Gently and Quietly
The air is soft. The wind is mellow. The sun warms the very bones of this good old earth. The world thaws. The remaining patches of snow is sucked deep into the ground. The day is drenched with the fragrance of fluttering blossoms. The blackbird sings once more.
The gentle Spring is upon us.
In these parts of the world, winter might be long and endless but spring arrives with a promise of perfection that more than makes up for the frozen months now behind us. Dandelions push from the ground. Small and dainty at first, they soon turn plump and confident under the nurturing sun.
Furry buds of May. Tender new leaves unfurl. Dirt. Green grass. Spring makes me hug myself in delight.
And frogs. A great multitude of slippery, slimy frogs make their first appearance after the winter.
We found them one day while walking the many trails near our home. Hundreds of them squatting and staring unblinkingly in shallow pools of still dark waters collected in the surface runoff from the dirt track we were walking on.
A gentle croaking murmur rose amidst a froth of clear frogspawn dotted with life. A soothing mantra.
Adopting a slow pace of life, the frogs hardly made a ripple. Bobbing just above the surface, they gathered in clusters. We stood and watched in hushed silence this remarkable sight. Others soon came and stood with us. Occasionally, we would all break into mirth watching the mating antics of these silky creatures.
Time stood still. Each of us locked in the wonder and secrets that Nature had given us a glimpse of at that moment. We all shared in the peacefulness and appreciation of life in all its forms.
I think in moments like these we are healed. All is well. As it always has been.
And we walked home with a lingering sense of comfort in our hearts.
“Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and ignorant; they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be critical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be careful. Strive to be happy.”
Beautiful pictures…and wonderful words! I love the frogs! Namaste, mary
It was the first time in my life that we ever saw such a huge cluster of frogs in one place. For that moment we all felt like children again – shining eyes and wonder! I am glad you liked this Mary and thank you so much for coming by. Lovely to see you. Sharon
This is my sort of world. The frogs are wonderful. I love the photographs, the colours and sentiments. I think heaven must be like this.
Oh you just took the words right out of my mouth! We seem to think so too Andrew! It is indeed a slice of paradise. We have often stopped and breathed those words in thankfulness. It is lovely hearing from you and so glad to know you enjoyed this. Sharon
With those words you touch our souls and our hearts. Sometimes we need a time and a space to be quiet and relax, to feel the whole world and its generosity with us. This has been one of those moments and one of those spaces. Thanks.
How very wonderfully you put it! “To feel the whole world and its generosity with us”. I will carry with me the loveliness of this thought each time I walk out. How absolutely true the height and depth and width that Nature so generously blesses us with each moment.
I am touched by what you wrote. Thank you so much for coming by and a warm welcome here. Many wishes for a special day! Sharon
Your photos are stunningly beautiful – and the words too. Thank you Sharon – wishing you lots of happiness this spring! 😀
Spring is magic Cathy! Filled with all sorts of loveliness! So happy to know you enjoyed this as much as I enjoyed posting it! 😀 Sharon
Sharon beautiful words and we love frogs and know our garden is healthy when we see one. Your surrounds must be flourishing. The desiderata is one of my all time favourites, thank you for reminding me of that. Happy spring to you and many more frogs hatching.
The most wonderful thing about Finland must surely be the pristine nature. And our close proximity to it renews us daily. I loved the Desiderata as a young girl. It has always been there at the back of my mind like a guiding force.
Thank you so much for dropping by Kath! Always so good to hear from you. Happy Spring and to many more moments of silence and beauty. Sharon
Dear Elina! Thank you! And so good of you to drop by. To beautiful days! Sharon
…lovely…wow wow & more wows….
fantastic photos Sharon…and a beautiful write up to go with them
” I think in moments like these we are healed. “….love this Sharon..such moments are the only moments when we are really healed…most people are not aware of it…and they really do not know what they are missing…
thank you Sharon for sharing this lovely post…
I believe I got up and did a little dance when I read your comment! 😀 Those wows mean a lot! I am saved and healed in the arms of Nature. That’s how I feel everytime I make my way into the woods and emerge a different person. I know you understand this perfectly dear friend and that means so much.
Beautiful, Sharon! The photos are gorgeous, and I really enjoyed the quote from my fellow American-Bavarian, Max Ehrmann!
So glad you enjoyed this one Andelieya! Desiderata is one of those timeless words of wisdom that I cherished as a young girl and whose wisdom have guided me more than I have realised. Sharon. p.s. thank you I spotted my spelling error! 😀
I reach out to you Sharon with an embrace and thanks for reminding me to stop all the nonsense. Your photographs are beyond spectacular! Thank you, thank you. oxoxo
My dear Diane,
Oh hugs to you! We all have days of nonsense. Going out and breathing in the woods, the earth, the air shakes off some of that nonsense I believe 😀 Nature gives us that much needed perspective and soothes our clamorous minds. I thank you my lovely one in a garden hat who makes more beauty than she knows. With hugs, Shaz xxx
Sorry I might sound weird to say it this way but Sharon? I LOVE YOU.
your thoughts are pure and beautiful and your pictures calming, gorgeous, wonderful. Keep blogging my friend. X
😀 Mehmudah, that was the loveliest thing someone could tell me!!! Oh hugs. You my friend carry sunshine wherever you go. Thank you so much for all the happiness you left me here. Sharon
Glorious descriptions of spring’s renewal and the renaissance offered to our spirits: we can be as lively and as peaceful, as authentic and as connected…thank you, Sharon, for your deeply loving testament to all of this and more. I so appreciate your reflections and the tender images that match them…
My dear Kitty,
Your own words of peace and renewal are a gift in themselves. Thank you so much and I wish you a season of rest as beautiful as our earth’s pure offerings. With warm affection, Sharon
The photos are lovely and serene. I smiled when you wrote ‘Spring makes me hug myself in delight.’ That sounds like such a good thing to do. I haven’t read Desiderata in ages. I really enjoyed it at the end of your post; perfect choice…..I could hug myself with delight too 🙂
Desiderata was one of my most cherished words of wisdom as a young girl. It has perhaps guided me silently from the back of my mind all through life. I must say I haven’t read it for the last 20 years and recently came upon these old familiar words.
The words stirred a lifetime of memories. Its significance even richer than I remembered. Suddenly, the nuances and depth of these timeless words took on a whole new level. It must be that I have grown through the seasons of life and time.
Oh, isn’t it such a good place to be when one is able to give oneself a hug in delight!! 😀 To the loveliness of the day! Sharon
Yes, I think you are right. Desiderata was played or read so often when I was young that it must surely have left some imprint on me too. They are powerful words. I love how we can read or hear something at different times in our life and each time there is a new understanding or depth of meaning to find.
Go placidly amidst the noise and haste…” Your photos reminded me of that today Sharon. Thank you as always. I am so glad you arrive in my post box when your muse inspires you.
It is good to know that the peace I felt is also felt by those who come upon these photos. To quiet, gentle days. Sharon
A really beautiful set, the colors of the frogs are so vibrant. The green trim in your theme is a good choice for a nature photography blog.
So good to hear from you! Thank you for taking the time to come by and I appreciate your warm words. They mean so much seeing that I admire your photography greatly. Have a wonderful day! Sharon
I love the Desiderata…one of my favorite writings of all time. Thank you for this beautiful post. Your frog shots are exquisite. One quick photography question: the lighting was so wonderful with these. How did you do it? Did you use a little fill-light and perhaps a polarizing filter? Just gorgeous.
Thank you so much for liking this. Actually, I took these photos armed only with my macro lens and lots of help from the sun for natural lighting! 😀 The photos were low angle shots where I was almost eye-to-eye level with the frogs. That was fun to say the least. I’ve been eyeing the new Nikon D7100 for an upgrade – one day 😀 So glad to catch up with you here. Have a great day and I’ve been really enjoying your photography so very much! Sharon
Hi Sharon, Love the pics, love your words, just great! Spring rocks. 🙂
Oh it’s an absolute wonder to be outside these days and we don’t even notice the time! Thank you so much Joy for dropping by and I’ve been enjoying the really great tips for stretching and all the fun things to do outside now that spring is here! Spring rocks 😀 Sharon
I’m with you. The spring fills me with such delight that it spills over onto everyone and everything around me.
It’s been a while since we have been in touch and I am so glad to see you here again dear one! Yes, I believe you have captured the essence of spring. It spills over the delights of the heart and soul. In the hundred little things that we have missed over the long winter. Thank you so much for coming by. Always so good to hear from you. Hugs, Sharon
Everything about this post was just beautiful…stay blessed!
Thank you so much for your kind words! It made my heart warm. So good to hear from you and warmest wishes for a beautiful day. Sharon
Welcome back to spring. wonderful post, wonderful pictures.
Always a joy to hear from you! Thank you so much for writing and just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate you. With many thanks and to these beautiful days of blissful spring! Sharon
We’re already facing summer. The grass is drying out, the tulips have passed, and the air is getting warmer.
Have a great spring!
Beautiful words and photos. We too enjoy the peace and simple joy that moving slowly in nature can bring. Really enjoyed this post.
I am so glad you share the same communion with nature Eric. It is indeed one of life’s beautiful moments. Thank you so much for writing. Glad you liked this. Sharon
Love the photos! After such long winters, you and your family must appreciate spring even more than the rest of us.
Believe it or not, it was a bitter-sweet moment when winter was slowly winding down to an end! For there is much loveliness in white sunny days. But now that spring is upon us, I am embracing it like a dear old friend and never ever want her to leave!! 😀 I secretly think that the Springs and Summers here in Finland is extra wonderful to make up for the extra long winters. Thanks so much for coming by and for enjoying the photos! Happy days are here to stay! Sharon
wonderful post… Thank you dear, love, nia
Oh thank you so much Nia! I wish you a good holiday and see you soon! Hugs, Sharon
Your photos are exquisite, Sharon! A beautiful and tender tribute to the wonders of spring! Hugs, Vivian
My dearest Vivian,
I had been wanting to specially get in touch with you since you last wrote. Thank you so much for taking the time and come by and dropping me this warm note. It is good to know that whever you are right now, this little post reached you. Thinking of you often and I will write again to you soon. Be blessed my dear soul. With all my love and plenty of hugs! I’ve missed you. Sharon
Dear Sharon, Thank you so much for your heart-warming note. Last month I was in Maine for Mother’s Day. While there I was invited to tea at the studio of a Finnish-American artist. The last time I was visited her studio, she was painting in oil a 10-foot-tall bird’s nest, each twig and feather in mesmerizing detail. So naturally this time I thought of you and how you would adore her works. I intended to ask if she has any works on permanent display in Finland. Alas, she had to cancel at the last moment because she was running late on an exhibition she was shipping. But the dream of you one day seeing her paintings remains. I will inquire on my next visit.
This has been a year of profound changes for me; hence, the silence on my site. And though my visits to your site are sporadic, I hold you dear in my heart. I hope you and yours are thriving! Hugs, Vivian
My dearest Vivian,
You don’t know just how precious it is for me that you wrote! My heart gave a leap of joy! Thank you so much for thinking of me while you were in Maine. I would love to see her painting. The bird’s nest sounds exquisite.
I just sent you an email to your email address. I hope that’s ok I looked it up. I think of you often and of the changes we all sometimes face in our lives. How very good it is when we can share it with friends who come alongside with us.
Take care. Hope to hear from you soon. Plenty hugs, Sharon
Dear Sharon… the Desiderata is one of my favorite poems. It shows how simple truths spoken with kindness can ripple through time and touch countless souls. Thank you for the frog essay; they are such beautiful and delicate creatures. The way you talk about nature offering us a glimpse in to timelessness is very interesting insofar as you suggest that it is a progressive force that deliberately seeks to open our eyes to a deeper reality.
For as long as I could remember, there was Desiderata. It has always been a guiding light even as a whisper from the back of my mind. In many ways, I think it is one of those words of wisdom that we internalise. I had not read this poem for the last 20 years and when I came upon it again recently one day, the words flowed and I read it with new eyes deepened from life’s experience.
In many ways, nature offers us fresh new glimpses each moment, each day. And it is a growing, deepening force that draws us in, and if we watch with eyes that see and ears that hear, Nature is a timeless wonder. I know you understand this most perfectly.
Thank you for your thoughtful, beautiful message. It is a gift to hear from you. Sharon
Beautiful photos and words… thanks Sharon!
So glad you enjoyed this post. Watching and photographing the frogs were such a delightful treat! I never knew frogs could make me smile so much! 😀 Hugs, Sharon
What a wonderful post; both words and images. Thank you.
Thank you so much Steven! I’m so happy to hear from you! Have a great weekend! Sharon
A beautiful world indeed! Your writing is enchanting poetry to me. A reflection of the gentle beautiful spirit who created it. Your photographs are delightful. And Desiderata is overflowing with truth and wisdom. Thank you for making my day even more beautiful with this post, Sharon.
The joy that I feel in putting together this post must surely be matched with the joy of knowing it brought light and beauty to your day dear Russ! Oh thank you so much for your warm feedback. It means so very much. You are kindness. Sharon
The pictures are beautiful, your words about the world of frogs enchanting, and the poem too beautiful to not love and appreciate it.
Your love of nature is obvious and I am grateful for all nature-loving souls. Thank you for sharing the magic. 🙂
What makes my heart glad is knowing that the joy I received from Nature’s bountiful gifts is shared by so many of you too. Thank you for sensing the magic of this moment Brenda! Oh how many miracles are contained in a day if we truly see. A joy shared is doubled. I thank you for doubling the joy! 😀 Sharon
This is a great post. Those photographs are incredible!
Naomi! Thank you so much! I am so happy you enjoyed this post and so good to hear from you! Happy weekend! Sharon
Hello Valorie! So great that you dropped by and glad you liked the photos! Thank you so much. Sharon
Your photos are absolutely stunning Sharon ! just can’t believe how wonderful they are. And your writing..true magic. I’m always humbled by your artistry.
Oh Emily, that means so much and reading your message made me dance a little on the inside! 😀 Thank you from my heart. Sharon
You are so truly special Sharon. You have such a generous gift of words that I can only dream of. Those who are in your life are so lucky to have you.
Uplifting and reaffirming all that is good, your posts are truly a breath of fresh air.
Dear Pat, that is indeed so good to know. Thank you so much. I’m always happy to hear from you. Wishing you plentiful loveliness and the delights of your heart. Hugs, Sharon
Beautiful, writing and photos! Michael use to read this poem to his students. How true. Hugs,
I think I like Michael already! 😀 I somehow have a soft spot for teachers, teachers who love poetry and teachers who read Desiderata to their students. Might be also because I know this man has brought much happiness to your heart dear Fae. I wish you and Michael a wonderful cruise to Alaska! Enjoy the fresh sea breeze and the lovely green. And the salmon 😀 Love much, Sharon
What a beasutiful piece this one is! Such high quality photography, accompanied by lyrical, well-written prose. It was a delight to read.
Your warm feedback is much appreciated! Thank you for enjoying this piece and for your patience in waiting for me to get back to you! Wishing you lovely days of Spring. Sharon
I find peace in nature; I find peace in your images, and I find peace in your words. Simply beautiful, Sharon. Much love.
To find peace and be at peace must surely be one of life’s most precious moments. I am touched to know you felt this blessed peace through time and across miles. Thinking of you with much warmth in my heart. Sharon
Beautiful photographs and beautiful words
Hello Fearless Fred!
Thanks for being here! Btw did you know that I was living close to Whangarei with some international students some 10 years ago? I wonder if we ever bumped into each other? 😀 Take care and have a great day! Sharon
Thank you Sharon, you also 🙂
As usual, your words and pictures acted as a gentle salve to my schedule dictated, activity packed day. I needed to read this today. Thank you, Sharon and love to you and yours.
Hello there Piyali!
My day is brightened each time you come over and so much more when I go over and catch up. Thank you so much for keeping in touch in the midst of busy days and growing kids and hubby and dog 😀 Glad the magic of frogs worked its charm on you. We were thrilled to bits needless to say. See you later alligator. Crocodile xx
I used to play with the frogs when I was young, and the time when my home town Miri was not as developed as now. Borneo is still beautiful homeland to me, that I bring along many good things, the smell of the early morning forest, the sound of the waves of the south China Sea, and beautiful milky way across the night sky. I always tell my friends, I come from Heaven, and I bring along with me the Heaven.
Excellent capture, and I can see the serenity in the photos, as so the heart that see them. Just one thing, the white part of the photos are easily overexposed, I think which is inherent properties of the jpeg output. May be you can try increase the dynamic range or adjust in raw.
Have a nice day!
Your comment was like a beautiful piece poetry. I close my eyes and the scenes you described became alive, the smells, the sounds. Indeed you come from Heaven. As for your valuable advice on photography, I’m afraid it all went past over my head! I shall continue to hone my skills and knowledge as I go along.
Thank you for coming over and for taking your time to leave me this lovely message. Take care and have a nasi lemak for me ok! 😀 Sharon
Oh, Sharon, your photos are fantastic! And your words lent well to the serenity and joy and exaltation that nature brings. 🙂 Happy spring to you and your family.
My dear Imelda,
I am still thinking of your luscious peonies! And before I forget, I just wanted to tell you that you remind me a lot of my very good friend Rosa. And I look forward to getting to know you and your wonderful work! Thank you so much for this message. Enjoy your gorgeous spring and much love to all at home! Sharon
Beautiful words, lovely pictures 🙂
My apologies for this very late reply to your warm review. Thank you so much for coming over. Your photography is stunning and leaves a lasting impression on me. My best wishes to you for a wonderful day! Sharon
Beautiful pictures, and what an amazing experience! Now if my in laws were there they might view it differently…ie…which is good for cooking. :p
Hello, hello, hello Martha! Haha – thank goodness frogs are not a delicacy here in Finland 😀 It certainly was an amazing and memorable experience! I had never seen such a multitude of frogs congregating in one place before. Literally hundreds spilling over in the shallow ditches. We went there a week later and they were all gone. Too late the catch the migration of the frogs and the tadpoles. Maybe next year. Good to see you here. Fantastic job you’re doing with your girls. I just found out you’re homeschooling. Take care, much love and to the many wonders of life all around us! Hugs xx
Sharon, I LOVE these frog photos! Beautiful post. Enjoy your spring!
So good to hear from you! Thank you so much for coming by. We had the greatest time watching these frogs! 😀 They made us all smile. Are you travelling at the moment? I look forward to your latest! Take care and happy spring to you! Sharon
Superb post.l liked the thoughts and the beautiful pictures.Thank you for liking my recent post.Warm regards.jalal
Thank you so much for your great comment. Just to let you know that I am unable to click on your name link. If you would look into that and fix it, it will be easier to get back to you and for others who might want to visit your blog. So sorry for this late reply. Please keep in touch if you get this message. Have a wonderful day! Sharon
What a beautiful post… Such lovely pictures of some of my favorite guys! Surrounded with gorgeous writing and one of my favorite poems. Thanks for a wonderful piece!
Your post left me speechless! These pictures and the soul-moving words of “Desiderata” made my day. 🙂
I absolutely love your frogs! Another beautiful post 🙂
Lovely, and beautiful photos! Hundreds of frogs? I am lucky to see just a few. Thank you.
Exquisite writing and imagery (as always) – I love the thought of allowing nature to heal us. How medicinal creation can be when we immerse ourselves in it…
Beautiful nature photos Sharon. Love these frogs, so cute.
It`s quite true that everything is perfect in those moments.
Hope your new week is perfect too.
Another beautiful post Shaz. I loved the photos, stunning as always. What a beautiful poem. I always enjoy browsing your blog and reading your post. Thanks for a great visit. hugs, Renee ♥
Sharon, I am healed simply by looking at your magnificent photographs of the frogs. Just exceptional. Now as for Desiderata … one of my most very favorite pieces. So much so, that a number of years ago, I printed out the poem in a diamond shape on 8.5 x 11″ paper, and did a watercolor of each season in the surrounding 4 corners. I had them printed, then matted and framed them and these were my Christmas gifts to loved ones. I would love to show it to you! I have a low resolution version on my computer that I could send, but only by e-mail, I imagine. If you’re so inspired, you can e me through my website jeannebalsam.com and I’d be delighted to send it to you.
Thanks, as always, for sharing – (hmmmm – Sharon … sharing … how similar, eh?) – your lovely spirit with all of us. Jeanne
Excellent job on these images Sharon!
Thank you, thank you, thank you!! 😀 I’m still hopping with delight myself. Sometimes I surprise myself with my photography 😀
I love your daily reminders and the beautiful pictures of the frogs. Thank you for the visit and the like of my post “Little Yellow Flowers”.
You really do have the skill of photography – great photos.
I have never looked at frogs so closely before, and seen something interesting. You’ve broadened my horizons 🙂
Amazing photos! Accompanied by a full set of earrings (… dotted with life. A soothing mantra); bracelet ( spring makes me hug myself in delight). And the necklace (Desiderata) with pendant (..in moments like this we are healed)
All genuine word-gems. Irresistible. And I’m wearing them. Thank you for the priceless gift, Sharon.
Wonderful photos I can already taste the spring, thanks and wish you a beautiful evening 🙂
You have such a natural skill with prose………your words are a lovely as the thoughts you put forth. And I have long had a copy of the Desiderata on the wall in my bedroom and try very hard to live according to it’s teachings………..though I usually fall short!
Beautiful photos and beautiful words…….thanks for allowing me in.
Glorious photographs and inspiring words. Thank you for visiting and liking “A Poem in Three Parts”.
I enjoyed this from the beginning to the end. Great work!
Your photos are fantastic, and you are so good with words. You know nature, Sharon, and are good in sharing this knowledge.
So very awesomely done!!!
Thanks, Life here has been a little hectic. This made my day. Photographs were great also!
Just Wonderful, Sharon!!! Hugs!
How absolutely wonderful to hear from you Donna!! It’s been ages! We must catch up soon. I’m trying to juggle summer holidays, school being out and one seven year old boy and blog at the same time 😀 Sending you my warmest wishes for a beautiful day! Sharon
I’m on vacation this week, heading down to Virginia for 2 days with my youngest for a quick visit with a friend. My wedding anniversary is Friday, so I must be home for that. :). We will catch up soon! I’ve been buried with work etc, not blogging as much as I’d like to. We will catch up soon. Btw, the coffee is finally gone – but it was delicious!!! Thanks, BIG HUGS! D.
HOW could I have missed so many beautiful posts from you? Looking on the brighter side, it’s a joy catching up. 🙂
It is still a beautiful world! You add to its beauty with each post.
Fantastic composed nature shots! So nearby!
What a beautiful post-the words and images are perfect-and your photographs of the frogs-amazing! I look forward to seeing more-
Thanks for another thought-provoking read, I enjoyed visiting.
Gorgeous photos! Are those frog pictures from Finland? I don’t think I’ve ever seen frogs here! I also love this, “Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit” – oh so true! That’s how I’m feeling right now.