Wildflowers & Creeks

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Elle's first time in a creek

Believe it or not, this photograph shows Elle experiencing the joys of walking barefoot in a creek for the first time in her life. That sounds a little unreal, doesn’t it? You have to remember, though, that she is Florida-born and bred, with the exception of the last eleven months of her life here in Oklahoma, and little girls from the South, at least mine, just can’t walk around barefoot in creeks and ponds for worry of gators and poisonous watersnakes. There was a single reminder of our Florida days, however, when we came across a mound of miniature seashells. Ah, Oklahoma’s Cretaceous Period?

Oklahoma seashells!

The two of us were attempting to make our walk worth at least a couple of miles but I really underestimated the heat and foolishly left my thermos of ice-cold water in the car. After a short stroll around the creek we crossed an old iron bridge and found ourselves near a field of wildflowers. Elle and I snapped a few photographs while getting eaten up by mosquitos and chased by bees the whole time. All those bug bites were worth it, though, at least to me. I am quite enamored of wildflowers, especially the field of Mexican hats I stumbled upon.

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mexican hats

mexican hats

Getting Things Done

Do you ever have those kinds of days that leave you feeling like your head is somewhere else, like you can barely muster through the daily grind because you lost your focus and you’re moving in slow motion? Receiving really bad news will do that to a person. I’ve been barely plugging through most of my week – first by fighting off the pain of a slow-healing dental procedure and now by dealing with the emotional blow of that aforementioned bad news, all while trying to remind myself that shit still needs to get done.

Does it really? Because, well…no.

The laundry got done. The dishes got done. The legal paperwork got done. The dogs were fed twice a day, every day, and so was the family. I showered each morning and remembered to change my socks. Sometimes it’s the most a person can do.

Actually, that’s a lie. Because another thing I am able to do is constantly remind myself of all the things that are not getting done (like a lot of my classwork, watering the tree, and the vacuuming). Their incompleteness will not cause any kind of crisis and will probably serve me well when I am able to really get things done once again. I am very much looking forward to that day when I can tackle all those tasks, big or small, and feel accomplished.  In fact, I know for certain that one day soon I will feel spectacularly proficient in all things routine and mundane!

Today just isn’t that day. Tomorrow might not be that day either.

My plan was to work really hard all week and get most of my class assignments turned in early because this afternoon was reserved for my photo walk through Martin Nature Park. It was going to be my reward, to play in the 60 degree weather and enjoy the trees and sunshine with my camera, all by myself, before the next Arctic cold front pushes through.

Plans? Ha, says the Universe.

Before the New Year, Elle shared with me how much she disliked accompanying me on walks because I am constantly stopping to take pictures and this made her very bored. When I reminded her that she could use the digital camera her uncles had given to her at Christmas, she actually asked to come with me on one of my walks. The two of us spent hours out there, just walking the trails and crouching in the ferns and hopping off red rocks to get a good shot. Elle enjoyed herself so much I actually caught her laughing. I haven’t shown her that photograph yet.

This was a day when I was really into it, though, and totally focused on having a good time with my daughter. I didn’t seem to worry about all the other shit that needed to get done. Maybe it was already done. Maybe it wasn’t. I don’t remember. I doubt even weeks from now I’ll look back on mid-January and say I wish I’d gotten more shit done! No, I won’t. There are bigger things going on in the Universe and my job right now is to get my shit together.

And that’s what needs to get done.

So here are some photos from that walk I took with Elle a few weeks ago in the nearby city park, when none of that other stuff mattered.

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"E" on a tree

cypress stumps

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