Photography and Poetry: What if it Were You

The Vintage Lake with Empty Bench February 2016

He’s frustrated
He’s not sure how to handle it.

He lashes out
He says unkind words
He insults
He teases.

He’s not sure how to handle it
He’s frustrated.

The mom tells the son
that it is okay to
have these feelings.
Feeling angry, sad,
frustrated is okay.
These feelings are valid
simply because he has them.

He does not understand
why the sister behaves
the way she does.
Does not understand
the inflexibility.
Does not understand
the fears she harbors.
Does not understand
the massive and, at times,
violent melt downs.
Does not understand
the anxiety that
can lead to a melt down.

He becomes critical
and desires something
be done about the situation.
He feels the mom blames
the missing chromosomes
for the sisters behavior.
He feels that the mom blames
him for being angry and upset.

The mom lets him know
that it is okay for
him to be feeling this way
He is not wrong for
feeling frustrated
and angry.

The mom only asks him
to think about this …

What if you were her?
What if …

You could not speak clearly so that others understood you?
You were in near constant pain almost every single day?
You had balance issues and fell constantly?
You were much, much shorter than your peers?
You were much, much shorter than your YOUNGER sibling?
Your body did not cooperate with accomplishing tasks?
You could not easily use a spoon or butter knife?
You could not drink from a glass without a straw?
You could not easily brush or floss your teeth?
You were the one without lip closure?
You were the one with hand tremors?
You were the one with fine motor skill difficulties?
You were riddled with anxiety and irrational fears?
You were the one with an entire section of your 18th chromosome missing?

What if this were you
and not the other?

The mom was not telling him
that these difficulties
are excuses for being
unkind to others.

Simply to ponder
what one’s life would
be like if all that is
easy and simple vanished …

Ponder if it all became
difficult and a struggle …

Simply ponder …

The mom let him know he
could continue to feel
and believe what he chooses.

The mom will not force
her opinions of
the situation upon him.

The mom simply asks him to ponder.

And the mom will ponder
what it would be like
if she were the sibling
to the one …

The mom simply asks him to ponder.

And they shall ponder.

-©2017, Camilla Downs

Empathy has within it the seed to change the world. The more of us that plant and cultivate this seed, the more the world will shift towards peace. -Camilla Downs

I posted this on facebook first and the following are my responses to friends comments:

I can literally feel my heart breaking when Thomas and Lillian are arguing and being unkind to one another and that pours through into these writings.

I can be quite harsh with myself about my parenting skills; thinking I screw it up more than I have it heart aligned.

These are times that journal writing proves so helpful as I remind myself that I’m doing the best I can with where I’m at and give myself a good reminder to love myself. No matter what. Alongside that is when dear friends give me a good reminding too …

It was not my intent to cause anyone to feel less or unvalidated. We are all traveling a unique path; yet, with many, many similarities.

When I am in an unawakened state, I harbor deep worry that Thomas and Lillian will not choose to move towards a relationship of harmony and loving kindness. It breaks my heart to feel the current energies of dislike they have for one another.

Empathy has within it the seed to change the world. The more of us that plant and cultivate this seed, the more the world will shift towards peace.

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 published. Learn more and order here

Wonderfully exciting news! My 12 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

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Anything is Possible: An Interview With the Author of On Top of the World

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Welcome everyone to a very special interview with Lorie Stevenson, author of On Top of the World. Here’s a bit about the book:

Missy is a little girl with a big dream: she wants to see the world from higher up.

Her father is an airline pilot. He gets to see the world from higher up all the time. But, Missy needs a wheelchair to go everywhere. How could she see the world like her dad does?

Then one day, Missy and her family go to the circus and her dream changes a bit—maybe she could see the world from up high. On top of a horse Missy could feel on top of the world! And people would need to look UP into her big blue eyes instead of down at the top of her head. Eye-to-eye, that would make Missy very happy.

So come, let’s see if Missy does find her dream!

Camilla: What is On Top of the World about and what does it help teach?

Lorie: My book is about a little girl who longs to see things from above.. like her Dad, a pilot, is able to do. But I also hope there is a deeper thought process portrayed here. Because she is in a wheelchair.. people “look down on her”. And do not always come down to her level to talk eye-to-eye.

I believe we should always look each other in the eye when conversing. That is how you know the other person is paying attention and really listening to what you have to say. This, in turn, grants you a feeling of inclusion and builds your self-confidence. As a mother, I remember the first time a doctor addressed my daughter directly, instead of me. It was a very enlightening and positive feeling!!

Camilla: What inspired you to write this children’s book?

Lorie: My original inspiration to write this story came on a long car trip. I was trying to explain how horseback riding makes me feel. At one with nature, with one of the most incredible animals created. I find it builds my self-confidence and sense of teamwork as well as perhaps a bit of personal power and of course passion and respect for the equine race who have such huge hearts.

Camilla: What is the main message readers are taking away from the book?

Lorie: The main message I hope people will take away with them after reading my book or having it read to them is, of course, that dreams really can come true. If you wish hard enough .. anything IS possible. And do not look down on others … reach out to them at their level. Everyone wants to be seen and heard and valued.

Camilla: What final words would you like to share?

Lorie: And a final message: Hippotherapy is so advantageous for so many in a myriad of ways. Please support Therapeutic Riding programs in any way you can. It may be a donation for a fundraising auction. It may be financial help to support these wonderful animals. It may be donating your used tack. Or donating your time … there is always a need for more volunteers!

And do not be afraid of a horse because of its size and relative power. Therapeutic animals are well trained and usually older, experienced and kind. They have huge hearts that nurture humans. Hippotherapy has been proven to help all kinds of disabilities! Promote love for animals.. they depend on us so that we can depend on them.

On Top of the World Shelby April 2018

Proud Daughter, Shelby!

Camilla: Tell us a bit about yourself.

Lorie: Put on first pony at 18 months by paternal grandmother. Fell in love!

Sang all the way home , downhill, from elementary school every day … composing as I walked. (It was actually safe to walk to and from school, mostly alone, in those days!)
Mum said she could hear me a couple of blocks away …. yes, loud back then, too.

Loved to write poetry ( lyrics in my mind …)

In the 70’s I used to write personal poems for some of my coworkers to give as gifts to family members! I interviewed them, then wrote a sonnet. Charged $10 or $20 .. Lol!

I love to fly!! Travel is high on my list and Shelby is a great partner in crime for those adventures! I love dogs and horses and words! I love to sing and am a wacky whistler!!

Am finally trying to achieve a name for myself with my writing and so for my 60th birthday, I self-published a book that I originally wrote almost 20 years ago.

So far, so good. Reviews have been favourable. And 2 people have texted me photos of their little daughters loving my book! So I am feeling fairly content these days and a bit more self-confident too. Cheers!!! (I do love my Pinot Grigio too …)

On Top of the World Laurie Cheers April 2018

With On Top of the World, Lorie Stevenson has achieved her dream of publishing a book with a message. Lorie has long had a passion for writing and horses. She now resides in Victoria, British Columbia with her daughter, Shelby, who was born with a very rare chromosomal condition known as Tetrasomy 18p. Having grown up riding horses herself, Lorie introduced Shelby to weekly therapeutic riding lessons to help her balance and strengthen her back. Now Lorie and Shelby enjoy riding lessons together—on top of the world!

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You can learn more and purchase On Top of the World by going HERE.

*This interview contains Amazon affiliate links.

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 published. Learn more and order here

Wonderfully exciting news! My 12 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

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Abundance is Thanking Mother Earth

Thank you to The Urban Howl!! It’s wonderful to find a place of belonging for one’s writings!! Wahooo!! xoxo

Do You Feel Nature’s Abundance?

I feel the frosty cold
embrace as You brush
across this body.
I feel and Know
your Abundance.

I touch and hug
the beautiful,
scarred and knotted
trees that sprout
and …. Go below to read further … xoxo

Abundance Is Thanking Mother Earth — Touch & Hug The Beautiful, Scarred Trees

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 published. Learn more and order here

Wonderfully exciting news! My 12 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Latest Articles:

Poetry and Photography: Feel the Joy

Sunset Vintage Lake Joy Poem 2017

Joy, Oh What a Feeling
You effortlessly glide my way
Gently wrapping your wings of love
around me as I become dizzy with
your tingling embrace.

Joy says, “Write about me too!”
I am as important to feel
and be with as are the
unlovely feelings and emotions.

Feel me, physically feel me
Let yourself know that
you are worthy of the lovely
feelings too.

Feel me. Try not to cling
to me. I shall always return
when you allow youreslf to be
in the flow.

As a mighty wave
calms and comes to rest
in the vast ocean;
you can allow
yourself to relax into
the majestic ocean of
the Divine.

You can practice relaxing
into the vast ocean of
all that is … and know
your oneness with all of
life, with the range of
emotions and feelings.
The lovely and the unlovely.

Yes. Let yourself Know
that you are Worthy and Feel
The Joy …. Come and Relax
into the Divine Ocean.
-2018, 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 published. Learn more and order here

Wonderfully exciting news! My 12 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Latest Articles:

The Birds Sing a Love Song

Winter Wonderland Walk Vintage Lake 1.24.17 #1

There’s something magical about being the first to step into fresh snow. It just warms my heart and brings a smile to my lips.

The birds sing a love song about deserving and celebrating.

Sparkles danced on the water like champagne bubbles.

Fresh untouched snow beckoned to be touched.

And my heart danced with gratitude and joy as it breathed in the sparkling water and untouched snow.

Thank you nature.

May you step outside to hear your own love song. xoxo

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 published. Learn more and order here

Wonderfully exciting news! My 12 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Latest Articles:

Fear Alchemized – Who Will Love Them Unconditionally?

Virginia Foothills Park Team TLC 2.2.18 #1

Who Will Love Them Unconditionally?

As she took in the message that family means much more than those whom she was born amongst, she felt deep sadness within for having not a close relationship with those whom, by blood, she is connected. A deep sadness also for having not friends or community that are like family.

A sadness that sank and spread to include sadness that her kids know not a close knit relationship with those whom one traditionally calls family. Sad that neither of her kids have an anointed or appointed person or person(s) who have committed to be there for them. Committed to mentor them, listen to them, and guide them should she leave this Earth space before they become adults.

The thought of this brings a cloud of darkness that she created this life in such a way that there are no others who are a part of their lives in a familial way. Whether that be by blood or simply shared humanness.

Who will they talk with should she not be around?

Who will continue to facilitate their journey for them until they take over facilitating their own journeys?

Who will ensure the well-being of the one with special needs?

Who will they share their life happenings with?

Who will unconditionally love them?

This is what brings forth this dark sadness. Not that she didn’t have a tribe surround and embrace her and her little ones when they were born into their human form. That does indeed cause sadness. Yet, the deep biting sadness is caused by fear of the future for her kids.

Virginia Foothills Park Team TLC 2.2.18 #5 Virginia Foothills Park Team TLC 2.2.18 #8

The Fear

Fear. Fear comes to us in so many different forms to rattle our hearts and minds. Fear disguises itself in such a way that, at times, we even miss that at the core of what we are feeling is fear.

Thoughts that she has failed are dropped by fear, like bombs in a war zone. Failed at being the parent that these kids need. Failed at opening herself to the friendships and kinships of others. Failed at providing and surrounding these kids with mentors, facilitators, and friendships. Failed to teach them how to cultivate and nurture friendships. Failure whispers these thoughts over and over as she withers within while they compound upon one another and weigh upon her Light.

The Alchemy

Behold. A still, small, whisper of a voice beneath the weight of fear’s thoughts awaits with strength, fortitude, and love for the perfect moment. The moment when this thought will gently rise to the surface of her heart and place a knowing that fear’s thoughts are simply smoke and mirrors. An illusion created by fear to distract her from the journey of the heart that she is traveling.

The voice of light, this voice of Love, gently embraces these fear thoughts, allowing her to physically feel them within her body. Once she has let herself feel the discomfort caused by these fear thoughts, the voice of Love swallows the fear thoughts and transmutes them into love and light and they are released to the stars, moon and sun to be scattered as the magical dust that makes up all of life.

She becomes fully aware that although fear would have her believe she does not have a tribe, that she does not have those whom unconditionally love her, those that support and cheer her on …. Love Knows this NOT to be the Truth. Love Knows.

Wilbur May Team TLC Walk 4.5.17 #6

And so she breathes in a deep and long breath, knowing that all is okay. All will be okay. And she breathes another breath. And she breathes and releases the smoke and mirrors that is fear. And, so it is …

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 published. Learn more and order here

Wonderfully exciting news! My 12 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Latest Articles:

Poetry: Glorious Water – World Water Day 2018

In honor of World Water Day 2018 …

Thomas Drinking Water from Fountain March 2015

Water, glorious water.

Oh, how I am grateful.

Grateful,
for you are life,
You help to create life,
You sustain life,
YOU are everything to life.

I bless and am
eternally grateful
for the blessings
you bestow.

You uplift,
You inspire,
You clean,
You refresh,
You quench,
You sustain,
YOU are simply amazing.

Water, dear water
I vow to be ever
more mindful of
your presence,
ever more mindful
to bless you,
ever more mindful
of being grateful
that you BE.

I Am grateful for water.
Bless you Water.
I Am.
-2018 Lessons from Nature

Lake Mead #8

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 published. Learn more and order here

Wonderfully exciting news! My 12 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Latest Articles:

Poetry: Ode to the Sock

In honor of World Poetry Day 2018 and in complete contrast to my usual writings … And to follow up with an oh so fun sock thread on facebook courtesy of my 12 year old son, Thomas … Hope it makes you giggle!

I give you …

Ode to Socks Poem March 2018

Ode to the Sock

Sock, Oh Sock!
What a strange
creature you are!

Your creation was
meant for good
I can see that.

Yet, most times you come
equipped with a built in
irritator to rub
these precious feet.

Rub, rub, rub in a way
that the mind latches onto.
Latches onto and will not
let go until we remove
the offending creature
from our feet.

That seam!
That seam
make us want
to scream!

Sock, Oh Sock!

We simply want our toes
and feet to be free.
Free from the
confines of your
Scratchy
Stringy
Strangling
materials.

We do enjoy the softness
and warmth you provide
when needed.

Yet, most times
we would rather
you Be anywhere else
but confining our feet.

Sock, Oh Sock!
We send you love.
Yet, send you on your way.

Here’s to Toe and Foot Freedom …
-2018, 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 published. Learn more and order here

Wonderfully exciting news! My 12 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Latest Articles:

Poetry and Photography: Nature’s Abundance

Frosty Embrace - Nature's Abundance 3.9.18

Nature’s Abundance

I feel the frosty cold
embrace as You brush
across this body.
I feel and Know
your Abundance.

I touch and hug
the beautiful,
scarred and knotted
trees that sprout
and grow from Your soil.
I feel and Know
your Abundance.

I delight in the sparkling
and unique snow flakes
as they drift from
the brooding clouds
above and lightly fall
upon this body.
I feel and Know
your Abundance.

Lo, even as I dodge
and walk through
the nuggets of
geese waste left
behind by these
majestic and
interesting creatures,
I feel and Know
your Abundance.

Yes, I feel Your abundance
I Know it now.

It’s been a long road
getting to this
glorious and bountiful place.
Yet, I have arrived.

I have arrived
to the freedom
of Knowing this …

I am made of bits
and pieces of You.
You are made of
bits and pieces of me.
This body and ether
mix with Your essence
as we collide.

I see it now.
All that is made
of You is Good.
ALL, I say, ALL!

Even as your form is
changed and no longer
resembles Your essence.
It is of You.
And,it is Good.

Humans take and borrow
from you to create,
grow, and make
the things we must
have to survive,
yet also the things
we think we need,
and the things we
simply want so
as to fill a void.
Grateful for your
abundance and gifts
I am.

We take your trees
and metals and we
make this mysterious
and sometimes elusive
thing called money.

We make it into
something it is not.
It is only of
You and we use it
for good, for bad,
for our benefit,
and for the benefit
of others.

One slight shift
in awareness of
what money truly is ..

That is True Freedom.
Freedom to respect
and love that money
stuff of which
contains Your essence.

Knowing, absorbing
and feeling
Your abundance
has brought on
this shift from
lack to abundance.

Thank You
Mother Earth.
Thank You
Nature.

I feel and Know
your Abundance.
You are Abundance.
I Am Abundance.
And so it is.
I Am. – 2018 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 published. Learn more and order here

Wonderfully exciting news! My 12 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Latest Articles:

Poetry and Photography: The Space Within

“The Space Within”

The Space Within Poem February 2018

There is a space within
A space occupied, it was.

Occupied with judgment
Occupied with harshness
Occupied with unkind thoughts
towards others.

There is a space within
where the darkness
of judgment used to live.

Judgment lives
here no more.
Evicted.
It has been.

There is a space within.

A soft space of love
of compassion
of empathy
of understanding.

For a journey
of a thousand miles has
been lived with
the understanding
that each one of us
has traveled a similar journey.

To be sure,
not the same journey.
No, not the same.
That matters not.

Each has traveled a journey
of a thousand miles.

And each viewed not
according to their journey,
yet viewed with eyes
that flow from the heart.

A heart that knows the two
are connected,
viewed with eyes flowing
from the heart that only
knows unconditional love.

Eyes wide open to
the Truth of each one’s journey.

The Truth that judgment of another is
simply a reflection of judgment
held within one towards oneself.

There is a space within,
a space that was once filled with
the darkness of judgment.

A space that is now
available for compassion
and love for one self and others.

Space to breath easier
Space to live easier
space to live peacefully
Space to allow all to BE
and travel the paths chosen.

There’s a space within.
A Beautiful Space.

May we all release
and expose this space within
for the Beauty it reveals.
-2018, Lessons from Nature
xoxo

This poem flowed forth from the below words I had written at a different time regarding judgments and compassion. For some reason I saved them. Now, I know why.

” ……. The space within me that held the weight of so many judgments …

Judgments against people who thought and felt differently, judgments against single moms, judgments against parents whose kids act out and the kids too.

Every single time one of those judgments was released, a cushion of compassion took its place. There are still some wee judgments hiding in there.

Some that stay hidden and some that peek out to see if its safe. Within me is not a safe zone for judgments … You are released and a warm, soft, loving cushion of compassion takes your place.”

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 published. Learn more and order here

Wonderfully exciting news! My 12 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Latest Articles: