I pulled over into the nature reserve’s parking bay. Quickly glancing down at my watch, 7:08 am, (just double checking.)  Mentally going through my morning checklist.  Organising the sequence of events.

Wondering if I, really, should be taking this time.

Should I, be using this time to enjoy,  a short walk on the calm side.




The Walk Begins

The Walk begins with limitations,  with less than ideal circumstances.


I’m going to do it regardless.

And  make the most out of it.



I grabbed my camera, locked the car, stuffed the keys in my pocket.

Mind’s in overdrive.

Be in the car and back on the road, by 8 am.

Be at the first appointment at  8:15

Yes.  That is doable.

OK. I’m set.



Strange way to begin a walk meant to relax, meant to be restorative, meant to de-stress.

All the while, thinking:  stick to the plan, move in the ordered sequence.

Get all the items marked off,  finished.


At least today,  I allowed my self more than 7 minutes.




Does any of this, sound familiar?

Anyone else, ever ‘over structure’  their time to relax,  their zen time so   that it just might not be  so very zen after all?


Usually I approach my walks, well, more like Zen Strolls.

But. You know….. the holidays.

Then, there is the sun.


Early mornings are still around 80 degrees right now and nice.

5am would be ideal.

I just don’t want to get in the car then.

I need my coffee.

It IS  about priorities.




Continuing….  Back To The Walk


The target goal is back in the car in 45.

Hop to it.

My first pause was the bridge again.


You saw it differently in the last post.  Here, I am.


nature walk photography in the park, debiriley.com
Bridge and reflections

Today’s bridge photo features the cool calmness of green, the reflections rippling.

Advising me perhaps, to “slow down.”



Calm Cool Florals  by the wayside

Lovely lavender – blue agapanthas were scattered around the parkland reserve.

The morning light, was perfect.

I stopped.

A few minutes went by………….

I was enchanted by the colors, the soft light of morning.


I felt myself relaxing.

Breathing in nice, big,  deep breaths.


soft light in morning photography, flower agapantha, nature walks, debiriley.com
Soft Light, Agapantha



Sit, Reflect.  Meditations

A park bench was right alongside the footpath.

I glanced then kept walking.

Thinking,  “No Time.”

I reluctantly walked on by another 30 meters.

I turned around.

Back to the bench and sat myself down.


After all,  this,  is going to be A Walk on the Calm Side.




Time – Spent

Tick Tock.

Ten minutes went by.

It was calm, meditative.

I was enjoying this.

Blood pressure was going down, I was going to be refreshed, energized.


Time was being spent, wisely. 

Not wasted.  Not sliding, careening away, forgotten.

Each of the moments here, I will, remember.


I jotted down color notes.

I engaged all my senses.

I wrote notations on the flowers, trees, the wind, the sounds, the temperature, the shadows, the softness of light.


rough bark photograph, canon eos, debi riley art, art basics

Even how the bark would feel, and how the petals did feel.


color and raindrops on flower, debiriley.com
Soft as Silk the petals…..


I made these minutes relevant.


I spent my time. It definitely wasn’t wasted.



On The Way Back

I still had to make it around the small lake, though, back to my car.


The rust colored fence  with curved metal bars, intrigued me.

I loved the shapes, the tones, the forms.  I liked the depth of field.



light red iron fence in park, water fountain, nature photography, debiriley.com
Light Red, iron fence


I thought of how Light Red watercolor paint would be perfect for this fence.

I thought of how this image would be ideal for class interpretation.

How easily they could see the tonal values, light and shade in the shapes and forms.




Calmer Reflections

The next pause, was the quiet reflections.

Again, the hints of light red played a role, but it was softer in this.

Less dominating. Calmer.


calm gentle water reflections, debiriley.com
calm, gentle reflections



I’ve stepped up my pace marginally.

Not a brisk walk by any means.

No more sitting.




Abstractions on the Lake

Then my eyes caught the design,  the patterns, the light on the calm side of the lake.

I had to stop. 


The subject was right up my alley.


Swirling patterns, and so nearly monochromatic.


The most striking feature was the sense of peacefulness it seemed to evoke.


nature photography, water and shoreline, zen strolls in nature, debiriley.com
here.A  moment of Peace


Right Here.

I was here, for a much longer time.


The subject demanded it.

And who am I to refuse a subject, a Muse…. when she calls?



patterns close up, lake and water photos monochromatic and abstracted, debiriley.com
close up and abstracted





calm lake photography, debiriley.com
Serene Calm


Back on the road – 55 Minutes

Taking the last shot, I flipped the camera off,  put the lens cap on.

Grabbed my keys.

Glanced at my watch……..


8:03 am

55 minutes


In my car, on the road.

55  Memorable  Minutes.


A lovely Walk on the Calm Side.