Poetry and Photography: Knowing of the Heart

There’s nothing better than a walk with my loves – Thomas and Lillian. I cherish every walk taken with each one of them. Every walk …. Since they were wee tiny ones growing within me. Lillian and I have taken walks together for nearly 17 years! And Thomas and I for nearly 13 years! Love, sweet love. xoxo

Destinations and Experiences Poem Vintage lake May 2018

Thomas and Lillian

We have come together upon this Earth
to travel our own separate paths
Yet, traveling them together.

It has not escaped my attention
that there were and are places
and experiences we talked and
dreamed of experiencing.

Our lives together seem to
have become mundane and boring.

Seeming to have the same days
over and over again.
With little new experiences
by way of sights, sounds,
and experiences.

Sadness and failure encroached
upon these shoulders and heart
As the message of how
important it is to
travel with one’s family.

Travel so as to have one to one
time together … away from the
normalcy and sameness of
being in the same place and routines.

Yet, before the cloud could
fully envelop this heart,
the heart whispered to
the sadness a response
so profound and enlightening
the sadness and failure
did halt and lift to be
transmuted to peace and knowing.

The heart whispered …
Wait.

Each walk taken,
Each drive around
neighborhoods,
Each date day,
Each spontaneous trip
for simple life’s
necessities,
Each trip to the park,
Each drive to a lookout
to watch the sunset or
have a car picnic,
Each occasion you chose
to make special …
Each of those times was
a trip to a beautiful
and everlasting destination.

You and your chidren
have taken many trips.
They may not be the
actual destinations the
three of you envisioned.

No. They are not.

Yet, each of these trips
led to destinations
that many may never get
a chance to experience.

The trip. The destination.
Within you it is.
Take it with you
always, you do.
This is the alchemy
of the heart.

Glory be.
Take notice of
your profound ability
to make something
out of seemingly nothing.

Know this.
And be free.
Hallelujah!

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.

And my book published in 2012, D iz for Different – One Woman’s Journey to Acceptance; which reached #2 in the Self-Help Category and #1 in Special Needs Parenting on Amazon.

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Poetry and Photography: The Silence

Goose Feather with Water Droplets Poem 5.23.18

The squark of the seagull overhead.
The beep and roar of the construction equipment.
The call and honk of the geese.

The thunder of the leaf blower.
The slow ripples in the lake.
The ever so gentle harmony of the song birds.

The blare of horns in the distance.
The melodic quack of the duck.
The squawking of the coot.

I close my eyes and I become one with all.
I lose the feeling of this body and meld with
the oneness of all that surrounds me.

This is life.
This is love.
And so it is.
©️2018 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 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.

And my book published in 2012, D iz for Different – One Woman’s Journey to Acceptance; which reached #2 in the Self-Help Category and #1 in Special Needs Parenting on Amazon.

Latest Articles:

The Walk of Alchemy

Pink Tree Blossoms The Vintage 4.20.18

I went for walk this morning.

Not unlike many mornings over the past 17 years. The meaning and depth of the walk has shifted throughout the years. What began as a way to exercise and get fresh air has shifted to be much deeper than that.

I have experienced many mindful walks. Walking slower than usual, listening, feeling, and smelling in silence.

Yet, this morning I knew it was time to experience a truly mindful walk. One in which one step is taken with each in breath, and one step for each out breath.

I did this for 5 minutes during the middle of my regular walk. Five minutes doesn’t sound like that long. I know. In a world where we are going, going, going and going fast; a 5 minute mindful walk felt like a good 30 minutes.

When I began I kept having thoughts of what others would think if they saw me. Would they be thinking, “What is that woman doing? She’s barely moving!” Yet, I repeatedly brought my thoughts back to the in and out breath and each step. At the same time I was feeling anxious, almost like I was going too damn slow for our modern life. Yet again, I repeatedly brought my thoughts back to the in and out breath and each step.

Alchemy Happens

And something magical happened. I could hear the bird song with much deeper clarity. I could feel the trees. A Divine peace floated through me like a soft breeze on a warm spring day. I actually almost lost my balance a few times. I guess the body wasn’t used to going this slow with each step. I found I had to consciously tell my feet to hold up. Not so fast there!

Time felt slowed, the world felt slower. Mother Nature and her helper animals ever so gently took the worry, the sadness, the heavy feelings and transformed them into peace.

I went for a walk this morning. After the walk, I had a simple day of clarity, knowing, and peace. Peace within is a true gift. Peace within is like a decadent favorite food slowly savored, held in the mouth with patience so as to taste every hint of flavor.

This type of mindful walking will now become a part of my walking routine. I am eternally grateful to and for Thich Nhat Hahn for the mindfulness, peace, love, and non-violence he shares and teaches the world.

I went for a walk this morning. It changed my life.

**I have been meditating and taking walks of silence for nearly 10 years. Your experience may not be the same as mine the first time you take a mindful walk like this.

Thich Nhat Hahn Quote April 2018

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.

And my book published in 2012, D iz for Different – One Woman’s Journey to Acceptance; which reached #2 in the Self-Help Category and #1 in Special Needs Parenting on Amazon.

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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.

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:

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.

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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.

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