Posted in child death, Colombia, Colombian life, Order, Perfection and Peace, photo challenge, photo challenge, Spiritual Presence, storms, Uncategorized, Waiting

The Layers of Life

Golden mountains
The sun upon the mountains in Colombia

When I hear the word layered I think of my life. If I go back through time I can actually envision in my mind peeling the layers away as it unfolded. When I look at this photo of the mountains I think of each layer as representing portions of my life. The green foliage in the front portion is me starting to grow and move in different directions, as do the lines of the trees. Which way will shape my future, which path did I choose? The sun hitting the front row of trees points directly to a path of beauty and more sunshine. You can follow that path all around the picture and see the sun illuminates it. The right side shows the trees ending in a shadow, cut short from completion. The left side is cut off and we the observer’s are left without knowledge of where the trees end up.

When I think of all I have lived through, the good and the bad, one of the hardest parts of life is deciding to walk away or try harder. As we get older memories encompass us, thus making us question our choices and decisions in life. Normal thoughts because our younger selves think we will be young forever.

Sun behind clouds
A  small rainstorm in the Valle del Cauca
Layered clouds
Storm clouds completely cover the landscape of the Colombian mountains

So which path is my life story ending? Am I going to walk the straight path that follows the mountain around bathing in the sunshine? Am I going to go to the left which leads me to an unknown future waiting to be discovered? Am I going to turn to the right that is in the shade and then just stop and stay forever in obscurity, questioning all the memories that find me, thinking about what could have been?

Maybe I will be the second photo where small storms enter but exit quickly. Sunshine appears again and I am happy for a while and then another downpour erupts which I deal with; then the sun comes out again. This scenario makes the most sense and is what most people encounter as we live our lives.

Hopefully, I won’t peel my layers back on life and find the last photo. Dark, disturbing clouds full and ready to burst with a torrential downpour.  Because I am tired of the copious rain in my life. I  have had these layers in my life before, when my daughter was murdered, when her murderer was let to go free. I have more resilience in all aspects of my life because of her death, I am wise like I never was before, I am forgiving and thoughtful about many things that happen to me.

Since I have moved to Colombia I have had these dark clouds appear and deluge me with situations that seem impossible, but I have been able to get my life back to the second photo that is just a quick storm passing through. In reality the first photo where the trees go off to the left and we don’t know where they will end up is probably my route. Preemptively the direction most of us take. Because as much as we want the passage through the mountains with all of the sunshine and the happiness this is not reality. It is the movie you watch that has the perfect ending.

So I will continue to peel those layers that are actually years in my life and let each day help me discover a new beginning. One that is the mountain path of sunshine, but I will accept those storms that trail me sometimes and I will conquer them.





As we age we get wiser. Layers of life. Life, does it continually evolve? Or does it change as we evolve? I often wonder about my own life…the developments that made me who I am now. Sometimes, it is like the past was a dream. I am living completely who I want to be at this time, with a life that many dream they can live. Even the most rich on this Earth don’t have the freedom to enjoy life the way I do now. But I have this underlying sadness. It is like I have had so many stages that all came together and then just stopped when my daughter was murdered.

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A construction pile that is like my mind when I have a bad dream about my past.

Then came Colombia. Where I see myself as I should be for the first time. At one with nature and my surroundings. I live with a heart filled with questions, and an eye’s view of all the beauty that surrounds me daily. The questions haunt me always, I feel them prying into my soul every night when I try to have a peaceful nights sleep. Then I awaken with birds singing and mountain views and I find that tiny corner in my mind that allows me to go on. With these life pictures I see every day I am able to overcome a lot of hurt and sadness. I have come to crave solitude as I age. I want silence. I want to feel the Universe vibrate in my soul. I want to find what my life is supposed to mean. Will I ever be able to do this? I don’t know. It is impossible to even say, as each day is like a wave that breaks at the shore of the ocean. A wave that can be fierce from a storm approaching, or soft like a summer evening with a beautiful sunset. Layers of life. Pictures will always speak for me. I take them randomly with no thought besides the image that appears in front of my view. I see so much beauty in simple things now. I wish I could go back and stress that to my children. That you need to live without a need to impress, that you need to live in such a way that you will never be ashamed of who you are, that you need to live without the need to hurt others: even when you have been hurt so badly you feel so angry. That is what I am discovering each time I click my camera, the images are part of me.

Mountain bike ride 033
My view of a beautiful tree while out mountain biking
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The rose that is dying then the new bloom reflects rebirth to me

I am slowly blooming again. I am taking my life back. It took moving to a new country to discover just who I am. I am a strong woman, I am a mother, grandmother and a person of integrity. I no longer hold in what I feel. If I need to say something I do. I will not ever allow anyone to control or intimidate me. I will be honest, I will also be forgiving to the best of my ability. I will grow stronger each day as my layers unfold. That is who I am now. A person with strength to say what I mean, and to let go of what I need to. I will thrive despite a past that hurts me so much. A past others brought to me, but I tried to fix. It never worked. I will no longer fix anyone but myself, because you just can’t. I have learned that in the layers of myself.

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Roses growing strong to the sky

I will continue to do what I need to do, despite the displeasure of others. I no longer care. I only care to do the right thing in a world filled with madness. A world filled with uncertainty and immaturity. A world filled with judgmental people who have no right to judge. I will ignore that and look towards the layers that define me. I will inspire others, and I will show strength and beauty through my photos; photos of many layers. Layers of life, layers that show the sweetness of life, not the adversity. A life I have made by standing tall and proud, no matter what others might say. I have defined my life through these layers and I will continue to do so, no matter how much sadness I endure.Mountain bike ride 053

Understanding the Layers of Life