A Picnic by the Riverbank

We recently moved. Moving was a staple of my childhood. Costa Rica- England- Costa Rica- England- America, all before I was 8. And then I happily married a man who has dedicated his life to a profession that could have us moving every 5 years. All systems go.

Of all the places I’ve lived, the place that felt most like ‘home’ has always been England. Some combination of where we lived in England, and my mothers unmatched ability to reveal the magic of everything, my memories of England are charmed. Everything just seemed beautiful. I walked to school through nettled paths by the river under the willow. We biked, or hiked , everywhere. Fast trains would carry us off to London or the highlands. We spent long lazy afternoons sipping tea and philosophizing under the apple trees, surrounded by the buzz of bees and tourists.

Some of the places I’ve lived since England are constructed around a more modern utility. They’re functional and new, which can be comfortable and convenient, but often lacking in beauty and imagination. I suppose well-thought out utility requires a great deal of imagination at first thrust, but it’s hard to be inspired. This apparent lack of beauty, or rather a lack of the kindof beauty I had come to prefer and love, has often undermined my desire to settle, and find home.

Today is Labor Day, September 1st. My husband stayed out of the office today in favor of family time and creative pursuits. I’m a new mother of a darling soon-to-be 2 year old. Sitting in our toddler-sized dinning chair, contemplating my sore throat, I thought, ‘No, we can’t NOT do something.’ It’s true I don’t personally understand the battles behind Labor Day, but I know they’re important.

More simply though, it was a holiday, and a chance for me to think what kindof family we want to be. Do we just let days pass us by, or do we take the opportunities thrown our way to dig up magic?

So we packed a picnic and walked down to the river. We debated a few minutes whether to drive or walk, deliberating how badly we think the highway-portion might affect our walking moods. In the end we walked, in order to bask in the abundance of time on this lazy afternoon. People often focus on the ‘should’ of picking something like walking- it’s healthier, and greener, but goodness it’s more enriching too!

In less than a mile we broke upon a beautiful patch of green complete with picnic bench and a view of the river.
We unloaded our picnic. Hard boiled eggs, cheese, cherry tomatoes, broccoli, crackers and salsa. Light, munchable summer fare.

Between courses my son and I sunk rocks into the river.

My husband lounged.

Dessert was simple. Blueberry greek yogurt, fresh raspberries and some graham crackers. While greek yogurt might sound pious, this was rich and bright. The aphorism that somethings can be good and good for you rang true about so much of today.

And then we explored some more of this little patch of wild so close to home.



Ansel Adams wrote, “I believe in beauty. I believe in stones and water, air and soil, people and their future and their fate.” -from Ansel Adams: An Autobiography

The first time Adams saw Yosemite he was completely consumed by it’s beauty. I feel it awoke him completely to the beauty of life in general. He could do nothing else then but to seek to reveal, preserve and honor beauty where he found it. He said of Yosemite:

“Yosemite Valley, to me, is always a sunrise, a glitter of green and golden wonder in a vast edifice of stone and space. I know of no sculpture, painting or music that exceeds the compelling spiritual command of the soaring shape of granite cliff and dome, of patina of light on rock and forest, and of the thunder and whispering of the falling, flowing waters. At first the colossal aspect may dominate; then we perceive and respond to the delicate and persuasive complex of nature.” -from The Portfolios of Ansel Adams

I’ve experienced in my life beauty that has awakened, pulled me out and opened my eyes. And now it’s my joy to look for it everywhere.

My husbands’ job means we’ll be moving a lot. As a mom I’m moving all the time, as I keep up with this little mush:


Oh were a great duo.

But seriously, I love movement. I used to teach fitness classes, and hope to be a personal trainer. I want to help people love good food and fitness, in order to enrich their love of selves, others and life.

This blog is my outlet as I try to overcome the obstacles to me reaching that goal. I hope to look for beauty, find home, but more importantly, follow the example of Ansel Adams in his project to help others see the beauty in the world and in themselves.

And I’m so grateful that you read my very first post on A Glitter of Green.

Cheers 🙂


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