Confrontation or Peace – Boardwalk Reflections in Green Cay Wetlands

With this post, I am going back to the original basics of Picture to Ponder almost 10 years ago. At that point, photographs of images that caught my eye inspired what I termed “Self-Reflecting Queries,” questions for the viewers to “ponder” about themselves and their lives.  When walking in Green Cay Wetlands the other day, I was reminded of one of my early Pictures to Ponder issues, Zig Zag Lines – Confusion and Bombardment, in 2006. Below are three different views of the current scene that provoked similar thoughts for me. Perhaps there is something in the imagery for you also.

Before reading my descriptions below, I invite you to spend a moment or two with each of the photos. Note what’s different for you in each. Then go on to read the descriptions and my responses and finally, the Self-Reflecting Queries.

Green Cay boardwalk reflections

Stepping back looking at administrative building in Green Cay Wetlands

Green Cay Wetlands Administration building and reflections for peace

Green Cay Wetlands Administration building futher back

Today’s Photos – Description
The above photographs are views and reflections of the boardwalk and administration building at Green Cay Wetlands.

To me, the top one is confronting, almost like a solid wall facing us. It’s difficult to distinguish the parts. I feel blocked as, at times, I do in life.

In the second photo, having stepped back, I feel grounded. There is just enough building on the right and clear water on the left to create balance. As a matter of fact, I felt so much at peace, that when it accidentally became my desktop photo, I left it up as such. (Photo 3).

I find it most interesting that what usually has felt like a “mess” of folders and files on my desktop, now feels orderly. They are visible, seemingly tucked away, ready to be opened when needed.

The fourth photo, as you see, is an even broader view. Though there is more water, which usually is peaceful, once again I feel at a loss.

Self-Reflecting Queries –
Of course everything I stated above is a matter of interpretation, and are reflecting moments in my life.

If the photos triggered any personal responses in you, I now invite you to explore how they might relate to other areas of your life. You might want to do some writing or, perhaps, do some photographing of your own… close-up, stepping back midway, then moving even further back.

What do you notice when so doing? What opens up for you?

Treasure Your Life Now Tip – Keep in mind that almost everything we see and how we respond to it is our own individual interpretation. Remember this whenever you are going to be in communication with another about what you are seeing and experiencing.

Never assume that they are responding in the same way. Always share from your point of view, asking them for theirs.

Have fun with this. I would love to hear what your responses to the photos and my experience are. Please share them in Comments space below.

Lastly, A Request – I am in the process of writing a Kindle book, a compilation of interviews with Seniors 65 and over who are iPad users. The intent is to inspire and reassure those who have been reticent and afraid, yet are interested in using an iPad, as well as give some new ideas to existing users.

If you be one, or know any seniors using iPads who are willing to be interviewed, please email me at with contact information and best times.


Confrontation or Peace – Boardwalk Reflections in Green Cay Wetlands — 17 Comments

  1. Hi Sheila,
    it’s been a while… hope you are well! These pictures and questions prompted a visceral and then more soulful/thoughtful response, so thought I would share.

    Funny, I find my reactions opposite to yours!

    The first picture delighted and intrigued me. First I had to be OK with the mystery, the not-knowing, having to make sense of what was up and down, what was reflection, etc. – but that edgy, off-kilter feeling was thrilling and I enjoyed stepping into the unknown with you – an image I couldn’t “make sense of ” right away, but chose for that not to matter. Then it actually added to my pleasure in it.

    I found it geometric, I enjoyed seeing a place as pattern, the surrealism of it. As if it tickled my concepts of sky, water, building, up, down, real, illusion… it could just be itself, a strange and beautiful pattern on the screen, or I could try to ‘figure it out.’ In fact, it invited me to ‘figure it out’ – but then, like one of those optical illusion images, I could choose to let that go again and just see the shapes and the light and dark and the topsy-turviness afresh.

    Oh and finally, why I love this image is that from earliest childhood I have loved staring into reflections of the sky – that Escher image of the puddle with leaves and sky is a favorite. The sense that in some alternate reality, you might actually be able to jump into the sky….

    The second one was pleasant to my eye and I could see calm there and beauty in the way the buildings fit the site, but it had less ‘hook’ for me. I enjoyed the reflections but this time they were understandable as-such, so less intriguing. As a desktop it does convey calm – when I put an image on my desktop like that, I’m not above flipping it horizontally so my icons are on the quiet part of the picture and the complex part can be clear without icons.

    The last image where you pull back does feel very wide-open, and the pearly clouds in the sky draw my eye up to the satisfying roofline with its cupola. Seeing the building as more of a a whole is pleasing, though somehow more predictable, than being challenged like the first image. Is predictable boring? Not sure! But as an image my response is more “very nice, OK, on to the next” whereas the first totally drew me in and kept me. The last one is nicely balanced too as it hangs between water and sky, with the lovely line of green trees drawing one into the wilderness beyond the manmade environment.

    I wonder also how much of this difference also reflects that I do not know this place, so it holds no emotion for me beyond what the image conveys….

    Thanks for the invitation — take care, love from Alison

    • Alision,

      Thank you so much for your in-depth response. I love it. Interestingly, had I been looking at the photos and scenes from your perspective I might have had the same response as you. I do think photo #1 is more intriguing and visually interesting.

      On the other hand when the second one accidentally got to be my desktop photo (must have held it down too long) it gave off a peacefulness for me. And I was fascinated that all the icons which I usually cover over with an image from Preview, settled in nicely in their now more invisible, almost camouflaged positions. I did move some around.

      I am going to email you the desktop photo, larger than shown here to see if you get the difference.

      And, thanks again for responding to the invitation. Love and appreciation, Sheila

  2. Sheila, pondering your photos inspired a short story this time. I hope it answers your question as to whether I saw ‘Confrontation or Peace’ – or a bit of both.

    Confrontation or Peace

    Cathy read the solicitor’s letter a second time and shivered under the scrutiny of the blazing sun. Her fingers left damp imprints on the paper as she folded it into ever smaller squares. When it would bend no further she pushed the unwelcome news into the back pocket of her jeans and sucked in a lungful of hot dessert air.

    For twenty years she’d kept Canada -and Kevin – boxed up in deep storage. Now, here he was, knocking on the lid of his coffin, demanding her attention in a way she couldn’t refuse. Damn him!

    ‘Cacti make prickly bedfellows,’ he’d said, laying a restraining hand on her arm.

    She’d shouldered her backpack and focused on an icicle hanging from the eaves above the boathouse door. ‘I’ll sleep easier in Arizona, knowing I’m not coming between you and your wife.’

    The rucksack had acquired a thick layer of dessert dust. She brushed off the sand to reveal the forgotten green cloth and felt again the roughened skin of his lumberjack hands grip her shoulders.

    ‘I’ll get a divorce, Cathy. We’ll move into the boathouse, shut out the world and live off the fish in the lake.’


    The text was from her sister. ‘Yes or no???’

    She texted back,’ I’ll think about it on the way. ‘

    After shoving an extra pair of socks on top of a thick woollen pullover, she scanned the sparsely furnished room and thought, ‘The rest of the world would never have left us in peace.’

    Kevin’s widow met her at the airport, where each woman tentatively kissed the frosty air circulating around the other’s cheeks. Funeral discussions occupied the space between them on the two hour journey to the lake. Leaving Naomi’s jeep at a jetty, they travelled the last mile by boat, its growling engine drowning the need for further small talk.

    The pines around the clearing had grown thick and tall so that the timber house no longer peeked through them. As they rounded the headland, the boathouse was the first man-made structure to come into view. The engine slowed as they approached and Cathy’s heart thumped in tune with the thudding outboard motor.

    ‘Oh Kevin,’ she whispered.

    He’d painted one wall of their former love nest to look like her back yard – orange sand sprouting a green cactus, waving its long green arms like hands. Kevin always said, ‘up here in the wilderness you wave hello and shake hands goodbye.’ So, he’d known all along she’d come back here again one day. Emotion swelled in her chest and clogged her throat.

    Naomi leapt out and moored the boat. Cathy took her offered hand and squeezed the fingers gently as she steadied herself. ‘Why don’t you hate me?’

    ‘You saved my marriage.’

    ‘I nearly broke it first.’

    ‘Well, all this…’ she nodded towards the main house, ‘is yours now. Do with it as you please.’

    ‘You married a crazy man. What possessed him to leave it to me instead of you?’

    ‘Kevin was a lot of things, but he wasn’t crazy.’ Naomi let go of Cathy’s hand and twisted her wedding ring. ‘How else was he going to ensure we started talking to each other again?’

    ‘We’ve managed to discuss the funeral okay. But what do you want to do about the house?’

    ‘That’s up to you. Are you staying or not, yes or no?’

    ‘Still a maybe. Depends on whether you can forgive me for falling in love with your husband.’

    ‘It was a long time ago, Cathy. I got a lifetime with the man I loved; you got twenty years in the desert. I’m willing to call a truce if you are.’

    Cathy stepped closer and held her sister in a tight hug. ‘In that case, it’s good to be home.’

    © 2014 Rose Gardener

    • Wow, Rose!! What a provocative and moving story! I AM sitting here, still somewhat puzzled and astounded after having read it twice. You say the photos inspired this story. I’m trying to make the connection and maybe there does not have to be a direct one, as such.

      Did the story open up out of nothing other than the photos, or was it a latent one of which you were aware and it hadn’t yet surfaced?

      Thanks so much for sharing the story and yourself here. I can feel that it’s one that’s going to be with me for a while.

      • It came totally out of the photos, Sheila. Photo one made me think ‘storage crates in the snow’ before I worked out it was part of a building. Photo two inspired the boathouse. Photo three reminded me of the intrusion of technology on whatever reclusive space we create for ourselves. Photo four -with its wider focus showing the peaceful, settled cloud formation above- finished the story. 🙂

        • I am in awe, Rose. I am honored that you shared the story with us here. And, I’m intrigued with what the photos brought up. Makes perfect sense when you describe what each of the photos brought up for you.

          I’m still curious. Do you do much short story writing? Are Cathy and Naomi characters in any other of your writing? Most interesting….

          And, thanks again!!

          • I’m strictly amateur at this writing lark, Sheila. Each of my characters live only for the duration of their story. The photos left me with a sense of peace and forgiveness and perhaps my subconscious started work on that. When I typed Naomi’s text message, Cathy was simply packing for a trip down memory lane to some boathouse she’d inherited and I had no idea what question her sister was asking- it was merely an interruption to Cathy’s train of thought and a hook to keep people reading! Isn’t it amazing how our subconscious comes up with things we aren’t even aware of? I don’t have a sister so it’s not personal. Who knows how the two ideas came together at the end. But it was fun! Thank you for your photo prompt, and for adding the copyright. I share my stories freely online, without thought to further publication, but I’ll link to your blog when I mention my writing revival on Facebook and hopefully it will bring you one or two (well-deserved) new visitors.

        • What a fabulous “writing lark” you offered us here, Rose! The photos are fascinating because they may be of “the same thing” yet they are so different, too, kind of like our perspectives on life and situations when we insist on looking only “one way” or “our way.”

          Sheila – I love your question about the story’s beginnings — creativity is like that, isn’t it? Sometimes sparked from one thing or another and yet always just so beautiful in conception and then in birth as well.


  3. Rose, I enjoyed your story very much. It’s amazing how a few pictures can inspire different emotional pulls.

    Sheila, I’m a senior who’s considering buying an ipad. I use both a desk computer and a laptop;I have the Kindle app on both, so I’m not sure if an ipad would help much.

    • Thanks, Leona. The final version of a story often evolves to obscure the origin of thought, but photos are always my favourite way to be inspired.

    • Leona, thanks for picking up on my invitation to connect if one is an iPad user and over 65. The first question is, of course, what has you considering purchasing an iPad? And are your computers Macs or Windows?

      If Macs, then I’d definitely recommend you’d go with the iPad since everything syncs so easily and you would be familiar with the programs.

      In response to your comment as to whether it “would help much.” I bought mine just before leaving for a trip to Costa Rica for major dental work. I thought it would be much easier to keep in touch than with my bulkier Windows PC laptop, not my main machine. I’ve been a Mac person from the start of my computer days.

      I was delighted that I did purchase the iPad. I appreciated the ease of use in accessing everything I needed at the time – mainly camera, including video; email; Internet search; recording notes in Evernote that would be on all my devices when I got home; messaging and more.

      The people I’ve been interviewing, for the most part, value it #1 for it’s portability, being able to take it anywhere to work or play. They also like being able to sit in their comfortable chairs to work and/or watch movies and play games.

      One woman I interviewed lashed a bath tub “table” onto her treadmill and does almost everything on her iPad as she does 2 mile walk, each time, at least twice a day. This includes email and using Facebook.

      So, it comes back to why you are considering it in the first place. Please let me know if this has helped you in any way.

      BTW… If someone has never used a computer and is now considering getting into the electronic world, I say, “Get an iPad or Android tablet.” A computer is long long necessary for the basics.

  4. Rose — an intriguing and captivating read. You are a weaver of words and I’m delighted to see the artist in you back at work.

    Sheila — I thank rose for bringing me here – look forward to what I might glean from your website going forward.

  5. Pingback: How to Preserve Voice Memories, Photos and Notes Using Evernote

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