Travel Theme: Walls

How could I pass this one up? I was fortunate to walk on THE WALL two years ago on my solo trek to Beijing.

The Great Wall at Mutianyu was rebuilt during the Ming Dynasty in the 16th century upon the foundations of the wall built during the Northern Qi Dynasty (AD 550-77).

The Great Wall at Mutianyu was rebuilt during the Ming Dynasty in the 16th century upon the foundations of the wall built during the Northern Qi Dynasty (AD 550-77).

Before my once-in-a-lifetime visit to this testament to the determination of man, I did a lot of research and saw images of breath-taking vistas and panoramas of the wall snaking across the mountain ridges. However, that was not my wall. My wall was shrouded in mist…a mist that turned into the most awesome thunder and lightning storm I’ve ever experienced. At 3 PM, the black sky was punctuated with flashes of brilliant light that revealed torrents of rain.

An hour before the skies opened and Zeus let loose with his thunderbolts, I was lost on top of the wall. YES! I was alone and lost, standing at a Y in the wall, not recognizing a single brick or stone. To my relief, I was saved by young tourists from Northern Europe who pointed the way to the tram. Oddly enough, I was not afraid, only bemused, thinking, well, if I die, at least I’ve had this incredible adventure. I did not, however, welcome the idea of spending the night alone, huddled against the cold on the top of the wall.

Click on any image for a better view and description. 

As I am putting together this post, Billy Joel’s song toys with my memory. Why not? Here, for your enjoyment, is one of my favorite artists:

We could have gone all the way to the Great Wall of China if you’d only had a little more faith in me

Weekly Photo Challenge: Beyond

Do you have a photo which invites the viewer to look beyond? Are there hidden depths in the background? Is the focal point just a framing for the rest of the picture? If it’s not clear why we should look beyond, tell us! “

Hutong Doorway

Hutong Doorway

Last summer, I traveled from Shanghai to Beijing by myself and spent five days visiting the ancient sites. My favorite tour was in the Hutong area, the ancient neighborhoods of narrow streets and courtyard residences. Stop for a moment with me and look beyond the worn threshold.

Through the eyes of a child

Look at life through the eyes of a child, who is amazed and awed by the wonders of the world.

My favorite model, my granddaughter, who is almost 3.

My favorite model, my granddaughter, who is almost 3.

Can you imagine approaching your day as if you did not dread it, anticipating it to be boring, routine, possibly stressful or dreadful? Can you find something in your life today to look at closely, to appreciate, to find interesting, delightful, or wonderful?

St. Paul writes, “When I was  child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man [woman], I put childish ways behind me.” (1 Corinthians 13:11)

I think that life might be better if we did not put away all of our childish ways. I think that we would enjoy life more if we approached it with the wonderment and delight of a child. Perhaps our enjoyment of life might spill over to those around us and they just might just have a good day.

I Miss Blogging

Ducks on a pond

Ducks on a pond

In the past, I posted nearly every day. Like a child showing every drawing and scribbled attempt at poetry, I snapped away, made a few edits, posted, and said to the world hey look at me look at what I did! I did it! 

I’m still taking pictures; having the camera in my hand is like holding the hand of a trusted dear friend. However, there have been a few changes in my life. First, I’ve promised myself better health,  which means getting more sleep. Second, I’m more focused on work, prepping for classes and preparing reports. Finally, I moved into a small place, by myself. (Someday, when I find a way to write about this without hurting others, and in a way that it will help others, I will….maybe.) The move has almost doubled my drive time to work and to my son’s house.

Consequently, I have less time to edit pictures, write, post, and read other blogs. And I miss it so.

Most important, for some reason, I’m rarely happy with my pictures. Is my eye becoming more discriminating? Or am I in an artistic slump? The truth is probably a combination of the two.

Last week, between appointments, I stopped at a city park and worked on getting a sharp focus. The above shot of the ducks is the only one out of 83 shots that does not disappoint me.

But I had a treat today as I babysat my best playmate, my granddaughter. She had just gotten out of bed, and because I was focused on work, when she asked, “Grandma Mona, I need your iPad please!” I handed it over and took out my camera, forgetting all about the work.