to create again

I picked up my camera today, and for half a moment it felt foreign. I don't know what happened, but somewhere in the darkness of the last few months I forgot that I have a need to create, I forgot that I have a story to tell, I forgot that I love to communicate beauty; I have tried to fake it by following the cues of what "other bloggers" are doing, but when the sun came up today it finally hit me that I'm not Other Blogger #10299 - I'm me.

And I have a story that's just mine.

I heard someone ask recently: "What would you do (in any area of life) if you weren't influenced by what other people are doing?"

What would I write if it didn't have to have a click-worthy title? What would I say to you if it was the only chance I had to speak the truth? What story would I tell with my life if I was focused only on what eternally matters?

For the last five months I've rigidly posted here every Monday of every week - the first time in over 8 years of blogging that I've ever given myself a true writing structure. And I'm glad, because lost in the dark and afraid, I'm not sure I would have written anything at all otherwise.

But there are times for rigidity and times for flux. There are times to teach and times to learn. I've shared my thoughts in an instructive way and now, I think, I'd like to be constructive for a little while. I'd like to create again.

And I invite you along, if you like.

These few pictures that I'm sharing today are a glimpse into a muggy May morning with my sister, three days before she turned thirteen. We rode the horses in the big round field and then washed their tails with strawberries-and-cream scented conditioner that takes me back to horse-baths of summers gone by. It took ages to work out the tangles, and I doubt they properly appreciated our braiding skills, but there's something good about slow, patient work and being near a big, breathing thing.

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Hallie Liening

Hallie grew up on a small farm in rural eastern Washington. At 18, she moved across the country to go to Bible school, and then married the Boy Next Door at 20. Now 22, she is a graduate of Great Commission Bible Institute with a Certificate in Biblical Studies and resides in Olympia with her husband and her two cats. She survives the claustrophobia of living near the city by making frequent trips back home to visit her family and her horse, writing sentimental blog posts about the countryside, and by filling her house with photographs of Mt. Adams sunsets.