the tulip festival, and finding time.

and I could see for miles, miles, miles.
Lily and Tulips

Years ago, I cut a quote from Lao Tzu out of Oprah Magazine and taped it on my desk. It reads : "Time is a created thing. To say 'I don't have time' is to say 'I don't want to'"

It took me almost a decade of being over-committed to reevaluate the meaning of this statement. With a million hours in the day, there are a million things I'd love to do; I would answer more phone calls and take a calligraphy class. But, I don't have that luxury.

If Lao Tzu was still around, I'd suggest a little re-write "Time is a created thing. To say 'I don't have time' is to say 'I'd rather do something else'". We're all given the same twenty-four hours every day. It's what we do with them that matters.

Every Spring since I moved back to Portland, I've thought about going to visit my grandmother (who lives 5 hours away in Northern Washington) so we could go to the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival together. And, every spring the buds bloomed and were deadheaded without me visiting. I wanted to go, I wanted to spend time with my family. But the tulips only bloom for four weeks a year, and something always came up.

 I think it's important to constantly ask ourselves : how does the way I spend my time reflect what I think matters in life? 

 Lao Tzu got the first part exactly right, time is a created thing. If you want to do something bad enough, you create time for it. You for-go other plans, you look past whatever it is that "comes up". You get in the car and drive to your grandmas, because that is what you chose. That is what matters. That is to say I want to.

Skagit Valley Tulip Fields
(photos) on film with Nikon FM. 


  1. Oh my, these photos are unreal! This is a dream! And I love everything you said about time. So true.

  2. The tulips are really cool, I love the images.

    You have a really cool blog here. Do you want to follow each other, I would love that.

  3. Again--so many good words!

  4. I love this so so much! And that last picture is my absolute favorite!

  5. Beautiful photos, Sam! Oh, and hello Miss photogenic! Great photo of you! You need to step in front of the camera more, young lady! :)

  6. Yes! Reminds me of a quote spoken by Gandhi: "Action expresses priorities.” Beautiful photos by the way! Now I want to go to a tulip festival!!!!!!

  7. Beautiful, beautiful...both in sentiment and images. For me, I have the hardest time saying no to others (Lutheran guilt!) because I feel the harshness of that "I don't have time/I don't want to" statement. It sounds so negative. But, I love the way you rephrased it. It's often not that I don't want to do this or that, but simply that something else is more important to me or important to my overall goal.

    Love it. :)

  8. I completely agree with the quote and your interpretation and thoughts on it. I read an article recently about this very thing-time-and it suggested replacing the words "I don't have time" with "it's not a priority." So similar to Lao Tzu's words and oh so true. Your photos are beautiful too. I miss Oregon!


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