Woodsmoke and Sunshine
The first blog post after a long break is always the hardest to write.
There is a self-imposed pressure to write something so brilliantly memorable as to be worth your while. Something worthy of four months’ absence. Something that will take your breath away.
It is humbling to discover that what is essentially newsworthy can’t usually be measured in words. It can ultimately only be seen in how we live.
For the true measure of who we are does not lie in our words alone. It is always reflected in our deeds. In our daily acts of kindness. Or lack of it.
It is shown in how we treat those closest and most familiar to us. It is who we are in the privacy of our homes. What sort of thoughts we allow to roam freely in our minds.
And that is perhaps the greatest challenge for every writer. How to always write with a greater measure of integrity. For it is only when we are able to teach ourselves, that our words become empowered and worthy to be read.
So here I am again, sitting in this blessed spot. This sacred place of the written word. Where we return to the pursuit of a truer self.
Where the joys and sorrows of being human mingle as wonderfully as woodsmoke and sunshine in my hair.
*If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you may have noticed that this blog runs on a schedule largely determined by the school term and school vacations of one seven year old boy. This time it took longer than anticipated as my son started first grade after the summer.
And I felt I just needed to draw in closer and lock my eyes on my son during this transition of growing up. I needed to come to a place where I can say no to more. And yes to less.
I am still learning that fine art of balance. And yes, all the lessons that may only be understood and quietly absorbed in the depths and space of silence.
Thank you all so much for your comments and messages. I must especially thank those of you who wrote to me personally during this time just to check in on me. Thank you for not letting me go. Your thoughtful acts of kindness brought a deep, unexpected joy.
It surely is a most remarkable thing to be remembered with such care and fondness. Please know that gratitude fills my heart.
Hi there, Sharon! Your post is such a ray of sunshine this beautiful Monday. Don’t worry about it being brilliant or not because your friends are glad for the simple fact that you are back. Your pictures are so gorgeous (I’ll get back to reading the rest of your post later. I just had to say “Hi”. 🙂
Have a great day. 🙂
My dearest Imelda,
I couldn’t have asked for a better welcome back! 😀 Thank you for your warm kindness. It is indeed good to be back among friends. Hugs, Sharon
Love the mix of ideas using smoke and sunshine – very real components of life
It was a glorious summer and we spent almost every minute of it outdoors. And the one phrase of loveliness that lingered on after the season’s end and fills me still with a rush of delight is woodsmoke and sunshine. There simply isn’t a better combination to be experienced. Thank you so much for your thoughts. So good to hear from you! Sharon
So great you had such a wonderful summer – just heading into ours but we’re worried it’s going to be hot hot hot!
Seeing your blog in my email brought a smile. A great start to my week. Welcome back, bondhu (friend, in Bengali) !
Bondhu – what an honour. What a gift. You have been in my thoughts. Thank you for never letting me go. Seeing you here is a great start to mine! (isn’t it rather amazing that hearts can connect across miles and oceans?) Thank you for the smiles! 😀 HUGS HUGS HUGS.
Sharon, as always, it has been worth the wait. Woodsmoke and sunshine is a breath-taking concept. Welcome back! P
Oh you make it lovely to be back my dear P! Hope the little island stood up well against the storm. Sharon
Oh, Sharon; you’ve been missed and held in my heart, but it sounds like you were deepening and intimate with your life in ways you needed to be…which, in the end, as you note, deepens our art. Lovely photographs and thoughts strung together like jewels, a s always, peace to you and joy in your discoveries.
It has been said that those who understand your silence will understand your words. Your understanding is a gift I cherish above all else, dear Kitty. Thank you so much. I have missed you immensely. Sharon
Welcome! It is lovely to have you back with us and to know you are in your blessed spot again.
My heart did a little leap seeing you here! 😀 One sometimes wonders who will still be out there after four months! So very glad to be back. Many hugs to the one who first introduced me to medlars! Sharon
Yes, the blogging world is like real life, ever changing! I am glad you remember the medlars 🙂
Hi Sharon. I am new to your blog. Your photos and words are so beautiful! What a perfect way to begin a Monday. Wishing you a wonderful week. 🙂
A very warm welcome to the blog! So very good of you to leave me a note. I appreciate your kind comment and I hope to get to know you better. Thank you for your kind wishes and may it be beautiful where you are. Sharon
i thought of you yesterday. 🙂 happy to see your post today and look forward to the next – whenever the timing feels right to you!
I truly am so glad to get a chance to know you! Thank you for writing and I am touched to know you thought of me. That is a gift in itself. Blessings for a new day. Sharon
So happy to have you back Sharon! Lovely thoughts. Hope you will visit and comment on my recent posts. I have missed your wonderful, magical posts. ox Diane
My lovely Diane!
I see you have been well and doing so beautifully over the summer! That kale pesto is still dancing before me my friend! Hugs, Shaz
I hope Sharon that you can find two bunches of beautiful curly kale in your town, and will try my recipe. Make a large batch, as it freezes very well, divided into 8 oz. deli containers! xo
I’ve thought of you often this summer, knowing that you were spending memorable times with your family. I’m so glad to see you back and read your wonderful words. You may have been away from the page, but judging by these comments and my thoughts, you’ve not been away from our hearts.
My dear Barney,
Oh my heart has been so full and so blessed since receiving this very kind note from you! I’ve been searching for the right words to properly express my deep appreciation for the warmth and strength you have imparted to my heart. It means so much to me. Thank you… Sharon
Beautiful words. Stunning photos. I smiled when I saw your post in the wordpress reader this morning. I’m so happy you are posting again.
I brought back lots of smiles myself after visiting you. Thank you so much for leaving me this warm comment. Happy Halloween! Sharon
Hi Sharon, I enjoy your pictures routinely, but on this post your words pierced me with the phrase ‘here I am again, sitting in this blessed spot. This sacred place of the written word. Where we return to the pursuit of a truer self.’. This speaks to why we write, Thanks for your pearls today. Brad
I’m so glad you decided to write and leave me this note because I got a chance to visit your thoughts and writings – which left me very inspired and touched. I look forward to getting to know you and wish you a journey of blessings. Sharon
Life is as ephemeral as the woodsmoke and sunshine, but your wisdom is so very sweet and deep. Welcome back and thank you, dear Sharon.
You are a gift to me. Thank you for the honour of knowing you. With love, Sharon
Welcome back, dear Sharon! Beautiful photos, as always.
Thank you Cathy and so good to see you here! Have a wonderful weekend and happy November! (already!) 😀 Sharon
Hey Sharon… so happy to have you back…:-)
“And I felt I just needed to draw in closer and lock my eyes on my son during this transition of growing up.”—- this is what is important right now..take your time enjoy every moment you spend with him…which will never come back…
the photos are beautiful…and of course love your words…:-)
I have been meaning to write to you again ever since I found out who your wonderful daughter is! And I wasn’t the least bit surprised. She stood out at once the minute I met her. She indeed left a lasting impression upon my heart. I remembered in particular a post she wrote in dedication to her parents and her love and joy were unconcealed. No, I am not at all surprised she is yours. The only thing that surprised me was that from the way you told me you had a daughter, I always had the impression she was only five years old!! 😀 They will always be our babies, won’t they?…
Thank you so much for seeing these words of mine. I knew you would understand a mother’s heart. Thank you for your encouragement in more ways than I can count. Your kindness is a blessing. Sharon
hi Sharon…My daughter will always be a five year old girl..to me.
You know we keep telling her that she did a big mistake by growing up.that is the reason I said ..enjoy every moment with your son…now..they will never come back. The moments spent with our kids when young will always remain the most cherished ones.:-)
your words and pics are beautiful…they have so much meaning in them.
I am so very glad we met…
love to your son…the great spirit will always be with him..and your family..
Thank you so much for this precious blessing dear Sriram. It means a lot to me and our family. Please send my love to Sumi. You must be so very proud of her…
It’s so nice to read your beautiful and wise words Sharon. All I need to do is think of you, and I am filled with gratitude for your presence in this world. Much love to you. – Carol
Oh what a lovely thing to say! You are a dear heart. Thank you so much. I have been immersing myself in the joy of your works today. Thank you for the inspiration. Hugs, Sharon
Your message reached me as shafts of light piercing a dark gray sky, full of awesome wonder, beauty, hope, and promise. Thank you, dear Sharon. It is a delight to experience glimpses of your beautiful spirit through words that have been warmed in the sacred space of your heart.
Your message is a beautiful gift…I am blessed, immensely blessed. I thank you from my heart. Blessings to you, wonderful friend… Sharon
Welcome back, Sweet Sharon. Nourishing words are always craved. If you only know ‘how much’ your words touch the hearts. I wish I had fraction of your ghalam قلم (pen – words/wisdom come through your pen)!
No post is complete without you!!! Your love and big heartedness envelope me like sunshine! You are so very dear to me. With love always, Sharon
It is nice to see you back Sharon. I hope your son is settling well into first grade it seems such a leap for them at that age and always a worry for the parents too.
So lovely to hear from you! Oh you must know better than anyone this wonderful adventure of parenting with 25 years of experience behind you 😀 Thank you for your understanding. Have a wonderful weekend and loving your artworks! Sharon
Several grey hairs from the 25 + years now – But I wouldn’t change a thing. Children are so precious and special – enjoy every minute as they grow so quickly. Thank you for your lovely comments about my work, they really mean a lot.
Welcome back Sharon 🙂
So good to hear from you and even better to know that all is well. I think of you often and send you little thoughts of love. I hope you got them alright 😀 Hugs, blessings and miracles! Sharon
That’s wonderful, thanks so much Sharon. Lots of love to you also. God bless you as you continue to share your wisdom with us.
By the way, I don’t know if I ever told you, but a comment you made a while ago about not staying a victim really helped me to turn the corner while I was seeing a psychologist to move through some past issues. I remember reading your comments out to her and realizing for the first time that I didn’t want to be a victim anymore. Thank you – your words were pivotal to my realization and I’ll never forget it.
Just wanted you to know.
I missed your gentle take on life and agree there are times we must take a step back in order to take care of those people we hold close to our hearts. I love your photo’s and poetic words. welcome back Sharon.
Thank you so much Kath for taking time out from your busy writing and drawing schedule to leave me this warm note! Wishing you a super November with NaNoWriMo! Hugs, Sharon
It made me happy to see your blog in my feed again – welcome back!!
And it made me happy to see you here again! 😀 Thank you for the welcome back! Hugs, Shaz
Welcome back. I enjoyed your post. It conjured up for me a carefree day from my childhood. Best wishes.
Carefree days of childhood must be one of the loveliest gifts in life. May we all have many such moments even today. Thinking of you with much fondness, warrior. Sharon
Just lovely. Thank you
Dear Maureen, thank you so much. Warmest wishes your way, Sharon
Good to see you back Sharon. Your posts are always full of light and warmth, and a pleasure to see, regardless how frequent or infrequent!
Oh it’s so good to see you Cathy! Your words warmed my heart. Sharon
Very lovely to have you back again with words of peace and sunshine. I’ve often found that the best friendships survive through the times of absence (as needed) as did yours! Welcome back!
That means so much to me Gunta! Thank you most warmly for your kind message. Sharon
It is so lovely to see you here dear friend. I love the fire in these photographs and the balm in your words. Thank you for this joyful autumn gift! xo Viv
Your beautiful heart is a gift to me, my dear Viv. To all the wonderful gifts of life we have been blessed with and all my love to Zoey & Grecko! (when I think of them, my heart just overflows with happiness just knowing they are in such good hands!) Sharon
It’s so great to see you in my inbox again, Sharon. I enjoyed reading your gentle account of where you’ve been whilst away from here. Your son has a wonderful mom, and I’m sure that you’ve made sure that his transition from home to school has been an easy one for him. Welcome back. 🙂
Thank you so much for writing! I feel so blessed being given this opportunity to be a mom – I don’t want to miss a thing! 😀 Sending you and your wonderful family much love and happiness always! Sharon xx
Thank you, Sharon. Have a wonderful week. 🙂 xx
I’ve been checking on you every week, just in case I’d missed your next post. But knew that you’ll came back when it’s the right time for you. So happy to see you again! I love the message I get from the photos too: simplicity and the continuum of life. Hugs
It is a very, very good feeling to be checked upon! And thank you for writing! Btw, Helsinki just got her first Starbucks right smack in the middle of the city inside Akateemi bookstore beside Stockmann. The line wrapped around the block. 😀 That’s the lot from Finland for now. Moi moi! Sharon
Welcome back! I’ve been waiting for your posts. I like your comment about writing “with a greater measure of integrity”. Truer words I haven’t heard in a long time. Hope your son has fun at school. Have a great day!
I believe you are one of those who write with a greater measure of integrity. Have a wonderful day too and sorry for this late reply! Sharon
Thank you, but most people tell me I am brutally honest, which often gets me in trouble. I appreciate your integrity as well. Attack the day with love and compassion.
Good to hear from you again – studying the fine art of balance. Interesting…
It would be lovely to hear from you your thoughts on the fine art of balance. Thank you so much for writing. Namaste. Sharon
A beautiful post. I’m glad you have decided to come back, although certainly I would understand if you hadn’t. I’m glad to see in writing what I think about quite a bit and that is balance. It seems to me that we both have very full to overflowing lives, how wonderful, but what a challenge as well.
Hi. Long time no see. Congrats that your son started to go to a school. 😀
Thank you so much. Our children open up new dimensions of life for us! My son is learning and so am I! 😀 So good to see you all doing so well! Sharon
Hello, my faraway friend! I thought of you quite often during your blogging hiatus and was also sure you were attending to life in the 3-dimensions. My blogging also flagged over the past so many months, and for the same reason … not for lack of something to say, (are we ever REALLy at a loss?), but because taking care of life in the day to day sometimes must take precedence.
Happy to have you back …
A case of so much to say, oh so little time to say it! 😀 Learning the fine art of balance and the wisdom of less. A joy to catch up with you dear one! Sharon
What a lovely post, Sharon. Your eloquently written words and beautiful photos always leave a feeling of peace and serenity in my heart.
I know exactly how you feel, Sharon! I just blogged for the first time in 4 months as well — although there were definitely many half-written posts along the way! They just didn’t seem to “meet the standards.” Welcome back!
Whaddya mean didn’t seem to “meet the standards”! Our Chinese-ness can be our whip and our guide isn’t it?! 😀 I thought your homecoming post was a very powerful social commentary. I’ve just read it and it made me sit in silence for a very long while. Can’t wait to hear more from San Francisco! Welcome back. Sharon
Thanks! My social life has gotten so much busier now that I’m back in a city, and my commute has also gotten much longer, so it’s been harder to really think and write, but I’ll try to at least make it once a month! 🙂
Yes, finding the balance of life and to fit blogging in…is not an easy thing. Happy to have you back.
So good to see you here! Your photos and grandkids are a joy! Sharon
Nice to have you back. I had been on a bit of a hiatus too focusing on family. Your words are a great reminder on perspective and I just loved the lighting in all your photos.
Hugs and blessings!
My dear Val!
I can imagine the new chapter that has opened up to you since the wedding! Congratulations again and the way of peace and blessings in every moment. Hugs back! Sharon
Nice having you back. 🙂 But it’s even better to read that you know what’s most important in life and how precious the time you spend your son and family is – once it passes you never get it back.
I’m glad you’re back. I’ve missed your inspiring words of truth and authenticity and love what you have said in this blog. I have been in the process of packing up a house and moving so I have not been present on internet for a while. I check in for a moment to see if all is well with everyone, then I disappear into life and the joy of unpacking and settling into my new community. Much love and huge hugs to you my dear friend. Welcome back. Brenda
Commending you heartily–so many people give lip service to the notion that we ought to be saying “no to more. And yes to less,” but they fall out when it comes to putting that sentiment into the reality of actual practice.
Hip-hip-hooray for you! We all need role models, we need to witness people who practice what they preach. I’ve just found you through Elizabeth (in Australia) and already I am a fan of yours!
So good to see you Sharon, you always make me smile! You have this way of making me feel I could be sitting next to you at the kitchen table having a warm cup of tea. Love, Anne
So glad I found you! Right upon your return! Hope you stick around;-)
You obviously have to know you nailed your comeback!
I’m so glad you are taking the time to enjoy the journey as a parent. We can’t replace those years. And no matter when you “come back” it is a joy to read your words again. You are one of my great inspirations.
So glad you took time off and so glad you’re back Sharon. I missed your wise words.
Sharon, it is wonderful to have you back again, and with such a magnificent blog post. May we enjoy many more of these.
Glad you’re back, Sharon! I missed your insight and inspiring stories!
HI Shaz. I am very happy you are back! Good for you for taking a break when you feel it necessary. What is more important than our ‘sweet kidlets’? You will never regret the moments spent with your special son and as he grows you will always have a ‘shining spark in his heart’.
Have a fabulous day. hugs. Renee ♥
You’ve been away as well, eh? I took three months off from blogging, not entirely by design, and am not sure I am really back. Anyway, you need not worry about measuring up to any expectations. You’ve posted another beautiful thing here.
Beautiful! Thank you. I love the saturated colours. Love to you, A:)ex
A wonderful blog post to read, love the bright, thought provoking photos as well.
Hey, here you are. So nice to see you again. 🙂 How have you been Sharon? Have you gotten lost in that beautiful countryside?
Happy autumn dear friend. :-))
These are such absolutely glorious images Sharon. You are such a loving and dedicated mother. By all means, that should always take precedence. Enjoy your walk in the real world and come and visit us whenever you want. Hugs Emily
I do believe that I maybe told you already but here it is again..Your words are like a breath of fresh air…
Its nice to have you back Sharon. Missed your posts which have an instant calming effect. Wish to read more from you.
Your blog is lovely, Annie
Sharon, your title caught my eye, and your photos amazed me.
I also loved your post, as it tugged at my heartstrings. I remember the days when my kids were that age and it flew by too quickly. I’m glad you are slowing down to enjoy time with him now.
Spectacular. This is the word that comes to mind as I relish every word, every image in this post. It resonates in my heart, as I too am still learning that fine art of balance. Thank you dear Sharon, for pulling my heartstrings and helping wake up the deepest stirrings in my soul.
Bright blessings, Gina
I love your writing Sharon. And your photos. And the kind heart you so willing share with us.
“Where the joys and sorrows of being human mingle as wonderfully as woodsmoke and sunshine in my hair” Dear Sharon, you are such a fine writer, and you have been missed. But the world will be here when you are ready. Right now you are the world for a precious seven year old boy, and this is the time of both your lives.
Warm wishes for you both!
My dearest Naomi! Your note was like a ray of sunshine into my heart! I felt the deep warmth and love and joy that your words carried across the miles…Thank you for taking the time to look me up and for sending me this thoughtful message. The love that wraps around your family is palpable. And I know it has come from years that both you and Thom have poured of yourselves into nurturing your family life like a well-tended garden. I want to do the same for my family as well.
It has been a joy meeting you. The miracles that life brings our way! Do keep in touch and blessings upon blessings to you and your dear family!
You are so sweet! I have had a feeling since I met you that you were very special. You have a heart full of love and spirit, and the soul of a poet. I know you are a wonderful mom, and that you and all your family are twice blessed. Once because you are, and twice because you know it. I think it is wonderful that you can take the time to focus on your family, which should always come first, but you still have your blogging friends whenever you are inspired and have the time to write.
You have a beautiful voice, Sharon. One day, I hope you will draw upon these days of your life, and write the book of poetry or the novel or the memoir that I know will entrance and inspire. For now, just take good care of yourself and your family.
I do enjoy visiting this blog, such amazing photography and writing.
What lovely words, I too am on the constant journey of finding balance between “work” + “life”, between the things I think are important and the things I should realize are important.
I love your writing style and it always brings me pleasure to not only read your words, but also to come to this quiet place, where I am reminded, from one blogger to another, what is truly important in life.
And if you are still living in Finland, well I hope it is beautiful today and you are enjoying the, as you say “Land of A Thousand Dazzling Lakes”, sounds beautiful.
It is indeed a beautiful day today Jodie! Dazzling. We have such long winters but then I somehow think spring and summer make up for it a hundredfold. Thank you so much for coming over and for sharing your thoughts here. I am most glad to know that you are able to find quiet in this place. I wish you restful days filled with beauty where you are. Love and peace, Sharon x