Friday, June 7, 2013


Spending a week on the shore of southern California each summer has become a sort-of a tradition for me and the huz.  For him it's a business trip but for me it is a time of rest and contemplation, a pilgrimage of sorts.  (It's a rough life, I know, but someone has to live it.)

I spend a lot of time walking these gorgeous beaches, searching for (and finding) peace and clarity.

The gardens around our favorite inn are lovely and I revel in their beauty with gratitude.

It is a quiet week...contemplative and healing.

I did a bit of sketching this week and want to post this ink and watercolor Bird of Paradise blooms in honor of my friends from Paint Party Friday.  (Hi, everyone!)

This year's visit is a little different since our youngest is with us.  It's been fun showing him some of our favorite haunts.  We bought ukuleles (yep...ukuleles...more on that in another post).  It's been fun learning something new.

I cherish this time.  My boy is growing up and I try hard not to think about how quickly his last few years at home will pass.  There is sometimes tension in our relationship as he pulls away and we try to strike a balance between mutual respect and his increasing desire for independence.

I want to prepare my heart for the letting go that is just on the horizon but I know it will take me by surprise anyway.

Like this beautiful shoreline one never knows how life will appear from one day, one instant, to the next.  It seems our ability to adjust and appreciate the beauty of the immediate moment determines whether we thrive or merely exist.

Lord, give me the grace to celebrate the ebb and flow and find joy in each season of life.  Help me see the beauty in it all.

Linking up today with:


  1. Beautiful floral photos and floral sketch!
    Happy PPF!!
    Mixed-Media Map Art

  2. Wow that orange flower is majestic! Happy PPF!

  3. This post touched me. I too have growing kids. My daughter is 15 and my son is 18. We have had a challenging half year with him, but I have hope for what lies ahead. I too have had to start looking at the reality of their growing need for independence. Until a mother is right here, they can never know how very heartbreaking it all can be to let them go.

  4. beautiful job on the bird of paradise. My son is 18 and I feel exactly the same as you do, I guess it will always be like that!

  5. Beautiful photos and sketch!
    Happy PPF

  6. Janice your photos are all so beautiful, you are definitely appreciating your moments! Children are so dear to us, I can feel for you Janice, my oldest is 13 years old, I am well aware of how quickly it all goes by, enjoy all your special moments Janice! xx

  7. Lovely views Janice and your bird of paradise sketch is fantastic. Glad you are wandering about with your boy and finding joy in just being with him and the huz in the land of beautiful. xox

  8. Such beautiful photos you show and so are your watercolor sketches! Enjoy the wonderful time with your loved ones ♥ Conny

  9. I found your photography and bird of paradise flower paintings awe inspiring, and your writing extremely touching. My oldest daughter just finished her sophomore year in college, and my youngest will be a Senior in High School next year. I am extremely close to them, so I understand what you probably are going through. Praying definitely helps. Blessings!

  10. This is an incredible likeness of the bird-of-paradise flower. Beautiful painting, Janice. And the photography is gorgeous too.I lived on Coronado Island for almost 3 years, many years ago. Southern California is truly a beautiful place.

  11. Beautiful painting of the Bird of Paradise, and lovely photos.

  12. LOVE your birds of paradise and lovely pictures. Glad you have blue skies, here it's foggy!

  13. Janice, living by the sea with late teens of my own I can totally relate to this post. It's beautiful to be beside the sea from your shore this time. Shore I am sure, that all will be ok, every day different but you see the sea is just the same. Steady and full of whatever you need, not asking for more, that's sea beside the shore, the space is in-between. Lovely restful post. Thanks

  14. Beautiful bird of paradise illustration, and so true that you never know what life might bring. Enjoying the moment is all we really can do ....

  15. What a wonderful way to spend a week, walking the shoreline listening to the waves, wandering beautiful gardens and just being! Your birds of paradise are quite wonderful, are they in the garden as well? Happy PPF!

  16. Gorgeous seems to change quite drastically in intervals...sometimes it flows, other times it's difficult. The beauty of nature puts it all in perspective!!

    Hugs Giggles

  17. Wonderful watercolour and ink illustration with beautiful colours. Great photos of your garden and the shore. Thanks for sharing:)


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