My first visit to Monet’s water garden whispered to my heart… The gentle winding path was busy enough with visitors taking a quick guided tour through the artist’s created world. It is easy to see how he made time to play.
My afternoon was at a slower pace, allowing me to linger, to wait until they passed so that I could enjoy the view a little longer. That choice, to wait and see what lay in front of me, to remember Monet’s work and see how this beautiful place must have inspired him.
The light in June is warm and gentle – not blazing sun, but often interspersed with light showers.
These gardens, along with the spectacular gardens of Versailles and the Jardin des Tuileries in Paris had opened me to my two passions – gardens and photography. In late 2012 my life changed again, and it seemed new vistas would fill my days in June.
As 2013 began I started looking forward to a five-week visit with my mother, once again in Vancouver, Canada. And this time we were going on a cruise to southeast Alaska – something she had talked about for years, but not done, yet. I was delighted that we could do this together – to be there when she saw more than just the city that had been my original second home. And it was this trip that spurred me to buy my first DSLR.
After travelling with a pocket digital camera – a decent one, but small – and my phone, I knew that neither would be up for the challenge of the size of the scenery on the trip north. I was right!
It turns out one of the things mum hadn’t dared to say out loud as a wish was to see whales in the wild. And we got one of the most spectacular afternoons possible, just outside Juneau Alaska.
At the recommendation of our travel agency in Vancouver, I’d booked our shore excursions months before we boarded, and we were rewarded with each one! The Juneau group was less than 20 people, and that afternoon we had a boat that held 50 as we headed out of the harbour.
With the extra space on board it meant everyone could easily move around as the grey whales “bubble net” feeding did their thing, completely oblivious of the boats in the area. Each captain was mindful of how special this experience was as they kept their distance from the whales and each other. And the whales swam near us as the fish they were chasing moved. We were inconsequential in their day, and they were the most amazing part of ours!
The animals we saw on the cruise – the whales in Juneau, the puppies in the Yukon, and the eagles in Skagway – were each intent on doing what was natural to them. We were irrelevant, and I was inspired!
It was a combination of situations that led me to my decision to leave my career, move to Italy, and to find my new path. At that point I had no idea what it would be – just that travel, creativity and fun were the goals!
The choice to rediscover your creativity – possibly unfulfilled since childhood – doesn’t need to be as dramatic as moving to another country. But choosing your health and mindset is your choice. How will you feel free and at ease? For me it is when I travel, I’m being creative, and I’m having fun!