Golden Days

These golden days of summer. Warm and sultry.

Golden Hues of Summer

Sunny

Punctuated with a shot of cool every now and then.

Delicate

I personally prefer the cooler seasons (yes, I like the cold of winter), but I've learned that I need to accept the current season and look for the positive in it.

Favorite Season? (mine's Fall)
Is it hot where you are? (It's just so humid here...)

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The Summer Solstice

What’s the draw of the sunrise? I’m always awed by the brilliant colors breaking through the clouds as the sun rises up from the horizon. But its beauty notwithstanding, the sunrise also signifies the promise of a new day – one full of potential, one just waiting for us to take advantage of it.
Last Saturday, I made sure I saw the sunrise on the longest day of the year – to start the summer off right.
Welcome to #Summer #shirleyruns #sunrise #solstice
Of course, I was running as the sun rose - it’s the best way to start the day. I followed up the running with a yoga session held outdoors at a local park. The weather was perfect under the trees as the huge group practiced Sun Salutations on the Summer Solstice - an amazing experience.

The start of summer also signaled friend Kellie’s last day on the prairie. We held a Saturday Book Club session just for the occasion.
Final Book Club With Kellie

We ended our first day of summer with a summer storm. Yes, it happens a lot here, but I had hoped for better weather with a vision to take our group’s photo at the park that overlooks the prairie. Oh well, we had great light on Lisa’s porch and what matters is we captured this moment with friends.
The Set Up

Lisa’s hubby, Jeff, took the photos, but of course, I had to run over and check them out. Yes, I insisted on a few more and ran back:
I Checked Out the Photos and Decided We Needed More
This is one of those “wow, is that what my hair looks like from the back? And dang, my shirt is wrinkled and I'm hunched over!” photos. If you are wondering what Lisa is doing, she is mocking my arm muscles!

Yup, the next shot was a keeper:
Great Group of Friends

The prairie sky gave Kellie a parting gift – a beautiful post-storm sky. A bittersweet start to summer.
Post Storm Sky

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More Horse Show Photos

Despite the heat and humidity, the girl and Caesar had another successful horse show.

Warming Up

Warming Up

They went Up
Up

Then Over
And Over

And goofed off with friend, Jordan
Goofing Off

A great day for all of Meg's students.
Show off the Ribbons



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Along My Run | 4 - The New England Edition

I really enjoyed the change in scenery during my visit to Massachusetts. Instead of sweeping fields of corn, my eyes took in the tall pines, granite cliffs and forested green woods so prevalent in the Bay State. I sought out new places to run (Google Maps is great for this) and wasn't disappointed.

I Ventured Down The Path into the Unknown. #shirleyruns #newengland
This trail is barely visible from the main street - it cuts through the forest then dumps into hilly field a leading up to an old homestead road.

Morning Sun #shirleyruns #newengland
Along the road, I ran past this property - a centuries old farm which appeared to still be in operation. The morning sun bathed the entire scene and I wished I could run up the driveway to see the fields below.

Also along this road was a cemetery - dating back to 1660. The town of North Andover was established in the 1630's, so I must have found my way along the original roads in town.
I Thought To Myself, Sitting on a Graveyard Shelf #shirleyruns #newengland

We spent two days south of Boston in Plymouth, where my parents live. Their neighborhood boasts an extensive network of walking trails that wind up and down through the pine trees - running them is always a challenge and delight.
Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained. I ran through several new areas this morning and loved what I felt and saw. #shirleyruns #newengland

I ventured into new territory, trying to find the Great Island Pond I had seen on the map. After running over four miles, I still hadn't found it and seriously considered turning around, but continued on and came upon this:
Just Happened Upon This #shirleyruns #blessed #newengland
And so I had found Great Island Pond. If you can imagine, I stayed a little while to enjoy the perfect morning.
Morning Swim #newengland Playing with the upgraded IG app

Some other scenes along my runs in Massachusetts:
The Sun Decided To Shine #shirleyruns #postrun

Into the Meadow #shirleyruns #newengland #seenonmyrun

Go Fast Enough to Get There, but Slow Enough to See - Jimmy Buffet

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Regarding Friendship

I've returned from a trip out east which included my 25th college reunion. Because I grew up in Massachusetts, I still feel like I'm "going home" each time I travel there, and we visit quite regularly - we fly into Boston, get to experience the Boston traffic and visit the city if we have time. Even so, we don't typically drive into Cambridge or MIT. The last time I was on the MIT campus was three years ago, and while that visit was nice (read about it here), is wasn't nearly as fun. The difference two weekends ago was the addition of old friends, which made me realize those friends are what made the visit so special.

Friends for So Many Years

I loved seeing my friends Amy and Deb. We were all Chemical Engineering majors (Course 10 for those familiar with MIT speak), which meant we logged hours working problem sets, studying for tests and running lab experiments together. More important than being classmates and lab partners, each woman provided a shoulder to cry upon, a listening ear and a beacon of support. We helped each other maneuver the years of transition into adulthood. We were missing one friend's presence - Robin. Robin, Amy and I traveled to Europe upon graduation and embarked on a month long adventure from the UK to France, Italy, Greece, Germany and the Netherlands. It's a trip I will never forget. Such are lifelong friends - we exchange holiday cards each year, attended or served in each other's weddings and watched our families grow.

Goofing Around

Lab partners of yesteryear
We were Young Once

Close friends are special because it takes time to cultivate those relationships. Opening yourself to a new person leaves you vulnerable and open to rejection - at least it does for me. I estimate it took me at least three years once I moved here to really feel like I had a good group of friends and I am so blessed to have them.

Great Friends - I Could Not Ask for More

The Second Take
Vegas, Baby! November, 2010

Love My #Friends #memorialday #happybirthday

Friends are important for my kids and I love that each has a great group. Having the right friends is crucial in this crazy world they are growing up in.
The Posse

Shopping With the Birthday Girl

This past year has given me more change in the friendship department than I really care for - one good friend moved away, another one is about do the same. I had new friends enter and friends disappear. Regardless, each friend has shaped and influenced my life. You never stop thinking about the close friends, any reconnection feels like they never left - you can pick right back up without missing a beat. Such is the mark of a special friend, with whom you can talk with about anything, who will listen and not judge what you have to say.

Special friends will do lots of crazy things with you!
The Ladies Rock
CrazyK, 2011

Rainy Canoe Trip
Canoeing in the Rain - Turkey Run

Team MAAC
Spelling Bee

Social Media sites (yes, Facebook and the like) make staying in touch with old friends so easy, but there is nothing quite like reconnecting with friends in real life, even if you have to travel across the ocean to do so.
The Travelers
Friends Reunited in Italy, 2010

College Friends, Reunited
College Roommates in the UK, 2013

Old Friends
Friends from Indiana - at the British Museum, 2013

Unfortunately, there are friends I will never see again - Tom and Ed, specifically.
Grabbing Some Air
Tom Murray, Summer 1988
Taken too early, but not forgotten.
Remembering Tom #friends #mit
"No Love, No Friendship can cross the path of our Destiny without leaving some Mark on It Forever" - Francois Mauriac

My friend, Kellie is moving away this weekend and we will miss her so. But we also know our friendship contains a special bond that is not easily severed. We will always be close in spirit. She posted this quote a few days ago.

“Close friends are truly life's treasures. Sometimes they know us better than we know ourselves. With gentle honesty, they are there to guide and support us, to share our laughter and our tears. Their presence reminds us that we are never really alone." - Vincent van Gogh

Reach out and be a friend, or reconnect with one today. You will be forever changed.

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Let the Rain

When It Rains

It was raining Tuesday morning when I awoke, I could hear the staccato pings on the window and the gentle trickle of water running down the gutters. I did what I needed to do - I went out and ran in it. The cool rain first absorbed into my skin, hat and clothes before streaming down my face and legs, washing away any sadness I might have been feeling. If you have never run in the summer rain, go out and do it. Let the rain pummel you, let it consume you.

Let The Rain

Remember the rain is only temporary - it only lasted until mile 2 and left the road glistening, the air clean and damp.

Later that day, the rain came again, but this time coupled with sunshine. I did what I needed to do - I grabbed my camera and captured the rare combination of golden sun falling from the sky which rendered the landscape sparkling and magical.

Of the Sun and Rain

Nodding

A Sprig

I looked up to the sky, opened my arms wide, then closed my eyes and let the combination of warmth and cool dot my outstretched arms and neck. It felt amazing.

Some days, I feel the rain has become a metaphor for my life, that it needs to be cleansed and refreshed, nourished and fed - after all, rain is needed for growth. I am often reminded of a favorite song, Let the Rain. Even if the rain falls, know that it serves a purpose and let it propel you forward.

I wish I were pretty
I wish I were brave
If I owned this city
Then I'd make it behave

And if I were fearless
Then I'd speak my truth
And the world would hear this
That's what I wish I'd do, yeah

If my hands could hold them you'd see
I'd take all these secrets in me
And I'd move and mold them to be
Something I'd set free

I want to darken in the skies
Open the floodgates up
I want to change my mind
I want to be enough
I want the water in my eyes
I want to cry until the end of time

I want to let the rain come down
Make a brand new ground
Let the rain come down
Let the rain come down
Make a brand new ground
Let the rain come down tonight

I hold on to worry so tight
It's safe in here right next to my heart
Who now shouts at the top of her voice
Let me go, let me out, this is not my choice

And I always felt it before
That the world was filled with much more
Than the drowning soul I've learned to be
I just need the rain to remind me

I want to darken in the skies
Open the floodgates up
I want to change my mind
I want to be enough
I want the water in my eyes
I want to cry until the end of time

I want to let the rain come down
Make a brand new ground
Let the rain come down
Let the rain come down
Make a brand new ground
Let the rain come down..... tonight

Let the Rain, by Sara Bareilles

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The Grand Poppy

Don't judge the plant when it first emerges from the ground - case in point, the Oriental Poppy. With leaves that look like dandelions on steroids, the poppy overcomes its unsightly foundation with puffy crepe paper blooms, nodding on delicate stems.

poppy flowers


Heart Center

Crepe Paper

There are always flowers for those who want to see them. Henri Matisse

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Along My Run | 3

Back to Memorial Day Weekend:

I've run this path in the winter and it's just as nice in the spring.
Woodland #shirleyruns

I ran with visiting friend, Heather and we enjoyed the view atop the hill:
Out in The Distance #shirleyruns #seenonmyrun
Running well is a matter of having the patience to persevere when we are tired - Robert De Castella

Memorial Day marked my 47th birthday, and what better way to start off a new year than with a run.
47 and Still #Running #shirleyruns #selfie

Morning skies.
Happy Wednesday #shirleyruns #sky #clouds #sunrise #postrun

I hit the road.
Down the Street #shirleyruns #selfie

And into the country.
Farmland #shirleyruns #seenonmyrun #latergram
The freedom in running - it's the fresh air and the feeling that the only person you're competing with is you - Wilma Rudolph

The quotes are from Runner's World Motivational daily quotes that I receive via email. They inspire me and I hope I've inspired you to see something beautiful along your path today.

Captured While Running Album on Flickr

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All images on this blog (unless stated) are the intellectual property and copyright of Shirley LeMay Photography and Shirley Behind the Lens (© 2005-2014). Do not steal, borrow or pirate the images here.

The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code. and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act) prohibits the use of digital property to be used without the consent of its owner.

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