Friday’s Photographs: Autumn Moon Festival and Lan Su Chinese Garden

Early fall walks 077
Photo of rooftop in Lan Su Chinese garden, Cynthia Guenther Richardson 2018

Autumn is harvest time and most cultures have festivals celebrating bounties reaped. Chinese Autumn Moon Festival goes back many centuries and remains one of four major festivals celebrated on the cultural calendar. Held near the harvest moon of mid-September, there are many foods offered as well as music and dance. At the edge of old Chinatown in city center, my family and I enjoyed performances and then the beauty and serenity of Portland’s impressive Lan Su Chinese Garden, a glimpse into another time and place.

This garden was built with traditional materials and methods. We wandered as the sun set, then nibbled flavorful moon cakes made of red bean or lotus seed paste and sipped several fragrant teas. I found myself alone often as I paused to absorb the spaces, water, vibrant lanterns, buildings juxtaposed against our city skyline. Please share a few of my happy experiences.

Early fall walks 009

Early fall walks 015

Early fall walks 072

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Friday’s Quick Passing Fancy/Photos: Late Summer Beauties

All photographs by Cynthia Guenther Richardson

Far-ranging wildfires’ smoke has begun to clear at last so I spent an hour power walking. There was even a dab of rain that left its sheen for a bit. What a pleasure to get out again; this is a neighborhood of bounties. Typically I photograph lush gardens which flourish alongside varied, often historically significant homes. There are always surprises to admire. Some blooms have begun to fade as summer transitions slowly into the next season but there was still plenty upon which to feast eyes and spirit.

Come along on my cheery walk!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Friday’s Quick Pick: A Lark in the Park

 

And so after losses we yet manage–or eventually will–to get up, engage in routines and attend to obligations. And search for glimmers of valuable experience to be absorbed and offered to others. They are everywhere for me; I cannot get enough of life despite its rawness and edges and sudden dismay. Can you, even when your sleep is restless or your head feels crammed with trials? Our bodies, minds and the breadth and depth of our spirits seek more chances to be delighted, moved, changed. And we can do that in healthy and easy ways. A comfortable meander can engage the brain in greater well being; why do we ever want to avoid that? A heart pumping power walk can really stir things up.

Why not go to a park this week-end and remember simpler things? Sit and watch all the humans who persist in enabling peace and fun and respect and care, one to another. It always makes a difference. Here are a few fleeting moments that recently spoke to me. Invite your moments  to shimmer more, too. Laugh at the foolishness and yourself. Bring to the fore the pristine clarity of wonder. Breathe intentionally. Let a tiny happiness bloom into something bigger and share it–then take it home with you.

Cannon Beach Sunday and park 017

004005

006028

Crystal Springs, walks 044

Crystal Springs, walks 035Crystal Springs, walks 077

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

073

Crystal Springs, walks 120

 

 

 

 

Fridays’ Passing Fancy: Winter Light Festival, Soul’s Balm via Arty Fun

Winter Lights Festival and 101

Winter Lights Festival and 033

How to beat the winter blues? Easy: welcome to the third annual Winter Light Festival in Portland, Oregon and get ready for a quirky experience!

Because I can’t describe it any better, here is a brief description from Wikipedia:

“The Portland Winter Light Festival is an annual winter light festival in Portland, Oregon, in the United States. Each year has been presented by the local nonprofit Willamette Light Brigade[1] and powered by Portland General Electric. The festival is always open to the public and free to attend.[2]   The event, first held in 2016, featured over 40 light-based art installations, performances, and other activities, and took place exclusively around OMSI. ”

OMSI is the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, a wonderful place to visit. This year it was held at other venues as well, but we stayed around this spot as it was so lovely. There were 40, 000 attendees in 2017–likely a couple more thousand this year. But it was the first year Marc and I attended. By February we truly NEED more light to dispel the the usual winter rain-drenched gloom. But during our evening out there was no rain and it was warmer than usual.

The festival was held along the waterfront of the Willamette River. We had wonderful views from  the Tillikum Bridge, designed for cyclists, pedestrians and the popular transport, our Max train. This first bridge (we have 14 in the greater valley area) seen here is the Marquam Bridge as the sky darkens.

Winter Lights Festival and 072

Below, three views of the Tillikum, and a look beneath my feet. The rest are a few shots of what I saw. Enjoy! (As always, click on pictures to view larger sizes.)

Winter Lights Festival and 110

Winter Lights Festival and 150

A giant metal dragon entertained an enthralled crowd of all ages.

Winter Lights Festival and 215

Down to the riverbank for some quiet.

And back into the happy fray to end the cheer-filled evening.