Life begins with a budding vine

New Life by Cheryl McDonald

New life begins with a budding vine

Today is the first day of the rest of your life

yes we have all heard that over and over and over again. Even though it is true, it has become such a cliché that we no longer pay attention to it. We are creatures of habit and it is very very easy to get ourselves so accustomed to our surroundings and what things and people and even rituals that we have in our every day lives that we forget the joy and the light and the luxury and even the reasons why we choose to have these things as part of our lives. We do agree, I am sure, (at least most of the time) that we do have a choice and we do choose everything that we allow to be part of our lives. so everything in our day-to-day living is because we choose it to be there. This is a subject we could discuss at length, but for today I choose to use this as just a lead-in to my story.

Forgotten Dreams by Cheryl McDonald

A spider's web, falls apart if the spider does not care for it

If you have read this blog, you know that I have chosen to give up my apartment and do some exploration by house sitting, travel and visiting friends. This week and next I am in Oakland, CA taking care of the home and pets of a friend of a friend. What I am noticing about staying in other peoples homes, is that even though we all have very much the same needs for living, we choose to do things differently. Whether this is because routines are passed on by generations or we have come across purely by accident ways that we prefer to do things, there are many many different ways to do the same thing.

Sunshine on my face by Cheryl McDonald

Marlena enjoys a bit of sunshine on the back porch

What I am also finding is that I very much miss having a pet. Here I am blessed with the company of a sweet and feisty Jack Russel Terrier named Marlena and a beautiful cat named Leona, who are so full of love and very happy to share it. Marlena and I walk everyday and get out to see the world together. A very fun partner she is!

String of Prayers

A string of Tibetan prayer clothes graces the front porch

So this week I am finding myself paying attention to details. Not lofty mountain tops or desert valleys, but light in the garden, and art of a friend, life details that make this place a home.

I have always noticed how much more I appreciate my home when I have been away from it for a while. Now that I am grounded within myself rather than a place, I find that I can appreciate the details where ever I am, with much more appreciation. It has caused me to re-evaluate the way I do things and why. What are the rituals I want to keep, how can I have the opportunity to do the things I love to do, such as art, journaling, gardening, and finding ways to share my creative abilities with new communities? Everything is up for evaluation and I like the changes that are occurring in me.

Green by Cheryl McDonald

New Leaves awaken in the light

So what are the details that you appreciate in your life, in your work? Are you still noticing them and enjoying them or have they gotten covered over by the rush to get through the day? I invite you to take a moment and see where you are and what is the goodness of this moment? Find those details and take them in again, it really will add new dimension to the life that you lead.

So today, this moment really is the first moment of the rest of your life why not make the most of it?

Light Abstracts by Cheryl McDonald

light abstracts and old table against the wall

Cheryl McDonald is the owner of Passions at Play Art & Design. Photo essays, landscape photography, and watercolor illustration.

To see her latest published photo and story check out Snapixel Magazine- Travel edition on


Tags: , , , , , , ,

15 Responses to “Life begins with a budding vine”

  1. Ron Britton Says:

    “We are creatures of habit and it is very very easy to get ourselves so accustomed to our surroundings and what things and people and even rituals that we have in our every day lives that we forget the joy and the light and the luxury and even the reasons why we choose to have these things as part of our lives.”

    Truer words would be hard to find Cheryl.

    As someone who was very deep in his comfortable rut of a life this blog post speaks to me. I have been trying to make some significant changes, for the better, in my life over the last couple of years. But was having a great deal of trouble getting anywhere.

    It was all to easy to fall back into my comfortable rut and continue on doing the things that were not bringing me joy just because they were the things I was use to doing.

    I choose what many would says is a very radical why to get out of my rut. I am leaving my job, selling my condo, and heading out on a grand adventure across the US and Canada to find the new me.

    I am not recomending that anyone take such a radical approach as I. Less dramatic changes can yeild results too. Take a new route to work. Get a “Grande Chai Latte” instead of your the same old “Cup of Joe” in the morning.

    As Cheryl suggests we all need to slow down and evaluate what brings peace and joy to us. Take the time to look at life and see that, “today, this moment really is the first moment of the rest of your life why not make the most of it?”

    Thank you Cheryl.


    • Cheryl McDonald Says:

      Hi Ron, seems to be a lot of this going around! I wish you all the best on your journey and maybe we will meet somewhere along the way! many blessings in your new life!

  2. Donna McCord Says:

    Thank you for the reminders and inspiration, Cheryl. Between you and Ron, there is a renewed sense of purpose that is beginning to blossom within my heart. I am re-evaluating what truly makes me happy, and as I approach my 62nd birthday, I am excited about re-capturing all the dreams I had when I was a child and all the things about life that bring me joy. I do believe it is time to claim what I have abandoned in the past because of life’s distractions and mistakes and choices. I love how your photos reflect what you say in your post. Beautiful.

  3. atticus Says:

    Excellent post!! Atticus & I believe that we Choose how happy and content we are… It’s all about perspective…
    Enjoy your time with Marlena—she is a cutie!

  4. Lisa Ann Landry Says:

    What an interesting opportunity you have. Have fun. One of the most wonderful things about my work is I get to drive from city to city and state to state, I fly a lot too. I love seeing the country, the mountains, various landscapes, sand dunes and different plants and trees. I find myself saying affirmations of gratitude during those drives thanking the universe for letting me see its beauty.

  5. Irene Turner Says:

    I am particularly struck by your statement about being grounded within yourself rather then your place. I love that. As a meditator, I too noticed a huge change when I became more grounded with-in. Although, I still really appreciate my home base. But because of all my moving around (33 times in my life) and all my international travel, I find myself very appreciative of my home and in nature. Beautiful observations Cheryl, bon voyage!

  6. Renee Ludwigs Says:

    How touching for you to share this intimate look at your life. It’s so refreshing to read how you are living your life, fully and completely, and appreciating every precious moment of it. I’m trying to do the same thing. But I admit that sometimes I fall back into my old habits and ruts; rush, rush, rushing around and not savoring each and every moment. Reading your post was just what I needed! Thanks for the sweet reminder!

  7. atticus Says:

    hello again— just want to make sure you know that comment from Atticus, is me, Heidi Alberti 🙂

  8. Julia M Lindsey Says:

    This post touched me in a special way. I just returned from visiting my son in another state. I took my mother with me. She needed a change of scenery after losing her mother and husband both in the last few months. We spend alot of time talking about the special times they shared and how she was coping with the changes. She is an amazing woman that has learned to love the details in life.

    I was particularly touched by her morning ritual. Her and Dad always drank a cup of coffee while reading scriptures together. I noticed that just before reading her scriptures she took out one of dads handkerchiefs and brought it close to her face. Later I asked her what the meaning of the handkerchief was to her. She handed it to me and asked me to smell it. She had sprayed Dads cologne on the handkerchief. What a powerful way to feel his presence. She said that he still was with her when she read her scriptures. A simple life ritual can be a great comfort.

  9. Jennifer Duchene Says:

    Dear Cheryl, you have taken a giant leap. and how fascinating it is to rediscover life. Myself I love the light, nature food details of beauty. Every day when I walk the dog, which a chore I embrace heartily since it forces me to look around me and enjoy contemplating nature, trees against the sky, sun through the branches, beautiful secret places, flowers bursting with color and life. So many magic little moments – your post is a great reminder of how life is made up best with the simple.

  10. Louise Edington Says:

    Funny that I should read your post just after I return to my home from a trip and am looking at everything anew within my home. More importantly though I am getting a lot out of your blog about breaking away from the mundane and ‘finding yourself’. I have, in the last couple of years, done a lot of changing both in location (2 big international moves) and within. That journey has not ended as I am still changing and looking around at what matters to me in life and It’s all starting to come together (as you’ll find when I finally launch my blog) as I am throwing myself into my business (I coordinate an AuPair program) in a way that works for me (with the help of Ann Evanston).

    • Cheryl McDonald Says:

      I am pretty sure Louise, that once change begins, nothing ever is the same again and that is a good thing! Evolution seems to be what I do most of. Someday I may actually not fight it! Such a hard headed woman I am! Good luck on your new business, looking forward to seeing more!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: