Tag Archives: lake hemet

WordPress weekly photo challenge: Free Spirit

free spirit

a person with a highly individual or unique attitude, lifestyle, or imagination; nonconformist.

I love this week’s WordPress photo challenge, because it’s… me! And hopefully my kids too as they grow up. Our society tries so hard and so early on to have us conform and fit into the standard box. This hinders our personal creativity, imagination, and dreams. So many people just go with the flow, for fear of not fitting in. Fortunately a few of us fight back conformism. As my kids grow up, I want to remind them what Sting sang about in An Englishman in New York, “Be yourself, no matter what they say.”

Here are a couple of photos that illustrate the theme “free spirit” for me. The first one is of my eldest boy, running like the wind on the beach of Lake Hemet in Southern California. We ended up all running together, because it just felt so right.

Wordpress weekly photo challenge: Free Spirit - running at Lake Hemet, California

 The second photo is of me taken at the age of 23 in Paris, just before I left for Middletown, Connecticut, to teach French at Wesleyan University for a year. I love the blurriness, the wind blowing my hair all over the place, the pure happiness on my face. I was the first one of my family to move to a country 3000 miles away on my own. People here are often surprised when I tell them my story, especially the part about moving to another country all by myself. A free spirit allows you to do anything you set your mind to. And I wouldn’t change a thing.

Wordpress weekly photo challenge: Free Spirit

WordPress weekly photo challenge: Free Spirit

WordPress weekly photo challenge: Dreaming

The bad thing about going on vacation is, you can’t wait to go again. I can find plenty of things to brag about living in San Diego (the weather, the proximity to the beach, mountains and desert, the many activities for the kids) and plenty of things I’m not crazy about (high cost of living and low wages, lack of cultural and intellectual activities, not the friendliest people on earth). But overall I miss the green I grew up with in the suburbs of Paris, and then enjoyed in Connecticut.

So when I find green, I’m happy. And when I capture green on camera, I love looking at it again to remind me it’s out there and I’ve seen it with my own eyes.

Here’s some green and some blue I found at Lake Hemet during our latest vacation. There’s something about standing still in front of a large body of water and plenty of trees, feeling the breeze on my face, that makes me dream. I can see myself there again by closing my eyes…

Wordpress weekly photo challenge: Dreaming - Lake Hemet, California

WordPress weekly photo challenge: Dreaming – Lake Hemet, California

And then, there’s this beautiful spot I stumbled upon with my kids this past Spring while walking around Dos Picos County Park in Ramona, California. The grass was so bright green, I couldn’t believe my eyes and had to take a picture of it for future dreaming. I wish the grass around here looked like this every day, but… well, there’s no grass. 

Wordpress weekly photo challenge: Dreaming - Ramona lilac trees in Dos Picos Park

And sometimes I like to dream by looking up above and trying to find some shapes in the clouds, by myself or with my kids. Clouds are rare in San Diego so it’s a special treat I enjoy very much. It reminds me of my childhood, when I could spend hours laying down in the grass and staring at the sky, in a dreamlike state. Here’s a simple, smiley face in the sky I had to smile back at the day I saw it. Happy dreaming!

 Wordpress weekly photo challenge: Dreaming - happy face in the sky