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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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.

Latest Articles:

Experimenting with Videos – Got to Be Real

My 11-year-old son,Thomas Darnell, has taken over management of my YouTube account. With his nudging, along with nudging from within, there will be more videos to come.

This is the first video of myself I’ve done in a while. They are usually of something in nature or of Thomas or Lillian. In this debut video I announce more videos to come and ask your thoughts. Much gratitude … xoxo

“Your poetry speaks to the heart and your strength is much needed in today’s world. Your voice should be heard by a bigger audience.” -Marion W., Nevada

Blessings,

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

Wonderfully exciting news! My 10 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer has arrived. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Latest Articles:

11 Ways to Help Team TLC With Attending the Chromosome 18 Conference

C18 Trip July 2016 #17

We need your help! Last minute fund raising for Team TLC’s attendance at the 2017 Chromosome 18 Family Conference in Naperville, Illinois from July 12th – July 15th.

Fortunately, we have a sponsor who has loaned us money for our airfare, registration, and hotel stay. And we have a wee bit from Thomas and Lillian fundraising since last year’s conference.

We just need to make sure we have enough for incidentals while there … food, transportation to and from the airport, and the special events lined up for siblings and self advocates.

If you are moved to help, here’s a list of our creations …. Go here to read the full post ….

Help Team TLC With Attending the 2017 Chromosome 18 Family Conference

Blessings,

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

Wonderfully exciting news! My 15 year old daughter, Lillian Darnell’s book, Where Would You Fly and Other Magickal Stories will arrive soon. Be ready to enjoy the magick! Learn more and pre-order here.

Wild Child Nature Sessions – Start Noticing Nature

Damonte Ranch Walk 9.13.16 #3

I am facilitating a “Wild Child Nature” program once a week (or every other week) beginning May 25th to continue through Fall 2017 as there is interest. These sessions focus on connecting with nature, creativity, and imagination. Nature connection is about connecting people with nature through mind and body. Please visit this link for full list of sessions and to sign up.

Sessions to last from an hour to about an hour and 15 minutes. The sessions will be stand alone. Meaning you can come to all or simply as it fits your schedule. Cost will be a suggested offering of $15 per child, $5 per sibling and no charge for parents. Yet, no one will be turned away, so please join us if this speaks to you.

Thursday, May 25th, for the first session. We will begin at 10:30 a.m. at Virginia Foothills Park (near Geiger Grade and Brown Elementary School in South Reno). This session may be full already, so please let me know if interested. Age is completely open. If you think your child will enjoy this and benefit, then great!

The session will begin with a very short guided meditation and a short nature dance. From there we will move on to our topic of the day. The entire program has mindfulness as its core. These will be as fluid and organic as possible and intuitively driven so I might cover a different topic then I had originally planned.

First Program: Start Noticing Nature – Using All of Our Senses

Introduction
Meditation
Nature Dance
Core of Class (Sampling):

Notice nature
Feel and smell the air
Notice the clouds and the trees
Listen
With eyes closed name every sound heard

Walkabout (Mindful Walking)
End with Circle Share

Each session will cover one topic such as a sit spot, nature journaling, using all of our senses, observing, writing, drawing, story telling, and sharing. These sessions are not solely for the kids. Parents are asked to participate and observe so that concepts can be transformed to your liking and weaved into your family life.

What this class will NOT be about: We will not be focused on proper writing and grammar, correct drawing styles, naming plants, animals, or cloud formations. However, if a child is extremely interested in a bird song, plant, or cloud; we will note that so they have the opportunity to research further at home.

So that we can get started on time, please register and pay using this PayPal link. Cost is a suggested offering of $15 per child, $5 per sibling, and no charge for parents. Yet, no one is turned away due to finances. Pay what you can and join us!

Blessings,

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

Wonderfully exciting news! My 10 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer has arrived. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

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Skeleton Key Wind Chimes with Tigers Eye and Crystal Beads

Finally finished! Skeleton key wind chimes. Hung from an awesome stick with a snug little pocket that was perfect for a small chunk of tigers eye.

Tigers eye beads and crystal beads to correspond with each of the seven main chakra colors. Anchored with a seahorse key for strength and power and infused with Reiki. Just need to snip the excess lines.

This one is heading to its new home in Oregon, yet I am creating more. No two will be exactly alike as I’m letting myself be intuitively guided and the treasures being used are up-cycled items and gifts from nature (sticks and bark etc).

You can choose from further creations or we can discuss a custom creation that is specifically for you and your present moment journey.

I’m not sure how long I’ll be creating these and have orders for two more. If you’d like one, comment here or email to Camilla Downs @ gmail.com . xoxo

Skeleton Key Wind Chimes 4.9.17 #1 Skeleton Key Wind Chimes 4.9.17 #2Skeleton Key Wind Chimes 4.9.17 #4 Skeleton Key Wind Chimes 4.9.17 #3

Blessings,

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

Wonderfully exciting news! My 10 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer has arrived. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

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How I Prepare for the New Year

Preparing:

January 2 2017:

Deep in review of 2016 and coming to a knowing of 2017. Listening to music, eyes closed at times, remembering, reflecting, envisioning. This feels different than any other time in the past. Feels wonderful, feels the pretense to a huge shift …. xoxo

review-of-2016-1-2-17

January 6 2017:

Finalizing review of 2016 and coming to the knowing of 2017. Lillian is done with this part of the process. And Thomas may create his in the moment.

We had a nearly two hour family meeting last night. I shared my theme of 2017 – The Shift. Shared my two words for the year: Knowing and Allowing. And my anchor – Writing.

I also shared that there is deep tiredness within me. All part of the process for me and a quality that is an integral part of the shift that will occur.

I will be releasing some things that do not serve me nor our family. And, as of now, may very well be as a tree and hibernate for the winter.

Prep Work for 2017 Goals and Visions 1.6.17

Beginning of Creating:

January 8 2017:

We’ve moved on to the next step! Perfect for the cleansing nature is processing right now with this rain.

Looking for words and pictures to capture our hearts desire for 2017. xoxo

Review 2016 and Plan 2017 Goals Vision Board 1.8.17

Creating:

January 10 2017:

On to the next step …. Making art of our 2017 hearts desire.

We each create our own and we create a Team TLC vision. This feels amazing!

Making Art of Heart's Desire Vision Board 2017

Final Vision:

January 14 2017:

Completed the art version of my 2017 Heart’s Desire … Feels incredibly powerful.

The theme for 2017 is “The Shift” (I deeply feel this does not solely apply to me as I feel there is to be a collective shift.)

The two words for 2017 are “Knowing” and “Allowing”. Knowing is comprised of Spirituality, Meditation, and Mindfulness. Allowing is comprised of allowing my good from expected and unexpected sources.

The anchor for 2017 is Walking and Writing.

The theme, two words, and anchor are cradled in the embrace of LOVE. ….. Now on to The Team TLC art version of our collective heart’s desire for 2017.

Camilla's 2017 Vision Board 1.14.17

Previous Creations and Visions:

I’ve been creating boards since about 2008 or 2009. So I’ve developed my own method using ideas learned from others and my intuition. The past few years they’ve gotten “livelier”.

Once I began to have a theme, focus words, and an anchor – they became more powerful. Here is the progression showing 2015 and 2016.

Camilla's Vision Board 2015

2015 Theme was LOVE, two theme words were “Love” and “Meditation”, and anchor was “Treasure is Within” …. This was the year that my meditation practice shifted and became deeper than I could have imagined.

My two grandmothers, who are no longer with us, visited me in meditation and in my dreams. They delivered a message (during a time of intense need of receiving said message) that the treasure I seek is within me and always has been. I had just hidden it. All of this happened during the year AFTER I created the board.

Camilla's Vision Board for 2016

Here’s 2016. I wasn’t done with love yet. So the theme was LOVE again and two words were “Love” and “Mindfulness.” With the anchor being “Writing” …

I had a few articles accepted for publishing during 2016 and continued to open my heart to love and focused heavily on mindfulness.

Blessings,

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

Wonderfully exciting news! My 10 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer has arrived. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Latest Articles: