Friday, May 08, 2015

Inspiration: Irises, a Ferry & Fields of Life

It’s true. I no longer walk by or through Bergdorf’s, Bendel, or Barney’s on a daily basis. After all of these years of not living in New York City, while I do cherish the joy and inspiration  those activities lent me; it seems so far in my past, it is almost as if I dreamed it and didn’t really live it. This morning as I went about my Friday list of errands I was once again reminded of how different my life is here in the Willamette Valley and, surprisingly, how much it feels like home these days. If you asked me ten years ago if I thought this would ever feel like home I would have had a good chuckle, looked at you like you were nuts and “never” would have most likely been my speedy reply.

Interesting how time and age (heavy emphasis on age) can shift thoughts and feelings. While I loved the energy, sounds and smells of New York I do remember searching for a respite in Central Park almost every day. Agatha, my Norwich Terrier, and I would walk until we reached the center of the park where the horns, sirens and bus sounds were slightly muffled, tricking us into thinking that the hustle and bustle of the city didn’t exist. All it took though was a few steps east or west and it all came crashing back — we were indeed living in a giant metropolis. Don’t get me wrong…I loved every minute and am so very grateful for my years there; but I do remember also loving that there were ways I could mingle with nature and recharge.
Surprisingly, I have found a much different energy living here. I think it is much like living at the beach as I did for so many years of my life before moving to New York. One of the things I loved most about looking out over the ocean everyday was the fact that it made me feel small — not in an inconsequential way — it just reminded me that I was a small speck in this giant universe. Life did not revolve around me — in reality, I revolved around life. Today, just a mile or so from my house I am in the midst of wide open fields and open skies once again being reminded of my place in it all. When the dust is down, I can see forever. Each season offers different vistas and today marked the real beginning of the growing season so fields that have been bare are once again full of life and color.

While I use to buy my weekly flowers every Friday on the corner of 70th and First Avenue; today I drove to Schreiner’s Iris Gardens and walked through fields of irises and took a few snaps before making my selection from hundreds of glorious cut beauties that would come home with me. Question — how much would I pay for a dozen fresh cut, unusual and huge iris varieties at my local green grocer in New York? Let’s just say it was never $7.50! Never! The Iris Gardens are an institution around here — established in the 30s so it is fun to visit and gather a bunch each year. Here is the link to the Gardens — if you are into collecting and growing irises they do a terrific mail-order biz and offer more varieties than you can imagine!
Wending my way back home I got distracted and took a little detour to the Wheatland Ferry, which still fascinates me. The history in this part of the country is long and solid and talks of hearty souls who ventured west seeking a better life in many ways. I love that snippets of the rich history are to be found just around the corner. The photographer in me gets sidetracked so easily — stopping to capture early farm houses, open fields and barns — it makes my heart happy to be able to share snaps with all of you. I just think it is so interesting to see how people live — and today was no exception. 

Standing on the running board of my Jeep to better capture an image, totally ensconced in the scene in front of me and the settings on my camera, I was surprised when a very cute and, I might add very young, farmer walked up behind me. After apologizing for scaring the bejeezus out of me, he asked if I would move my car an inch or two so he could maneuver his truck out of the field onto the highway! He actually got out of his truck, walked over to me and politely asked for my help while I was parked on his property! And, no, there wasn’t a horn to be heard! Life is good, right?

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