“All the statistics in the world can’t measure the warmth of a smile.”
( 12 photos)
As 2014 draws to a close we look forward to another opportunity to help make the world (and our lives within it) a better place. Before looking forward though, it’s also a time to look back on the peaks and valleys of the year just ending. For me, the highlight of 2014 was our highly anticipated trip to China; the low was a health issue faced, and thankfully fully-resolved, by my husband. In between there were many noteworthy moments, several of them shared with family and friends, and often focused on the beauty of the natural world around us.
“When all the wars are over, a butterfly will still be beautiful.”
This year my husband and I very suddenly lost a beloved friend who was also our cousin, and were saddened when good friends moved away. At the same time we were blessed with some wonderful time with our granddaughter who is quite a special young lady, and all of our extended families and friends. We shared in the joy of three weddings, which meant travel to NJ, Texas and California. And thanks to you, Travels and Trifles grew to over 2,000 followers as I enjoyed my second year in the blogosphere.
“Growing up is losing some illusions in order to acquire others.”
It is always interesting to review the year’s efforts – to examine our favorite moments, to think about what we’ve learned, and to set some goals for the upcoming year. Along those lines, as a photographer I’ve included several of my favorite moments in this post, with some comments about why, for me, they are among the most memorable.
“It is in the nature of walls that they should fall.”
There were so many wonderful moments in China it is nearly impossible to choose a favorite. My opening photo is a highlight because it focused on a beautiful moment surrounded by China’s natural beauty. But beyond the amazing landscapes, engrossing cityscapes and people-watching, for me no year-end summary would be complete without a capture memorializing the achievement of a life-long goal, exploring the Great Wall of China. Despite my extremely high expectations, the Wall, along with the rest of China, met and exceeded my wildest dreams.
“Blue is a tranquilizer, imparting coolness to your system.”
Tae Yun Kim
Two other travel-oriented favorites were captured during wonderful visit with friends. The shot above is from a trip to Montana shot during a glorious day in Glacier National Park, and below a capture from an exciting Blue Angels air show near Traverse City, Michigan. In both places we shared camaraderie and laughter with several good friends including our hosts.
“There is more to life than simply increasing its speed.”
Back on Kiawah I enjoyed doing a family photo shoot for very good friends who gathered to celebrate the engagement of their son. Nature gifted us with a beautiful evening on our second attempt, after a dismal, rainy evening earlier in the week that had resulted in less than optimum results. Thank goodness for second chances!
“Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet.”
Speaking of nature, no “highlights” post would be complete without a photo from my amazing experience at Boneyard Beach in the Ace Basin of SC. I have never seen a sunrise such as the one that greeted me that day. I felt the thrill of an extraordinarily special moment as I worked to capture the vibrant colors before the sun completed its ascent.
“There’s a sunrise and a sunset every single day, and they’re absolutely free.“
I also enjoyed shooting my first monarchs in the early fall, as well as the incredible carpet of goldenrod positively glowing along the paths from my home to the beach.
“If love were a color, it’d be orange.”
“Every day, there is a golden opportunity just waiting to be discovered.”
My final highlight of 2014 came early in the year when Charleston was visited by Winter Storm Leon – the only ice and snow storm we’ve experienced in our 15 years on Kiawah. I felt a bit like a schoolgirl in my first snowfall, capturing the beauty that the snow and ice left behind (along with some freezing cold!). Fortunately for our southern blood, the cold was relatively short-lived and we soon returned to more reasonable temperatures.
“He who cannot put his thoughts on ice should not enter into the heat of dispute.”
“Ice contains no future, just the past, sealed away.”
My best wishes to all for a healthy and prosperous 2015 filled with love, laughter and friendship. To feel the warmth of some other bloggers, please take a moment to click here.