Tag Archives: sun

Relearning an old lesson

Last week, in my five-month letter from Paris, I said Paris’s grim and grey day-to-day life had thrown me into melancholie. As I wrote that letter, I longed for blue skies and friendly faces, but I felt they would never come. Well, ask and you shall receive, my friends! These past few days have been some of the sunniest I’ve seen all winter.

My friend Matthieu snapped these photos a couple of days ago as we strolled through the Parc de Sceaux, which I blogged about  last year. The sun was teasing us as we walked, peeking out from behind the clouds just long enough for us to notice how beautiful the park looked in its rays.

parc de sceaux 1parc de sceaux 2parc de sceaux 3

Do you see the rainbow?

It snowed a day after Matthieu took those pictures, and he went back to the park to capture it under a light blanket of snow.

parc de sceaux snow 1parc de sceaux snow 3parc de sceaux snow 5parc de sceaux snow 4

 Hm, that château looks familiar

It’s amazing how when you ask for something and actively strive to bring it into your life, it appears. I’m not just talking about sun, here. I mean that optimism and happiness I thought I’d lost. I mean friends and family who take all the clouds away. Sometimes, all you need to do is reach out to people and empower yourself in order for the things you desire to appear in your life. I’ve learned that first-hand in the past week or so, and it’s a lesson I’ll be sure to never forget.

It’s funny, though— I’d already come across this life lesson before.

“Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it, you must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it. If you don’t, you will leak away your innate contentment.”

That quotation comes from Eat Pray Love, by Elizabeth Gilbert, which I read over the summer. I shared this quote and many others from the book on the blog, but just like blessings, words of wisdom are things we need to continuously revisit, relearn and reapply.

As I continue to seek out positivity, now and throughout my entire life journey, I know this lesson will find me again and again. And thank goodness for it.

What are your favorite words of wisdom? Share them in the comments below, this girl can always use them! 

Smiles and all the best,


All photos are by Matthieu Surjous! Merci beaucoup! 



Filed under Miscellaneous, Paris, Photos

Photo of the Week: Adieu, Summer

Alors, mes belles, fall is upon us. It is cool and rainy in Paris today, and the sweaters and scarves have come out of the closets. The next couple of weeks will be spent catching the few remaining moments of warmth and sunshine, then it’s on to autumn.

I took this photo at the Jardin des Tuileries on a sunny afternoon. As if to foreshadow the change of seasons, the sky alternated between sunshine and clouds, dousing the garden in gold one moment, grey the next. The laziness of summer lingered in the air, but it retreated further with every crisp autumn breeze.

Fall in Paris will be a very new experience for me because the change of seasons isn’t very evident in Southern Arizona. It’s cactus and sun and blue skies year round!  I’m excited to see crumpled leaves piled in the streets and barren trees looming over the gardens. I’m even more excited to have a legitimate reason for wearing tights, knee-highs and scarves!

Stay tuned for a post about my excellent weekend spent in Lille, France, where I braved Le Braderie (a.k.a. the city-wide yard sale)!

Soak up the sun this week! Smiles and all the best,


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Photos of the Week: Soaking Summer

It’s been dreary here in Northern Arizona. For days it’s rained and rained, with few sunny interludes. What better to do on such days than read, looking up every now and then to marvel at the rain?

To pass the time, I bought a new book of poetry. Fugitive Colors by Chrystos. My favorite lines so far–

“Setting up my cook fire

in the breasts of strangers I call lovers

No blanket fits       no stone welcomes       I am

the path I want to follow”

– from I Walk Beside the Prints of Gulls

I read those lines over and over, listening to their vibrations as they resonated within my spirit. But that was yesterday. Today I awoke to sun,  blue skies, monsoon clouds rolling slowly over the horizon. I’d like to write some of my own poetry today, cherishing the bright warmth that streams through my window and onto my notebook.

 Expect a long post tomorrow, my untethered friends! I have a couple of things I’d like to share with you. Till then, I wish you a happy Monday!
Smiles and all the best,

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Passing through Poseidon

Sun-burnt sand poured in from all sides

to bury their footsteps as they walked

silently arm in arm

feeling the wind frigid against their skins.

The beach, speckled with shells, subsided into waves

frozen-blue, ravenous,

and a redwood’s trunk lay petrified in the distance

rising from the sand like an outstretched hand grasping at redemption.

When they reached it she perched on the fingers;

he turned to confront the waves.

He drowned his knees,

set his eyes on the afternoon sun

and waited for her.

She knew it,

so she stood and ran like a girl to meet him,

the sea.


No pain met her there;

Her feet turned numb upon collision–

He took her peacefully.


This post is only a draft. Please feel free to leave comments and suggestions below! Your input is appreciated!

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Photo of the Week: The Golden Hour

According to my photojournalism professor, there is a “golden hour” for photography. It occurs just as the sun is rising and just as the sun is setting, when the light is peeking above the horizon, either tapping lightly at your window or waving its last goodbye. It was about 7:30 a.m. when I noticed the sun filling my living room.

The light cast a particularly beautiful shadow upon the bell that hangs on our wall. My roommate found this little piece of art at the University of Arizona Mall. It came from Ben’s Bells, a nonprofit organization based here in Tucson that seeks to spread kindness and love throughout the community. I felt that in this moment. Long after I snapped the photo, I watched as the sun doused my apartment in gold, and I smiled.

I hope something or someone has brought kindness and love into your life recently. And I hope you returned it with all your heart.

Smiles and all the best,


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