bliss

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Following My Bliss: Lighthouses and Lobster!

Published July 2, 2013 by Susan Woodward

northeast_cities“Remember what Bilbo used to say: ‘It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.””

— J.R.R. Tolkien

That’s my plan for this weekend.  Tomorrow morning I shall get in my car, gas up, head east and drive till I get to the ocean.  Once there, I will turn left and continue until I find lighthouses and cheap lobster!

Who needs a road map to get to Maine?  All I need is a basic knowledge of North Eastern US geography to figure out how to get around.  Heck, I do it all the time in NY.  Whenever I go for a long, lazy drive, I have a general idea of where I am.  I know that if I drive west and hit water (Lake Erie), I am near Buffalo.   Depending upon how fast the water is moving, I can pretty much tell how close I am to Niagara Falls.   I can figure things out from there considering I was born in Buffalo.  When coming home to Rochester, if I am in the Southern Tier (south of Buffalo, that is), I know that all I need is a north easterly direction to get back.  If I head north and hit water (Lake Ontario), I just have to turn right and wait for the 390.  If I choose to go east first instead of north, well all I have to do is drive east till I run into the 390.  Since it goes all the way down the state, the 390 is a good marker.

See?  No map.  Just a general awareness of where things are in the bigger picture of the state.  I intend to expand that theory as I head to Maine.  Really…how hard can it be?

I am leaving here with no itinerary, no booked rooms, no map, and no idea of what I will find except lighthouses and lobster.  I am certain that all will be provided and that I am going to see some awesome sights!

Now that’s bliss.

Following My Bliss: Niagara-on-the-Lake

Published July 2, 2013 by Susan Woodward

joseph campbell“Follow your bliss.  If you do follow your bliss, you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life you ought to be living is the one you are living.  When you can see that, you begin to meet people who are in the field of your bliss, and they open doors to you.  I say, follow your bliss and don’t be afraid, and doors will open where you didn’t know they were going to be.  If you follow your bliss, doors will open for you that would have opened for anyone else.”

– Joseph Campbell

My summer assignment from the First Unitarian Church of Rochester falls into this thread.  We are being challenged to go outside our comfort zones and stretch ourselves…and I take that as having the courage to follow my bliss.   I plan to document my summer blissings here with plenty of pictures!

One thing I love to do that brings me peace is to go out and take pictures, especially flowers and other nature shots.  My daughter Robin and I took a day trip to Niagara-on-the-Lake in Ontario, Canada last week.  I have always loved the little town with all its shops and flowers and theatre goers (the Shaw Festival is there).

niagara_fallsIf you click on the map, you will be taken to the Niagara-on-the-Lake home page.

So the first part of the blissful event was getting to spend time with Robin and Sean the evening before, and then she and I got an early start the next day.   It was also much more blissful to drive along the Niagara River on the Canadian side by crossing the Peace Bridge in downtown Buffalo instead of driving across Grand Island to take the Rainbow Bridge in Niagara Falls on the American side.  Let’s face it… the American side is not a pretty drive.

Tuesday was a great day to do this road trip because I do not think we would have had the awesome parking and accessibility to the village if we’d gone on the weekend.   The streets and shops were also not as jammed packed as I have seen them on Saturdays or Sundays either.  One thing that really stands out is the sight of the beautiful gardens that line the streets.

100_0247 This is an Angel’s Trumpet flower.  I had never seen one before, and I absolutely loved the color.  This picture really doesn’t do the plant justice.

100_0248I shot the inside of one of the “trumpets” and was surprised at the swirling star pattern of the petals.

100_0251 100_0254These other flowers are also gorgeous.

100_0260This just gives a taste of what the gardens along the streets look like.

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Part of following my bliss included stopping at an Irish Tea Shop for a “cuppa” and later sharing a picnic lunch that Robin packed at Dufferin Islands near the Falls.

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My plan to continue with following my bliss is to get out in the world and bring parts of it home with me through pictures.   I am feeling more active now and I want to celebrate the time I have left on this earth by being part of it and not my couch.

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