived in,
the home she and her kids had lived in,
the second home her parents had lived.

Remembering neighbors she had
chatted with. Rememembering
the spread of holiday cheer.

Oh, the pain, the pain.
Why do such wonderful
memories hurt her heart.

Whey does she feel
a sense of loss
no longer living
in this neighborhood.
No longer having
her parents living
in the same neighborhood.

Why does she feel
like nothing turned
out as she had wanted
it to evolve.

Why does she feel
like she has failed
her children in
not providing them
with the same kind
of home that they
loved so much
in their early childhood?

Why does she feel
like she has given up?
Why do the tears flow
in mourning something
that never really was?

She keeps reminding
herself that nothing
is permanent. The
only thing that’s
permanent is change
itself.

She reminds herself
that home is truly
where the heart is.
Yet, what if the
heart is closed and
doesn’t want to hear
these things.

What if she reminds
herself that none of
it seems to have gone as
she wanted it to go,
the way she dreamed
for it turn out.

Seems as if she
has been but
a piece of sand
in a vast ocean
of life tossing
her here and there
into this experience
and that expeirence.

She thinks she should
not return to this
place if it is so
paintful …

but then she knows
she must keep returning
until she has felt
all the pain there
is to feel for in
feeling the pain and
being with the pain
loving the pain
embracing the pain
is she assured
of the joy and beauty
that awaits her
on the other side.

She may not have
fully let herself
feel the pain at the time
she and her children
had to leave their
home and neighborhood.

Brushed it under
the heart she did.
Believing she could not feel the pain.
She knows she let herself feel
some of the pain.
Yet, there is more there.

She makes a new
commitment to continue
to visit this neighborhood
until she has let herself
feel every single bit
of greif, guilt, and sadness
there is to feel.

She will feel it, feel the
aches in her chest, feel
the knots in her stomach
feel and taste the salty tears as
they stream down her face.

She reflects back on
these times as some of
the happiest of her
and her childens lives.

So carefree and joyful.
Doing many things together
as a family, many adventures,
every trip in the car an adventure.

It seems those times are no longer.
Where have they gone? The kids are
no longer kids. One a teenager and
one a pre-teen. Change.

Change is the nature
of life. This season
reminds us always that this
is how it flows. Change.

Why did she grip so tightly
to that time in her life,
in her kids life?

Why does she not want to
let it go? Wy does she
remember it with longing?

Why does she feel lost
in shifting to this
new normal for her
and her kids?

Interests have shifted.
What was fun and exciting
is no longer?

How does she go with the
flow, with the change,
without clinging to the
past?

She does it one breath
at a time. One blink at
at time. One step at a
time. One gratitude
thought at a time.
One act of kindness
at a time. One smile
at a time.

With kindness and
love directed to herself
and her heart.

She does it by observing
and not letting herself
get caught in the spiral
of emotions. Be with them,
feel them, and let them
release to reveal the new
normal. As it will only
be the new normal for a short
time. That is the nature
of life.

For life will support
in whatever stage of
life one finds oneself.

Nature is the Divine’s
Gift to allow one to
experiene change and
the cyclicle nature
of life outside of
oneself, yet still,
it is within as we are
one with nature.

Be still. Feel the emotions.
Let them pass through
like the wind passes
through the autumn leaves.
And know.
This is life.
And we are always
supported and loved.
-2017 Lessons from Nature

Blessings,

Camilla
See It. Share It. BE IT … Spread Love Everywhere You Go!

Amazing news! My 16 year old daughter, Lillian Darnell’s debut book, “Where Would You Fly and Other Magical Stories” is arriving November 2017. Learn more and order here

Wonderfully exciting news! My 11 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

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Trees Preach the Ancient Laws of Life

Wild Child Private Session Thomas Creek Park 9.17.17 #1

This moved me to the core when I read it recently. My eyes were sweating droplets of love as it spoke to my soul.

I have never felt the way about trees, and Nature in general, that I feel now and the connection continues to deepen. Thank you Hermann Hesse … xoxo

“For me, trees have always been the most penetrating preachers. I revere them when they live in tribes and families, in forests and groves. And even more I revere them when they stand alone. They are like lonely persons. Not like hermits who have stolen away out of some weakness, but like great, solitary men, like Beethoven and Nietzsche.

In their highest boughs the world rustles, their roots rest in infinity; but they do not lose themselves there, they struggle with all the force of their lives for one thing only: to fulfill themselves according to their own laws, to build up their own form, to represent themselves. Nothing is holier, nothing is more exemplary than a beautiful, strong tree.

When a tree is cut down and reveals its naked death-wound to the sun, one can read its whole history in the luminous, inscribed disk of its trunk: in the rings of its years, its scars, all the struggle, all the suffering, all the sickness, all the happiness and prosperity stand truly written, the narrow years and the luxurious years, the attacks withstood, the storms endured.

And every young farmboy knows that the hardest and noblest wood has the narrowest rings, that high on the mountains and in continuing danger the most indestructible, the strongest, the ideal trees grow.

Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth. They do not preach learning and precepts, they preach, undeterred by particulars, the ancient law of life.

Eye of Tree Alamo with Poem March 2017

A tree says: A kernel is hidden in me, a spark, a thought, I am life from eternal life. The attempt and the risk that the eternal mother took with me is unique, unique the form and veins of my skin, unique the smallest play of leaves in my branches and the smallest scar on my bark. I was made to form and reveal the eternal in my smallest special detail.

A tree says: My strength is trust. I know nothing about my fathers, I know nothing about the thousand children that every year spring out of me. I live out the secret of my seed to the very end, and I care for nothing else. I trust that God is in me. I trust that my labor is holy. Out of this trust I live.

When we are stricken and cannot bear our lives any longer, then a tree has something to say to us: Be still! Be still! Look at me! Life is not easy, life is not difficult. Those are childish thoughts. Let God speak within you, and your thoughts will grow silent.

You are anxious because your path leads away from mother and home. But every step and every day lead you back again to the mother. Home is neither here nor there. Home is within you, or home is nowhere at all.

A longing to wander tears my heart when I hear trees rustling in the wind at evening. If one listens to them silently for a long time, this longing reveals its kernel, its meaning. It is not so much a matter of escaping from one’s suffering, though it may seem to be so. It is a longing for home, for a memory of the mother, for new metaphors for life. It leads home. Every path leads homeward, every step is birth, every step is death, every grave is mother.

So the tree rustles in the evening, when we stand uneasy before our own childish thoughts: Trees have long thoughts, long-breathing and restful, just as they have longer lives than ours. They are wiser than we are, as long as we do not listen to them.

But when we have learned how to listen to trees, then the brevity and the quickness and the childlike hastiness of our thoughts achieve an incomparable joy. Whoever has learned how to listen to trees no longer wants to be a tree. He wants to be nothing except what he is. That is home. That is happiness.”
Hermann Hesse – Bäume. Betrachtungen und Gedichte

This writing is truly amazing. Trees have taught me so much and helped me learn about myself.

Walk with Lillian Vintage Lake 10.18.17 #3

Another one of the reasons this means so much to me ….

“The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way. Some see nature all ridicule and deformity… and some scarce see nature at all. But to the eyes of the man of imagination, nature is imagination itself.”― William Blake

I do not (or try really hard not to) judge those who see only a “green thing that stands in the way” for I was once one of those that felt this way. Also, I know those who feel this way know not what they do …. xoxo

The beautiful and healthy tree in the pictures below is no more. We visited and shared with this tree for two full years. It and one if her sisters was cut down for the sake of a view. A view I feel was greatly enhanced by having the tree beauty be a part of it. There’s a picture of the lodge for the new apartments to show how the tree was directly in front of it. So sad ….

Tree Cut Down Vintage Lake 2017 #1Cut Down Tree Vintage Lake 2017 #12 Cut Down Tree Vintage Lake 2017 #11Tree Cut Down Vintage Lake #13 Tree Cut Down Vintage Lake #15Tree Cut Down Vintage Lake 2017 #2 Tree Cut Down Vintage Lake 2017 #3 Tree Cut Down Vintage Lake 2017 #5 Tree Cut Down Vintage Lake 2017 #6 Tree Cut Down Vintage Lake 2017 #8 Tree Cut Down Vintage Lake 2017 #4Tree Cut Down Vintage Lake 2017 #7Tree Cut Down Vintage Lake 2017 #9Tree Cut Down Vintage Lake 2017 #10

This is the other tree that was cut down …

Tree Cut Down Vintage Lake #14Tree Cut Down Vintage Lake #16

Blessings,

Camilla
See It. Share It. BE IT … Spread Love Everywhere You Go!

Amazing news! My 16 year old daughter, Lillian Darnell’s debut book, “Where Would You Fly and Other Magical Stories” is arriving November 2017. Learn more and order here

Wonderfully exciting news! My 11 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

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Poetry: Lead the Way

Musk Thistle #1

“Lead the Way”

I know not what I am doing.

This requires more than
self-confidence could ever provide.

This beckons a confidence not of my self.

A confidence ruled by the force
that causes the musk thistle do what it does.
Sprout, grow, bloom, wither, blow
with the wind, and re-seed.

The force that holds the stars
in the sky and the same force
that grew two beings in my womb.

This beckons a confidence not of my self.

A confidence that compels one
to put aside ones personal preferences
and what one thinks one wants.

A strong force, it is.

Nature shows us how.

Be still.
Let go.
Surrender to not knowing.

And let the One confidence lead the Way. -2017 Lessons from Nature, Camilla Downs

Blessings,

Camilla
See It. Share It. BE IT … Spread Love Everywhere You Go!

Amazing news! My 16 year old daughter, Lillian Darnell’s debut book, “Where Would You Fly and Other Magical Stories” is arriving November 2017. Learn more and order here

Wonderfully exciting news! My 11 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Latest Articles:

Love and Hearts: Love Has Many Forms

Snow Heart Love Many Forms 2017

Love has many forms,
Love gives,
Love receives,
Love is wet,
Love is dry,
Love is within,
Love is without,
Love is warm,
Love is cold,
Love is stardust,
Love is water,
Love is all there is,
Anything which appears
Not to be love
Is simply love going in
The opposite direction. 


Love,
The Snow and Mother Earth
xoxoxo

-2017 Lessons from Nature

Blessings,

Camilla
See It. Share It. BE IT … Spread Love Everywhere You Go!

Amazing news! My 16 year old daughter, Lillian Darnell’s debut book, “Where Would You Fly and Other Magical Stories” is arriving November 2017. Learn more and order here

Wonderfully exciting news! My 11 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

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Poetry and Photography: The Way of Pain

Be With the Pain Bench at Lake with Sun Beams Poem 2017

Experience the pain, we must.
Feel the pain, be with the pain,
so as to receive the shining gift
that awaits on the other side
of the pain.

Physical pain, emotional pain,
as long as we push against it,
fight against it, cover it up,
smother it, drown it with
numbing agents, we miss out
on the indescribable beauty
that awaits when we lovingly
embrace it and walk consciously
through it.

Pain is a natural process
of life. We joyfully embrace
its opposite of pleasure.
Pain is simply pleasure going
in the opposite direction.

When we embrace the pain
we embrace the pleasure.
-2017, Lessons from Nature

Blessings,

Camilla
See It. Share It. BE IT … Spread Love Everywhere You Go!

Amazing news! My 16 year old daughter, Lillian Darnell’s debut book, “Where Would You Fly and Other Magical Stories” is arriving November 2017. Learn more and order here

Wonderfully exciting news! My 11 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Latest Articles:

Love and Hearts: Love is Ever There

Rock Heart Love is Ever There 2017

Doors close.
Control is lost.
Bewilderment envelops.

Yet, love is ever there. 
Waiting patiently for
The divinely timed
Occurrences not
Under ones control.

Be still. And know.
Love is ever there.

Love,
The Rock
xoxo
-2017, Lessons from Nature

Blessings,

Camilla
See It. Share It. BE IT … Spread Love Everywhere You Go!

Amazing news! My 16 year old daughter, Lillian Darnell’s debut book, “Where Would You Fly and Other Magical Stories” is arriving November 2017. Learn more and order here

Wonderfully exciting news! My 11 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Latest Articles:

Short Story: The Three Ghosts

Black and White Three Ghosts #1
(Photo Credit Camilla Downs)

A Short Story (Inspired by the alchemy from the October 18, 2017 Alchemist Theatre show) Perhaps have your favorite, spooky Halloween music playing in the background …
The Three Ghosts

She opened her eyes and saw three ghost like figures covered in nearly translucent and tattered bed sheets.

Slowly and with thinly veiled fear she approached the first figure. She asked what it had to impart to her.

She intuitively knew she had to lift the sheet to learn the answer. The fear had welled to a point where she knew if something didn’t happen to halt it, the anxiety would overtake her mind.

With trembling hands she delicately and slowly lifted the sheet. With utter surprise and sheer awe she saw that the figure held the message of strength and was only patiently waiting for her to retrieve the gift of Strength.

The figure handed her a black cube which she instinctively knew was to be absorbed by her entire body. “For I will be your strength. It is I who move you to do the things you know not why you are moved to do them. This cube represents the Strength that has always been within your heart.”

Years of “me too” led her to believe she was not strong and should not stand up for what she believed in her heart. By absorbing the gifted cube, she would release all that she had boxed within.

She claimed this gift of Strength and knew it would never leave her.

With an air of conviction she approached the next figure. With much less timid hands she lifted the sheet. This figure revealed to her how deep judgments about life, other beings, and nature had been encoded in her DNA.

The figure lifted a nearly transparent hand to reveal a bronze colored pendant in the shape of a cross. She knew she was to absorb this within her being to melt the misguided judgments about life, other beings, and nature.

She claimed this gift of Enlightenment and knew it to be The Way.

With much more confidence she approached the last figure. She could already feel the weight of this message and the knowing it would impart.

She slowly lifted the sheet. What met her eyes was a history of angry peoples who fought one another with a mighty and violent force.

With two nearly transparent hands the figure reached into it’s chest and extracted a heart that was alive with nature. All of nature was contained within this heart.

She again knew she was to absorb the heart into her own. She would be the one who lived life differently. She would not live an angry life and would not fight with a mighty and violent hand.

She is to meet all of life with love, all that she called into her life with love, all that life presented so that she could move forward in life’s journey with love.

Not only that she is to be the protector of and soul fairy for trees and nature. She is to meet injustice done to trees and nature with love and peace knowing that those who cause harm know not what they do.

She claimed this gift of Love and knew the Oneness it contained.

She knew in her heart and soul that she had been given her life back. A life that began to be taken from her as a wee young one in this life.

Yet, much farther back in another life. It was time. She was ready to accept these gifts, ready to have the veil of illusion lifted once and for all.

And, so it was.

Blessings,
Camilla

See It. Share It. BE IT … Spread Love Everywhere You Go!

Amazing news! My 16 year old daughter, Lillian Darnell’s debut book, “Where Would You Fly and Other Magical Stories” is arriving November 2017. Learn more and order here

Wonderfully exciting news! My 11 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Latest Articles:

Poetry: The Key of Alchemy

“The Key of Alchemy”

When ignored,
the darkness within
slowly erodes this physical body
When stuffed and buried deep within,
it silently grows stronger.

At some point along the path
and at many times,
the darkness surfaces.
Like a bullet train
or ever so slowly as a tortoise.
It will not be denied.

Keep turning our hearts away, we can.
Yet, the darkness will not depart
until it has space to be recognized.

The darkness, the shadows
only wish and pine for ….

Go here to read more …

The Key of Alchemy by Camilla Downs

Blessings,

Camilla
See It. Share It. BE IT … Spread Love Everywhere You Go!

Amazing news! My 16 year old daughter, Lillian Darnell’s debut book, “Where Would You Fly and Other Magical Stories” is arriving November 2017. Learn more and order here

Wonderfully exciting news! My 11 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Latest Articles: