Tag Archives: photography

Is A Chance Meeting Really Just Chance?

Years ago, a chance meeting left me yearning for more.medium_7864852790

The first encounter was brief but I have never forgotten it.

Something left an impression on me.  What was it?

The voice on the phone perhaps?

The feeling that I had found that perfect match?
You know…when your values are validated.

When someone else thinks the same as you.

And I don’t just mean you both like vanilla ice cream with butterscotch sauce.

I mean your core values;
the ones that when challenged make you angry,
unable to believe that someone would have a differing opinion.

I had such an encounter — 5 years ago
and have longed ever since to see if my intuition was correct.

Lately my intuition has been strong.  In fact, I have been surprised how it is serving me.  So you can imagine both my excitement and trepidation when I decided that today I would have my answer.

I’ve imagined it all – the smells, the lighting, the views, the location, the sounds, the ambience, the people milling about.

Could I be expecting too much?

Thankfully, my intuition served me again.  In fact, it offered me a full course of overflowing ‘You Were Right!‘  Love when that happens!

Five years ago, I was working on a project to bring bird nesting boxes to schools across the country, working in conjunction with Bird Studies Canada and I wanted to send appropriate gifts to businesses who were donating their services to aid in the project.

Surfing the net, I stumbled upon a place in Toronto that sold ‘certified bird friendly’ coffee.

One call to the owner and I knew I’d found my match.

He owned a coffee shop by the lake that not only sold organic sustainably farmed bird friendly coffee, but all their snack and meal offerings were organic too.

Touted as a neighbourhood hang-out, on the shores of the lake, playground near by, jazz on the weekends – I was hooked.

Buy gifts of coffee for the donors? No-brainer.  Done.  Check.

…but there had to be more.  This could not be a one time encounter. 

I had to see this place in person.

Since I don’t live in the neighbourhood, I once sought it out when I thought I was nearby, but to no avail.

Today however, I would be nearby – very nearby – so I plotted and planned to go.

The small building, one side completely covered with a mural of an underwater scene with the undercarriage and feet of a duck gracing the surface, the facade painted cream with garishly red-trimmed windows and mouldings, made it hard to miss.

I entered with anticipation, ready to meet a soul mate.

Large windows filled the shop with light, it’s squeaky door announcing one and all.  Two bay windows offered cozy nooks to read or people watch.

An old wooden church pew allowed for plenty of seating with iron and marble tables small enough for intimate chats or a laptop.

The back room with diner-style booths and more cozy chairs in small groupings took advantage of the windows overlooking the playground and lake which although partially frozen now and cold outside, I was tempted to get a ‘to-go’ and stroll the boardwalk.

Instead, I selected a spot on the pew and watched the regulars come and go, some being addressed by name and chatting with the efficient staff.

‘A regular’ sits beside me on the pew – his favourite spot, he shares, telling me why mine is not quite right.

Jazz plays on the stereo.  Aromas of freshly ground coffee and healthy soup fill the air.

The wooden planked floor and burlap coffee bags used to cover inventory on the shelves add to the old charm of the place.

Gorgeous photographs of birds hang gallery style on the wall behind me.

Organic coffee in bags for home brewing and 5 kinds of organic chocolate tantalize me.  I’m already considering what to buy to relive the experience at home, (or on the way home as in the case of the chocolate).

It is places like this that bring together my value of ecology and ethical farming practices.

The connection of like-minded people, where small things we do on a daily basis to support local initiatives, which in turn support a larger cause and bring awareness to environmental issues, make me feel that there is hope for what I hold dear.

It is a place in the world, albeit a tiny place, where I feel the fight has been won and all is right in the world.

A place where my soul is rejuvenated.

And that, my friend, was not chance, but destiny.

Is there a place in your world where you feel your values are supported?
A place you love to go because somehow it resonates with your soul?  Share it below.

Bird-Friendly coffee shop in Toronto, Ontario, Canada: Birds and Beans
Another of my faves for very similar reasons: CoffeeEco, Kingston, Ontario

photo credit: Linh H. Nguyen via photopin cc
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One Simple Way To End It All

garden June 6-06 035 (1)Tired of wishing things were different?

Sick of hoping things will change?

Discouraged by events not happening as you had imagined?

Me too.

Well I know one simple way to end it all.

I’ve been doing a lot of mindset work lately with a kind and wonderful woman named Therese Skelly.  She is a business coach, heck person, like no other I’ve met.

If you, like me, believe in the Law of Attraction, well we are likely babes in the cradle compared to Therese.  Therese embodies and imbues the Law as if she wrote it herself.  What’s more, she can extract from you deep-set beliefs like you wouldn’t believe and turn them on their head.

We’re complicated creatures, us humans, and it is surprising what makes us tick.

One of Therese’s lessons is to teach you to own your value; something many of us let others bestow upon us (often which are false messages rooted in jealousy, ignorance or fear) and then wear like a suit of armour shielding us from other more realistic heartfelt honest messages.

It was with this lesson that this next message came my way.

While perusing the blogs I follow, a recent post struck my eye; Tracie Louise’s post entitled “Giving Up Hope.”

Concerned, what I read imparted a startling message; her solution to end her turmoil.

Her philosophy, so simple and humble, struck my heart and mended the tapestry of lessons past.

Her message: she is tired of hoping for things to change, for ‘hope’ gives you an ‘out’.  I hope this will happen, but if it doesn’t, that’s ok because I can always fall back on blah blah blah. 

Instead, she is making the conscious choice to give up ‘hope’ and replace it with ‘Intention’.

Wow.  Think about it: Replace ‘Hope’ with ‘Intention’.

Aaaaaaaaaa! Do hear the angel chorus?

That one simple shift: Replace ‘Hope’ with ‘Intention’.

Simply change the way you look at the situation.

“I hope one day to be able to travel to Europe” changes to “I’m going to travel to Europe” and suddenly the planning begins.

How can I afford it? Start socking away bits of cash, get a part-time job, sell un-used items on eBay.

Where will I go? Start the mental planning, pour over maps, google travel deals.

When will I go?  Pick a date and write it on your calendar.

By simply making the mental shift, you have opened the door for new possibilities (my new favourite word).

The Law of Attraction is strong, my friend, so be sure your intention is clear.

I’ll bet you’ll be surprised how things start falling into place.

Giving up Hope for Intention. Are you with me?

photo credit: Carolin Grandin
All rights reserved.

10 Ways To Regain Your Youthful Spirit

Alberto MateoI remember the smells…the fresh mown grass, the seasonal fruit – watermelon, strawberries and raspberries.

I remember the sounds…the bumble bees flitting from flower to flower, the birds chirping merrily on high, my friends’ laughter as we enjoyed playing games in the yard.

I remember the feelings…the warmth of the sun, the cold of the sprinkler’s drops on my hot skin, the freedom to explore the world on foot or by bicycle.

Summer brings memories of childhood days without schedules and routine.

Longer days meant later bedtimes – more time to enjoy the relaxed lifestyle that summer entices.

It is during the cold winter months that we dream of summer, determined to wait out the season until we again have the chance to re-encounter our youth.

We crave summer’s simplicity in the dead of winter when going outside requires layers of clothing, and footwear to protect from slips and falls, scraping off cars before venturing out on the treacherous roads.

Summer invites us to strip off the layers and walk barefoot whenever possible.

We are thankful for the ease when embarking on the day and we don’t mind pulling on a sweater to curl up outside as we watch the stars blink open their sparkling eyes.

Summer is Mother Nature’s kiss.  It is warm and sweet and special and earned.

Summer is upon us.

When was the last time you…

…ran through a sprinkler

…jumped in a puddle

…swung on a swing

…squished your bare toes in the mud

…rode a bicycle

…caught a frog, had a good look and let it go

…lied on your back in the grass and watched the clouds

…picked buttercups

…skipped down the street

…ate a popsicle?

Embrace your youthful spirit.  The fleeting season is upon us.

Alberto Mateo

 

Photo credits:
PHOTOGRAPHY – Alberto Mateo
The Last Footprint
Mobile: +34 661 530 598
e: info@albertomateo.com w: www.albertomateo.com – www.thelastfootprint.com
1st photo: Boys playing in Vuon Hoa Hang Dau Square, fountain in the foreground, Hanoi, Vietnam.
2nd photo: Woman cycling among wheat fields spotted with poppy flowers, Lolland Island, Denmark.

Quotes That Make You Go Hmmm…

bridge, copyright Carolin GrandinTrails Are

Merely

Suggestions.

~Unknown

photo credit: Carolin Grandin
all rights reserved.

What Would We Be Without Our Mothers?

In celebration of mothers everywhere,
I am proud to post this gorgeous photograph
courtesy of Spanish photographer, Alberto Mateo.

Happy Mother’s Day,

to my mom and every mom.
Thank you.

Alberto Mateo

Baby at the back of a Hmong woman dressed with traditional clothes, Bac Ha Sunday market, Bac Ha Town, Lao Cai district, mountains of Vietnam

Photo credit:
PHOTOGRAPHY – Alberto Mateo
The Last Footprint
Mobile: +34 661 530 598
e: info@albertomateo.com w: www.albertomateo.com – www.thelastfootprint.com

Quotes That Make You Go Hmmm…

Alberto Mateo

Happiness is a way of travel
not a destination.

– Roy Goodman

Photo: Hot-air balloons flying over rock formations at sunrise, Cappadocia, Anatolia, Turkey
Photo credit:
PHOTOGRAPHY – Alberto Mateo
The Last Footprint
Mobile: +34 661 530 598
e: info@albertomateo.com w: www.albertomateo.com – www.thelastfootprint.com
 

A Super Sweet Award!

I was never involved in organized sports as a child so I haven’t had much super-sweet-blogging-awardexperience with awards but since beginning this blog almost seven months ago; a soul-sharing leap into the vast expanse of cyber-space wondering if anyone would find it much less read it or like it, I have been honoured with two and now three Reader Appreciation Awards.

I am understandably thrilled, excited, grateful and humbled that my words have 1. been found,  2. been found interesting enough that people have chosen to follow me, and 3. been found worthy of being honoured as a reader’s  favourite.

Thank you to LifeBeam for this most recent Super Sweet Blogging Award. LifeBeam’s is a kindred blog; combining her photography with inspirational messages. If you haven’t visited her site yet, it is a definite destination for all things uplifting.

The Super Sweet Blogging Award comes with a few tasty strings attached.

  1. Give credit to the person who chooses to nominate you.
  2.  Answer the “Super Sweet” questions
  3. Nominate a “Baker’s Dozen”

Here are my answers to the Super Sweet questions:

  1. Cookies or cake?   Hmmm, that’s a tough one.  Whichever is in front of me.  
  2. Chocolate or vanilla? Chocolate.  Next question?
  3. What is your favorite sweet treat, cheesecake or frozen yoghurt? I’m reading this as three choices: sweet treat; cheesecake; frozen yoghurt…so I’ll go with Chocolate – Lindt’s 70% Dark Chocolate pieces. They come in individually wrapped small squares.  Just the right size to put an exclamation mark at the end of dinner – every dinner (or lunch, and sometimes a mid-day treat.  Ok, I’ll admit, mid-morning works too.) 
  4. When do you crave sweet things the most? Always need something sweet after lunch or dinner. (This was LifeBeam’s answer and I agree wholeheartedly!)
  5. If you had a sweet nickname what would it be? Sugar

My Baker’s Dozen in no particular order.  These bloggers add to the richness of life and I enjoy savouring their posts.

  1. Discussion of pop culture, literature and architecture:
    http://architecturedance.wordpress.com/
  2. Exploring the bookshops of England:
    http://matildaproject.wordpress.com/
  3. Gorgeous photography of Tracie Louise:
    http://tracielouisephotography.net/
  4. An act of kindness everyday for 365 days:
    http://thepledgeofkindness.com/
  5. Like Hipsters, but Happier:
    http://happsters.com/
  6. Top 10 lists of anything and everything:
    http://theverybesttop10.com/
  7. Living the Dream:
    http://gallivance.net/
  8. Stunning photography of Alberto Mateo:
    http://thelastfootprint.com/en/
  9. Bloggers for Peace:
    http://everydaygurus.com/
  10. More gorgeous photography, this time by Patrick Latter:
    http://hikingphoto.com/
  11. I’m breaking the rules a bit with this one; think of it as a sweet treat.  This is a website of a very dear friend of the family who is doing terrific work in India:
    http://www.tigertigerburningbright.com/
  12. Thoughtful, beautiful writing:
    http://iheartchange.wordpress.com/
  13. Literary Landmarks:
    http://noveldestinations.wordpress.com/

Thank you again to LifeBeam for honouring me with this award.  It means more than you can know.

And thank you to those who have chosen to follow me over the past seven months.  To me, each click of the ‘follow’ button is a win in my books.