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Friday, 16 September 2011


By Lyn Burnstine

I have to make a real, conscious effort these days to find my feelings of gratitude and my half-full cup. Life keeps getting harder – from the effects of aging; worries about my family’s health and finances; glitches in family relationships; friends dying, moving away or going senile – and on and on, endlessly, it seems.

I used to say, “Other than pain and poverty, I have a great life!” I can no longer say that and I must remember to add to my gratitude list that my financial worries finally resolved themselves. I guess my mantra now would have to be, “Other than pain and a growing immobility, I have a great life.”

I just read an article saying the best cure for depression is being in touch with nature. I have known that for about – well, 70 years! It was true for me when experiencing teenage angst – the best cure for me was riding my bike in the cooling air of summer dusk or sitting outside on the steps looking up at the winter stars while snuggling (AND smuggling) the old barn cat under my coat.

Being outside continues to lift my spirits even though much of my connection is through a camera lens while sitting in the seat of a car or hobbling along on my walker. It is a constant, increasingly difficult, task to get myself out and about to the places I am determined to go, but I AM DETERMINED!

A few days ago, I chose to abandon my list of errands after just two stops and spend my remaining energy taking a hundred shots of the gorgeous dahlias and other blossoms at the nearby home and gardens of Samuel F. B. Morse, Locust Grove. I discovered I could maneuver my light, portable walker there on the grassy path and sit on the crossbar to shoot the shots.

Totally wiped out by the effort, I could not go get groceries that day, but the bliss I experienced then (and later editing the photos on the computer), could never be matched by the consumption of delicious tidbits from the grocery store.

So, another day of rice cakes, peanut butter and apples! What does it matter? All my aches, pains and worries disappeared for that glorious hour in the sun on a picture-perfect day.





[INVITATION: All elders, 50 and older, are welcome to submit stories for this blog. They can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, memoir, etc. Instructions for submitting are here.]

Posted by Ronni Bennett at 05:30 AM | Permalink | Email this post


I loved and appreciated these beautiful pictures so much, I will eat rice cakes,peanut butter and apples today,too.


Lyn - Wow! Terrific photos.

Admiring these and inhaling the imaginary aroma, makes worldly conflicts and issues fade. - Sandy

I so admire your inner strength and to take pictures, one of your loves instead of mundane grocery shopping. We could all learn a lesson from you. Lovely.

Ah yes. Getting out in nature and using your photography skills does fill you with gratitude, doesn't it? And then you come home with such beautiful results that you can enjoy and share with friends. It's a blessing that your still love!

Rice cakes, peanut butter, apples, plus nature’s beauty, sounds like a healthy combination for both body and soul.
Great pictures!

as the body starts to fail us, life becomes one of priorities and you had yours just right.

Beautiful photography.

Thank you for the lovely pictures, luv. I agree with your turning to photography as a friend in time of need. Another possibility would be music. Somehow even the saddest of old classics helps me to remember that we all go through dismal times but life can go on and go on enjoyably.

The sun can shine from within us as well as down upon us. Your post today was a warm ray and you blossomed for us.

Thanks! ...and I'm grateful for peanut butter and apples too.

Thank you for sharing your feelings, knowledge and photos. I really enjoyed reading/seeing this post.

Beautiful Pictures!!! Please put them on plain colored paper and hang them on the wall.
Then when you do get to the grocery store, pick out your favorite treat--take it home and savor it as you look at the pictures and enjoy your wonderful memories of the day.

Posted by Michigan Barbara

Wow, you're a wonderful photographer! Were you a pro in your earlier years?

Beautiful pics. Hope you can get a wheeled walker that has its own comfortable seat to ease your photographic expedistions.

A splendid show of floral gratitude for living--without "pain or poverty."

Hope the pain eases and the great life continues. Blessings for the inspired photography.

You certainly made the right choice. Taking those wonderful photos made US all happy.

The supermarket can wait! As a matter of fact I enjoy a lunch like rice cakes, peanut butter and an apple.

It's good for you and there is no cooking and very little clean up.

Your beautiful pictures brightened my day..skipping food shopping for the outdoors has to be a new recipe for staying healthy..love the variety of comments too...you are such a Artiste with the camera..

Wow! Thank you all so much. You have no idea how much your comments mean to me--I'd like to sit right down and chat with each of you.
Elizabeth, my father had a photo studio when I was a small child, and I loved sitting in the darkroom with him, but I didn't start till I was about 60 (18 years ago).
Merle, I do have one of those Rollators that I use when I am on long walks and smooth paths. It's wonderful. Nice to see all the old friends and some new ones, too. Again, thank you.

There's nothing wrong with PB on rice cakes. It's a delicacy.

Sometimes I imagine I am a bee deep in the center of a flower, rolling joyously in the color, nectar and pollen. Your photographs make me feel this way. Thank you.

Lyn, this is a beauitful blog! You inspire me. I miss you and hope to reconnect soon. The photographs are breath-taking! Love, Jody

I'm several years behind you, I certainly agree that Nature lifts my spirits every time! Recently, Duane & I had the chance to observe Monarch Butterflies massing & getting ready for their flight to Mexico. It was an amazing sight! We were thrilled to see it!

I thought I left this comment yesterday but it didn't land here. My dear friend, Da Chen put it on Facebook. It is so true. "Compliments are the helium that fills everyone’s balloon; they elevate the person receiving them so he or she can fly over life’s troubles and land safely on the other side.

-Bernie S. Siegel M.D"

Thank you, Lyn.
I love this piece. Your honesty about the difficulties of aging along with the wonderful example you set about how to stay grateful and sometimes even joyful are such an inspiration to younger people (in my case, by 10 years :-))like me.
Your photographs are great too.
You continue to amaze me, as you have for years!

Thanks Lyn, for helping me make my Tuesday pleasurable even though I had to miss our morning meeting. Pecs were awsom; I felt like i could reach out and touch while feeling real flowers!! Norma

Beautiful, Lyn.Up until age 70 I felt great body wise save for grief issues and losses.Now 75 the body gives me one angst after another.Not accepting this gracefully as no Dr. offers support or warmth I find.
TRUE! Nature has been my escape/solace my entire life.
You're an inspiration.

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