the generous spirit of a fading bouquet.

This bouquet from a friend was so lovely when she dropped it off ten days ago or so.  I have to admit something that perhaps won’t surprise you.  I actually enjoy flowers even more when they start to turn a tiny bit brown, curl on the edges and drop a few pedals.

I know many of you won’t understand this, that’s OK.  I promise I won’t send you a decaying bouquet.  Although one time, while a student at the University of Wyoming a boyfriend in South Dakota sent me a red rose in the mail.  It was almost black, shriveled and curled when it arrived. I still found it oddly beautiful.

When I no longer have to trim the stems of a bouquet, check the water or pinch the drooping leaves, I feel some odd sense of relief.  The flowers, no longer expected to be perfect, are free to naturally fade and droop. And I get to enjoy the inevitable state of fading beauty, often leaving the pedals wherever they fall.    

lisa lillibridge

South Dakota—my interior geography

Last week I was in South Dakota for a funeral and a wedding.  In between those emotional events I found some time to drive back roads with my husband, see the stunning late August countryside and find some much needed quiet.  I’m always reminded of how much the prairie landscape resides in my cells, bones and heart.

This landscape gives me clarity, helps me understand my choices and guides me back to my personal True North when I get off course a bit.

South Dakota is my interior geography, no matter where I am in the world. 

Recently, I had to draw a compass at Courage Camp in Bristol, Rhode Island.  I laughed at myself because the way I still figure out directions is to imagine I’m standing on the front porch of my childhood home.  It’s there that I’m most confident in knowing my directions.  (photo below)

IMG_2852Standing on the porch I know which direction the sun sets and how to get to Nebraska. With that knowledge, I can find my way most places.

I often think of my intrepid ancestral homesteaders who ventured West, uncertain of what they would find in the Dakota Territories.  However, and more importantly, perhaps they knew they could handle whatever the prairie offered them. 

I understand that now, at the tender age of 50, in a way I didn’t when I was younger.  I don’t know what’s next, but I know I can count on my interior geography to help guide my way.

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Ireland 2016—part two/The Cliffs of Moher

About the Cliffs

The Cliffs of Moher in County Clare, Ireland are on Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way.  Isn’t that an awesome name for a dramatic shore drive…Wild Atlantic Way?  The Cliffs of Moher are 320 million years old.  They have been used in films such as Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Father Ted and The Princess Bride.  The trails on the Cliffs of Moher are part of network that enables walkers to walk town to town.  Inn to Inn.

My husband and I got to see them from the ferry returning from Inisheer (part of the Aran Islands) as well. However, with huge sea swells we were too busy losing our “Full Irish Breakfast” into the sea to take in the beauty all around us.  It’s a good thing we spent time walking the Cliffs the day prior.  It will be a while before I’ll get in a boat with swells like that again.  I’m always glad to have the story though.

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Prairie Stories

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These images were shot mostly south of Burke, South Dakota near or in Jamison, Nebraska (the road shot with the cars and four wheelers) while I was visiting my family last week.  Only the clothesline was shot in town.  There is nothing like clean sheets on the line drying in the sun.  I wandered around this farmstead and wondered what it was like when it was in operation.  It’s a gorgeous setting.  If anyone has any information about this farm please let me know.

I hope you discover some unexpected beauty in your weekend.

 

 

Autumn in Vermont, actually my neighborhood.

For many of you this is what you’re seeing outside your own front door.  However, for those of you around the world, I wanted to give you a glimpse of New England autumn.  It’s magical—my favorite time of year.  I was born October 12th, 1966 and autumn is when I feel most “at home” in my life.  Here’s a glimpse.  I wish the vintage Cadillac was mine, alas it is not.  I hope you enjoy the images.

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Burlington, Vermont—Tuesday October 28th, 2014

It was a rather ordinary autumn day in Burlington, Vermont but the light and weather shifts were really wild.  It rained until mid-afternoon and when it cleared it was warm and still.  As the day progressed the light became startlingly beautiful.  Our whole backyard glowed and it had an eerie quality.  The colors were uniquely intense and the sunset had people standing outside or heading down to the lake to watch the drama unfold.  I am so grateful that my mother taught me to see beauty in so many ways…both ordinary and extraordinary.

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