Monthly Archives: April 2014

The Threshold of Possibility

Long skinny boats, a sunny and cool spring morning, and enthusiastic college athletes…and so began my spring break.


I’ve never been to a crew event before, even though the Crew Classic happens in my hometown every year.  I’ve watched rowing on TV and seen it during the Olympics.  But recently, my nephew, a college sophomore became the coxswain of his college crew team…and their team was participating in our local event.  So I had to go…and who wouldn’t enjoy a morning on the beach in beautiful San Diego?


The long skinny boats lined the beach, propped up upside down until each team carefully lifted the shell up over their heads and carried them down to the water.


There are interesting traditions within the sport.  Coxswain are smaller and lighter than the rowers–and charged with keeping the rowers on cadence.  They wear high-tech equipment, magnifying their voices above the wind and water for the rowers to hear.  Apparently coxswain don’t wade out to the boat (or carry it either), and are lifted into the boat by a rower on the team.  I caught this picture of the coxswain being lifted to his perch at the front of the boat…or is it the back?


I find myself thinking about all these young people on the threshold  of adulthood.  I know they are technically adults, after all, all of them are 18 or older.  But I also know they are still in the process of figuring out how they will live their lives as grown-ups, separate from their parents.  And it seems that the camaraderie and teamwork from sports and other team-oriented activities in college support these young adults as they find their way to independence.  And it was fun to see the families cheering their young people on…and delighting in their efforts, even if the result of the race was 4th out of 4 or the boat came trailing in much later than the others in the race.  It isn’t about winning or losing…it’s about playing, being together, learning together, figuring how to be a team.

My spring break is bookended with two threshold events: cheering on my younger nephew as part of his rowing team and then celebrating the wedding of my other nephew at the end of my break.  They are both embarking on new chapters of their lives, figuring out their places in the world.

And there is something about standing at the edge of water on a gorgeous spring morning, the threshold of my spring break, that suggests possibility, play, and learning for me too. Sometimes just taking the time to try something new or explore a new aspect of my hometown is enough to break up the routines of the ordinary.  I can’t wait to see what these days ahead will hold for me.


What thresholds are on your horizon?  What inspires new beginnings in your life?  How do you breathe possibility into your everyday life?

Weekly Photo Challenge: Rebel

Here’s the week 12 Weekly Photo Challenge prompt for the NWP iAnthology!

Although I know that the official definition of rebel has to do with opposition to authority, particularly a government or ruler, I am drawn to small instances of rebellion (yeah, I know, I do take some liberties with language!).  When I saw this red bloom amid a sea of yellow blossoms my first thought was…a rebel!  One who defies authority and asserts individuality.

rebel red flower

Which then reminded me of this photo I snapped of one of my third graders a couple of weeks ago who arrived at school in the morning in this pink fedora.  It immediately became a symbol for me…of play and playfulness, and rebellion!  I like these small pushes against the status quo and the expectations of how everyone should behave (or dress).

pink fedora

And then, if you follow my blog at all (, you know that I have had a recent obsession with weeds and a previous fascination with dandelions. When I looked at this image (from my front lawn), I again saw a rebel in the form of a dandelion standing tall above the grass.

dandelion puff

So this week’s photo challenge is to find images that represent your concept of a rebel.  Small rebellions are great–or even just some push against the status quo as represented by an image.  Post either the photo alone or along with writing inspired by the photo. I also invite you to use others’ photos as inspiration for your own writing and photography. I often use another photographer’s image as “mentor text” for my own photography, trying to capture some element in my own way.

I like to share my images and writing on social media…and I invite you to share yours widely too. (You might consider Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Google+) Use the hashtag #rebel and include @nwpianthology to make it easy for us to find and enjoy. You can find me on Twitter and Instagram @kd0602. I’d love to follow you if you share your handle.

You can also share your photos and writing by linking to this blog post or sharing in the comment section below. Maybe we’ll start a movement as we uncover rebels in our midst!

Playground Life

I spend three mornings a week out on the playground watching children play.  These early morning duties are generally calm, giving me an opportunity for reflection and observation.

I notice children making up games, resolving their own conflicts, and through their play, improving their coordination and fitness.  I see the same early arrivers most mornings and watch the seasonal changes in the sports of choice.

Balls are always popular, the current favorite ball games are wall ball, basketball, and a blacktop version of baseball that requires no bats or mitts and involves a large rubber ball.

I wasn’t sure this morning that the kids would get to go out and play.  We had a rare rainy day and I ran my windshield wipers all the way to work.  But by the time kids arrived, the sky was still dark, the ground was still wet, but as long as no drops are falling, the kids can play.

rainy playground

The day turned out bright and sunny–and I am doubly glad that I stopped to capture this wet, cloudy moment of children at play.  And so this becomes my Street Life for the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge.

It’s supposed to rain again tomorrow.  We need the rain so badly that I’m not complaining about the inconveniences of rainy day schedules.  Instead, I’m looking for the silver linings…