A Secret Garden

There was green everywhere. Bright, vibrant, alive. So much of my favorite color in one place calmed me instantly, like a balm on my heart and spirit. Enclosed by high crumbling coquina walls tangled with lacy ivy, and sun-bleached wooden fencing speckled with moss, the garden welcomed me, enclosing me in loving arms. Welcome Dear One. Welcome. Come in. Breathe. Heal.

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I took a deep breath, lost in wonderment and unexpected joy. How long had this place been here, hidden in plain sight just off the beaten track? How often had I passed by it and never seen it, never known it existed? Yet the timing was sheet magic. I needed this. I needed this place. The beauty. The peace. The healing. A secret garden of my very own. It was like the one in my dream from so many years ago — not a perfect match, but something in it spoke to me and I grinned at the unexpected connection to my characters revealed to me in that dream, their beautiful story, and the butterfly garden they shared.

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Everywhere I turned something unexpected caught my eye: mermaids, fairies, butterflies, orbs spread haphazard, wild and free, spinning, twirling, dancing in the gentle breeze, sheltered in the shade of ancient trees and warmed by the strong Florida sun. Colors in rich profusion sprouted up amidst the greenery, adorning the Earth most beautifully: blues, reds, bronzes, greens, purples, violets, and clear crystalline white.

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Thank you. My whisper repeated itself in my mind over and over again as I walked the uneven cobblestone pathway, finding more beauty and hidden treasures behind each twist and turn. I felt giddy, light-hearted — it was just like a scene from The Secret Garden or Harriet The Spy!  (I’ve always loved the gardens from these movies.) Benches awaited me, knowing well I’d have to return one day with a notebook and pen sometime soon, and a table lay tucked away, for the future lunch I’d bring to eat amongst the fairies.

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I called silently to the trees and flowers, to the fairies tending them, and the wonderful life-force encapsulating this tiny place: Thank you for this. You’re beautiful. Hello! I thanked them for inviting me into their domain to appreciate their lush, wild beauty. The wind tugged at me, playful and free, pulling me this way and that. Look here! Notice this! I happily obeyed — there is no resisting the lure of happy fairies, especially those dwelling in a secret garden. There was so much to see!

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Butterflies danced, fairies sang, and my heart soared.

Thank you. Thank you.

I’ll come back soon.

I promise.

 

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Dinnertime

Hello my lovelies, it’s once again that time and this week the photo challenge is of a foody nature…that’s right, get ready because it’s… Dinnertime!

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Now admittedly, I’m not one who snaps pictures of my food regularly but randomly enough I did take a few yummy photos a few weeks ago when I was rambling downtown with my mom, enjoying the sun and fresh air. With little difficulty, we decided to have lunch at the amazing Taco Shop on St. George Street and partake in their mouthwatering specialty: the UFO. What is Taco Shop UFO you ask, well let me tell you. It’s SCRUMPTIOUS, that’s what it is. It’s a folded, round burrito thing, bursting with meat, cheese, and all the best burrito fixings, and it is DIVINE! With your choice of either Land or Sea as well as Baja or The Works (Land and The Works for me please!), you really can’t go wrong here. (And now I’m freaking hungry again…)

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And of course you can’t visit the Taco Shop without immediately going like three doors down to the Snack Shack and ordering some sweet potato fries, you know, to boast your energy as you start waking again… What, you didn’t know sweet potato fries had restorative powers?! Well, now you know 😉

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And to think, a Ben and Jerry’s is opening a few more doors down in a few months, and there’s a Kilwin’s on each end of the street. So yeah, you’re definitly going to gain a few pounds walking down this gorgeous historic street.

But what about you my lovelies, what have you been snacking on lately? Are you a food picture-taker, or do you prefer just chowing down as opposed to taking the time to snap the perfect food photo? Let me know 😀

Weekly Photo Challenge: Eye Spy

Well my lovelies I do believe the reign of Whiney-Tara (aka me with a cold/sinus/thing) is finally coming to an end and I am happy to report I’m feeling better at last! I still kind of resemble Rudolph a bit, and sound a little less than lovely — and I randomly choke on what I can only guess is a shift in the air — but I’m feeling MUCH better and am ready to get back to my regularly random-scheduled blogging!

So, it’s photo challenge time again my lovelies, and this week the challenge is Eye Spy, which is much more of a challenge than I initially realized. I don’t really zero in on the eyes when I’m out snapping pictures but I dug up a few I think work pretty well. I hope you enjoy! 😀

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And because he’s just so darn cute:

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Trio

This week the challenge is Trio my lovelies, and I thought, what better trio could I show than this: Glamis Castle, the Scottish home of Shakespeare’s Macbeth and the real life home of the Earl and Countess of Strathmore and Kinghorne. (Thank you Wikipedia for that useful bit of historical information because I honestly had no idea what castle this was!)

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Victory

Before we begin, I’d like to say that all my prayers, love, and light go out to the people of Paris tonight. No words can express the depth of this sadness. I’m so sorry for all of your losses. ❤

But the challenge this week is Victory my lovelies, and victory for me was the release night of my high school literary magazine Serendipity. My Bestie and I were editors and contributors and this was the night we celebrated all our hard work with a book release and signing at Barnes and Noble in our hometown! It was a very exciting win and I can’t help but be proud of our accomplishment 🙂

Besties!

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This is the look of victory my lovelies! And exhaustion. Victory and exhaustion 😀

Weekly Photo Challenge: Ornate

The challenge this week is Ornate my lovelies, so I figured a little trip to a beautiful church (Holy Trinity in Stratford-upon-Avon) in England with some ornate and gorgeous stained glass windows was in order… And by the way, this happens to be where Shakespeare himself rests eternally after penning some of the greatest works in the English language! I hope you enjoy!

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And finally, one from the beautiful Casa Monica back home in St. Augustine:

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Careful

Well my lovelies, I’ve searched and searched for pictures that bring to mind this week’s challenge (Careful) but I guess most of my pictures aren’t about being careful so much as living a little! So really I only found one that brought being cautious to mind.

This was one of the first pictures taken my very first day of classes at FSU my freshman year. Walking to class, I was terrified, lonely, desolate, and trying so carefully to keep myself together when all I wanted to do was crumble and break into a thousand little pieces.

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Thankfully things improved with time and this terrifying place became my home away from home, a place where I carefully, deliberately, wildly, and unexpectedly became myself. 😀

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P.S. WordPress just informed me that this is my 200th post! *Happy dance* Thank you for all the support and friendship my lovelies and here’s to the next 200!

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Weekly Photo Challenge: (Extra)Ordinary

Sorry this is so late my lovelies, but I gave myself the weekend off (plus a little extra lol) to recharge my blogging batteries but I’m back and I’m happy to share with you this week’s challenge: (Extra)Ordinary!

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And one more elephant…just because they’re so cute!

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Happy Place

The challenge this week my lovelies is Happy Place, so I promptly dug around in my massive photo vault (aka the many, MANY picture folders on my laptop) and selected a few that I think do this wonderful challenge justice! I hope you enjoy 😀

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OK, OK, OK, so maybe these two are only in my dreams (and my grandparents’ photos from England), but that totally counts right?! I mean I’m a writer, imagination is encouraged in my profession! 😉

But, if I have to pick a place I’ve actually been to (which I guess rules out Belle’s library in Beauty and the Beast, because that was my second choice…) I’d have to say my Happy Place really is my beautiful hometown in all its historic glory!

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Screw it, I’m adding it anyways!

MUWAHAHAHAHAHAHA 😉

Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Boundaries

The challenge this week is Boundaries my lovelies, so I’ve scrounged up a few delightful images from my grandparents’ trip to Scotland and England a few years ago, as well as a picture from my own hometown. I hope you enjoy 🙂

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And because I just couldn’t resist…

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