Lens-Artists Challenge #124 – Now and Then

Now and then – Then and now

Nothing is ever really lost to us as long as we remember it.
― L.M. Montgomery

Amy is our host, and she says: ”For our challenge this week we’d like you to tell us about your perspective on now vs then – it could be before and after the pandemic or any other changes you have experienced.” See her perspective on what the current changes can bring to everyday life!

As I was contemplating what major differences there are in my own life now, compared to a few years ago, some things stand out very clearly to me. I will try letting the images tell most of the story, as you change between Then and now, Now and then in my series. ( A new possibility with the block editor – but you have to go to my site to see it. I found out it doesn’t show in the reader …) Somehow I wish it was just as easy to mend things that are broken…

Due to climate change, our winters here in Sweden are very different from those we had only a couple of years ago. These two images are from November 2017 and November 2020.

Two of my best loved hiking trails have been destroyed. The forest is down. Colourful grasses are now taking over, and soon the old stumps will be totally hidden in the new vegetation.

Traveling is no longer an option, due to Covid19 and the pandemic. But, also in order to save the world from more air pollution. Instead of exploring exciting new places abroad, this autumn we built my much longed for glasshouse, where we greatly enjoy a quiet lunch every day.

Ever since I was a child, the forest has been my second home. I usually walk for hours every day, often in the company of my mother and my dogs (in this photo, Mille and Totti). In Spring we always pick wood anemonies and have ”fika” with coffee and cakes in the warm sunshine. Mille left us 2014 and my mother, this unruly year, 2020.

And all the lives we ever lived and all the lives to be are full of trees
and changing leaves.

― Virginia Woolf (To the Lighthouse)

Changes are obvious to us all this year… and now we are looking forward to seeing Your perspective! Don’t forget to include a link to Amy’s post and use the Lens-Artists tag so that everyone can find you in the WP Reader. Next week, Tina will be our host for Challenge #125 on November 28th. Be sure to visit her site.

Lastly – Thank you for sending us so many delightful walks through neighbourhoods all over the world! It has been an adventurous week, a glorious and expressive week. As always – We are grateful that you want to share your world so generously.

Thinking of you who are celebraing Thanksgiving, and to all of us – Take care, stay warm, loving and safe.

Thursday Thoughts – Happy Birthday Sweet Mum!

Photo from last year’s birthday, when you turned 84.

 

Today you turn 85, and you two have been married for 55 years! The sun is shining, and we will make it a memorable day for you – despite the difficult times we are living in.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #100 – Long and Winding Road

Life gives us many challenges and between those challenges we have to learn to choose happiness. Happiness lies in little things of our lives like kindness, gratitude, learning new things, caring for all living beings on this planet. Life can become a beautiful journey with little effort. Purvi Raniga

The long and winding road is ours to walk – and in this quote lies what we all know in our hearts, and what we now have been given some extra time to contemplate and practice.

 

Still round the corner there may wait, A new road or a secret gate.  – J. R. R. Tolkien

We are, maybe for the first time, in such uncertainty and bewilderment for what lies ahead of us. We are without guidance, without previous knowledge or much scientific evidence concerning this new Corona virus… but we will learn. We have to.

May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds.  – Edward Abbey

In our daily talks, my grandmother used to say about Life: ”Who said it was going to be easy?” Being a child the meaning of that sentence was not easily understood. As I grew up though, I gradually found out how much truth there was in her words.

Trying times bring out the worst and the best in people. Despite this unruly world, I want to focus on positive things like inventiveness, creativity and kindness – the fact is, today I generally see more good people and helping hands than ever. Our individualistic life has in that respect taken a more responsible, humanistic turn.

When within yourself you find the road, the right road will open.   – Dejan Stojanovic

Pilgrims know that the road, the long and winding… is the message, the goal in itself. I believe that is what my grandmother meant to tell me. Her words were so well put, as a question instead of a statement.

Some beautiful paths can’t be discovered without getting lost. Erol Ozan

So, I am a pilgrim, I guess we all are.

In 1989, I went hiking with my dog, in Lapland, Sweden. I met a young man from the Netherlands, Wim, who had come here searching for solitude and contemplation. We walked the path you see in the above photo, and decided to meet up again a week later as we were walking different trails the following week.

And so we did. To my surprise he told me that he had left the trail and got lost for two days. That year we had a lot of snow even in the last week of June, so he was unable to find the road marks. Smiling his funny little smile, he told me how grateful he was for having lost his way – because he had found new beautiful paths and his very own way back. More self confident, more relying on his own abilities. ”I can do this.”

There is a bend in the road. I don’t know what lies around that bend, but I hope for the best.
Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

Mankind has always been curious, adventurous – but there is a balance to be kept, in order not to lose too much for the win in the end. Finding that balance is a delicate matter in its own.

At the end of every road you meet yourself.   – S. N. Behrman

With a dedicated heart, I am sure you can. And with this final quote, I will leave you walking your own long and winding road, while I continue mine.

The trials on the road to world harmony are no greater than the courage of those who accept the challenge.  – Carl Lewis

 

This week, Tina asks us to share our images and thoughts about the long and winding road. See Tina’s powerful post here.  We always appreciate your support and enjoy seeing your responses to our challenges. Be sure to link to Tina’s original post and to include the Lens-Artists tag.

Finally, we are excited to announce that next week the Lens-Artists team will be bringing you a very special event. Cee of Ceenphotography has graciously agreed to lead us on our next challenge. All four members of the Lens-Artists team will join Cee next Saturday at noon EST in response to her challenge subject. We look forward to seeing where she leads us, and hope you’ll join the fun as well.

Tuesday Photo Challenge – Transport

Tuesday Photo Challenge – Transport

For Frank this week, in the header – favorite transport in Sweden, my own country.

Train – the Kingston Flyer, NZ

Limo, NZ

But my absolute favorite is – walking, using my own feet. These feet were hiking in Bhutan, and we were all heading for the Tiger’s Nest.

 

 

Tuesday Photo Challenge – Back Catalogue

For Frank this week – a memory. ”…find an image in your back catalog that still grabs your attention and share it!” This is the only time in my life that I have seen snowy apples…our neighbour had not finished his autumn harvest, and suddenly, one morning, it was snowing heavily. I can say I was fast getting my camera out. I still love the sight of those snow capped apples!

 

Thursday Thoughts – Before and After

This Autumn my daily forest walk ended. Not the walk itself, but everything around me – was not anymore. So, while drying my tears, I decided to find some of all the lovely images from here over the years – and photograph from the same spots today. Not easily done, but I finally gave it a try. This forest and I have a long story together, more than 40 years. I am very grateful for all of these photos. Today I just wanted to give you a touch of how I feel about it. A piece of my life and soul is gone.

 

Before

After

Before

After

Before

After

Before

After

Before

Before

After

In loving Memory…

 

 

 

Lens-Artists Challenge #53 – Your Choice

New Zealand is not a small country, but a large village – Peter Jackson

There is real purity in New Zealand…It’s actually not an easy thing to find in our world anymore – Elijah Wood

Today is a very special day for us here at Lens-Artists – the one year anniversary of our Challenge. While we were all initially saddened by the discontinuation of the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge, for us it became an opportunity to expand our blogging horizons and to create some amazing new friendships.

I feel that New Zealand is my second home.  – Luke Evans

On our end, we have transitioned from four independent photography bloggers to a tightly-knit team that supports, encourages and helps each other as we develop and create our weekly challenges. We’ve also been fortunate to have expanded our follower base thanks to bloggers like you who support and inspire us.

Toitū te whenua (Leave the land undisturbed).

As a result, our challenge has become near and dear to each of our hearts. We’ve gone well beyond being individual members of a team and have become four good friends.  We are tremendously thankful to you for your appreciation of our efforts; and for making us smile or feel touched by your responses.  As our thank you for your support and encouragement, we’re suggesting that you respond to today’s challenge with any subject that’s near and dear to YOUR hearts, as we’ve done with our images today. If you’d prefer some guidance, choose any of the four subjects we’ve selected this week (Friendship, A country that’s special to you, Imagination and Connected).

We are a proud nation of more than 200 ethnicities, 160 languages, and amongst that diversity we share common values. – Jacinda Ardern

Each of us has included several captures that are special to us in some way.

Mine are from a country and people that occupies a special place in my heart – New Zealand. Aotearoa is the Māori name – and the most popular meaning usually given is the ”land of the long white cloud”. A strikingly diverse Nature,  warm-hearted People with strong Environmental care and – an insane sense of humour! It is also the country in which JRR Tolkien’s characters so naturally belong. New Zealand opened its arms to me – and I immediately felt at home there.  I would never have guessed that our blogging community could feel like ”home” too – but it does. It is a privilege to host this challenge once a month.

I’ve learned that home isn’t a place, it’s a feeling.
Cecelia Ahern

Thank you again from the bottom of our hearts for making this such a terrific experience. If you have a subject that you feel might inspire us, please feel free to suggest it – we’d love to hear from you.  Should you be new to our challenge and interested in joining us, please click here and be sure to include the Lens-Artists TAG so we can all find you. Happy Blogging to all of our loyal followers and friends, and Happy Anniversary to us!

Whatungarongaro te tangata toitū te whenua

(As man disappears from sight, the land remains) This demonstrates the holistic values of the Maori, and the utmost respect of Papatuanuku, Mother Earth.

 

Have you seen these

Each week on Lens-Artists, we highlight several responses from among our followers. This special week we’d like to thank ALL of our followers for their thoughtful, funny, often-feisty and always wonderful posts. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do, and will continue to join us as we move into year two of the Lens-Artists Challenge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thursday Thoughts – Fryksås Winters…

Suddenly I remembered all those years we every winter went to Fryksås in Dalarna,  and stayed at the Fäbodvall in a typical old cottage from the 19th century – or older. When I look up Fäbod in English, it says shieling/sheeling – small huts were farmers used to spend their summers in the mountain pastures, looking after their cattle.

We used to go skiing in the hills and the dogs had great fun. The children were not that old, so they went skiing with us, but also used the hills for other ways of sliding down on the snow…

And I miss those days. No TV or radio, no electric lights – only the sun and candle light. The long evenings after skiing and playing in the snow, we played card games or board games, and read books together. The beds for the children were still like in the old days, called skåpsängar – in English box-beds or closed beds.

We all loved it. We kept going there until 2010. And do you know – the children  never missed their electric gadgets, and neither did my husband or I.

Thursday Thoughts – We Must Make it Work!

My post from November 30, 2017, a year ago – I thought a reminder to us all would not hurt. What do you want to give your children and grand children for the future?

 

Every December I remember our month in New Zealand some years ago. Never have I been to a country where I found so much and so many to admire and love.

This is where our antipodes live, this is where I had one of my first penfriends, this is the country whose nature I believe to be the most diverse and beautiful in the world. And this is where Rainbow Warrior went down, sending many people around the world into an unbelievable state of shock.

We are constantly reminded of how much we contaminate our world, and the focus here in Swedish media, right now,  is the sea, the oceans.

Just like in Wellington, we can still bathe, swim and fish in Stockholm – but for how long?

I am a member of many organizations trying their best to help preserving our planet for generations to come. But right now, we receive news every day about all the plastic and micro plastic in the oceans – a terrible threat to all organisms-

So, I think again, with my heart wide open, about how much I respect and love NZ, its people and its genuine efforts to help the world stay healthy. Down to every detail… for example the artwork made for making us humans see and do the right things.

And these are only two, small,  brilliant examples out of many, many…we saw new examples every day.

Hopefully it is not too late for the world – but You and I, and all of us, have to do our bit, our part, every day – to save our enigmatic and fantastic planet. Start with the little things…don’t use plastic bags, bring your own when you go shopping. Don’t throw old medicine in the toilet, in Sweden we leave them at the pharmacy for destruction.

Can you say you try to do everything you can to help? I know I try – but I also know I can do so much more.

Tuesday Photo Challenge – Contact

Tuesday Photo Challenge – Contact

From Dutch Goes the Photo – an agility dog! Which made me remember how my two Lagottos, Mille and Totti, were experts on how to overcome obstacles. They still managed to keep up their close contact…

…despite certain difficulties…