A Peaceful Outlook

Posted: 13th June 2012 by ToadHollowPhoto in Photography
Tags: , , , , , ,

No matter your position in life, no matter your social standing, no matter your financial situation, we all share a common thing.  Time is a constant.  Time is immutable.  It’s what we do with our individual moments that collectively make up our lives.

I find myself pondering life and its meaning a lot lately as we face our challenges and find ways to work through them.  A loving touch from my beautiful wife.  A kind word from a stranger.  Taking pause to think of someone who has done something unselfish.  These are all things that are quite lacking in our modern world, and these are also things that can go a long way to adding to the enjoyment we all experience in life.

Comox Landscape - Comox, BC, Canada

Comox Landscape - Comox, BC, Canada

My mother became quite ill in the late seventies, and in her final years thought it best for the family to find its way out to the West Coast of Canada.  This was a place that truly meant a lot to her, and in some way we all believed that just standing on this ground would make everything alright.  In some ways it did, in others it didn’t.  Regardless of this, I find myself living out here with a strong connection to this land that she loved so much.  And through her eyes I see this place in a different way than many others do.

Vancouver Island is a beautiful place.  It’s unique in that it features oceans, farms, rolling hills, lush forests, lakes and tall mountains.  Through this vast diversity, the pure character and essence of what it means to live here emerges.

Comox Landscape - Comox, BC, Canada

Comox Landscape - Comox, BC, Canada

Through these eyes we’ve come to appreciate all that lies before us.  This connection with the land and with those that surround us drives us forward, no matter what the day may bring.  It’s been said before that life is fleeting, but this can only bring meaning if we find the time to appreciate this gift we’ve been given.  Through the act of giving we receive, and in many cases the gift given is something difficult to fully appreciate.

On days like today, we like to stop and reflect on these core values.  We like to give thanks for all that we have; our family and friends, our health, our island…  these are all things that are far too easy to take for granted.  These are also all things that can change in the blink of an eye.

Look around you…  find someone or something that means a lot to you and take a moment to show some appreciation.  We promise you will receive much more than you give.

Thank you so much for your visit today, it really means a lot to us.  We always love to hear from all our visitors, so please feel free to leave us any comments or thoughts you may have.




  1. avatar Jerry Denham says:

    What a great post Toad. It’s amazing what an act of random kindness can do.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      I think more folks should practice that notion, Jerry. We truly appreciate you taking the time to pop by for a visit and leave us your wonderful comments!

  2. avatar Scott Wood says:

    Great write up today. As you know, a big part of our move was to be closer to family, as I get older that is becoming a bigger and bigger need.

    I also am starting to struggle with the contrasts in my life. My day job is slowly sucks the life our of me, and my creative side puts that life back. I know that there has to be a better way, I just dont know what that way is.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Thanks for your visit, Scott, your story truly resonates. I really hope things start to improve for you so you can enjoy things more. Keep the faith, my friend, I still believe that the key to success is determination and perseverance. You’ve most definitely got the talent… best wishes, and thank you for popping by today and leaving us such meaningful and thoughtful comments.

  3. avatar ehpem says:

    Great thoughts Toad – Vancouver Island is a special place. But anywhere can be if people follow your advice.

    I like your Comox pictures – they capture a bit of the fast disappearing Comox that is how I remember the place from working there for a while 30 years ago.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Thanks so so much Ehpem. We really appreciate you taking the time to visit and leave us your thoughts today! I totally agree with your sentiments about the fast pace the island seems to be changing at. Good things photographers like us are here to document all this great stuff. 🙂

  4. avatar Fred Norris says:

    Great blog Toad,your images and story are convincing me to visit this island you call home.Thanks for sharing mate!

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      You have GOT to come out and see us one day, Fred! It would be a huge honor and delight for us to have a chance to visit in person and show you around our island here!! Many thanks for your kind visit and comments, my friend, we sure do appreciate it!

  5. avatar Edith Levy says:

    Beautiful post Toad. I can tell that came straight from the heart and you made me take a pause (because these days it seems I’m always traveling through a whirlwind) and reflect on my own values and what I’m thankful for. Terrific images as usual. I love the second one. Those mountains in the background are brilliant.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Thank you so kindly, Edith. It seems our message is resonating with many folks today, and this really means a lot to us. Thanks for taking the time to come on by, and for leaving us your personal thoughts for everyone to see and enjoy.

  6. Love these images toad, makes me want to emigrate straight away. Your words resonate strongly with me, especially at the moment. Keep doing what you do my friend, spread the joy.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Chris, it would be so wonderful to have a chance to see you in person after all this time, my good good friend. Thank you for your kind words of support & encouragement, and we can only hope that our post here has lifted your spirits in some small way. You, sir, are the best.

  7. A great post Toad! I’ve been feeling time crunched lately and this has helped me to re-think a few things. I can always count on you putting a smile on my face and in my heart! Now to think of some nice randomness I can do for someone else…

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      I love, love, love your comments here Howard! Thank you so much for taking the time to leave these for us here. It really means an awful lot to us.

  8. avatar Jim Denham says:

    Our lives move too fast. In order to function properly, we need to slow down and appreciate exactly what you’ve written about here Toad. Our time here is too short not to. Thanks for the reminder!

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      And thanks to you for all your kindness & support here, Jim! Wonderful sentiments, my friend, thank you for leaving these for here for everyone to read and enjoy!

  9. avatar Len Saltiel says:

    Terrific post Toad. You have a way with words that speak from the heart and resonate with everyone who reads them. Your love for Vancouver Island and your fellow man is what makes you who you are and why I am compelled to look forward to your posts.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      You made my whole day, Len. What a kind, kind thing to say. I cannot begin to thank you enough for all you’ve done for us over the years, and for these wonderful thoughts. Thank you, kind sir.

  10. Wonderful post here Toad. Thanks for saying what most of us think but don’t always speak about ourselves.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Thanks, from the bottom of our hearts, Steven. We really appreciate you taking the time to come on by and leave us your thoughts like this, it really does mean so much to us.

  11. avatar Rich McPeek says:

    Very well put my friend! Terrific post and photos!

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Thanks, Rich! You sir, are both a scholar and a gentleman, and we certainly appreciate you taking the time to pop on by and leave us your comments here!!

  12. Very thought provoking, Toad. Nice couple of images to illustrate you narrative as well.

  13. avatar Rick Louie says:

    I’m sorry you mother became ill. I’m not looking forward to the day I have to take care of my parents. I know my cousins have had to deal with it. I’m just thankful my parents are still in good health as my father enters his late 70’s.

    I’ve come to realize some of the important things in life and working to climb the corporate ladder isn’t one of them. Photography has given me the ability to really appreciate the things around me, family, where I live, this world around us. It’s also given me the ability to allow others to have keepsakes that make them happy.

    We’ve had forest fires here in the area – dry spring and summer – and you see pictures of people taking their prized possessions with them and in many of the photos you see people taking their photos with them. You can’t replace those photos. It’s those memories of days past that’s most important – places you been, people you remember, times past.

    Excellent post Toad.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      We really, really appreciate your visit and you taking the time to leave us these heartfelt and wonderful comments, Rick. Thank you ever so kindly, good sir. Best wishes with everything for you.

  14. avatar LensScaper says:

    A great piece of writing, Toad. One of the problems with modern life is that we are so wound up in our own little worlds that we neglect the world and the people around us. I know from my own personal experience as a doctor that I arrived home after work burnt out by the day’s stress and the constant decision making. There wasn’t a lot left to give to those who hadn’t seen me all day! Now retired, life is lived at a different pace, and the absence of the stress associated with ‘doctoring’ allows one to experience life differently. What you write is so true of life, we need to learn those lessons because one day it will be too late. Attempting to lead each day as if it were our last is an excellent recipe for a life that looks outwards rather than selfishly inwards. Thanks so much for sharing what you wrote.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      And many heartfelt thanks to you for taking the time to pop by and leave us your personal story to read, enjoy and learn from Andy. You, sir, are the real deal.

  15. avatar Jimi Jones says:

    A heartfelt post that resonates so well with me, Toad. We all need to pace our lives as much as possible and enjoy what’s before us. Too often, many are caught up in the rat race of society, never truly realizing just how fast time passes.

    Love this write-up and thanks for sharing your personal story. You’ve landed in a wonderfully beautiful place with a direct family connection. Life is a wonderful treasure that we have all been blessed with.

    All the best, my friend!

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      What wonderful, wonderful comments to read today, Jimi, thank you SO much for taking the time to share these with us! We really appreciate all your kindness and support, my friend!

  16. avatar Heather says:

    Yes. Love you Mr. & Mrs. Toad 🙂

  17. avatar Rachel Cohen says:

    My dear friend Toad, what a truly timely and important post you have written today! It echoes what has been going through my mind, in fact even in the minutes before reading your post.
    Today would have been my mother’s 74th birthday, but she died nearly 24 years ago. I spent time today remembering her, and thinking about family in general.
    Now more than ever I find myself caught up in trying to do too much, becoming overwhelmed etc., but at the same time when I read something like your post, hear some kind words or see a smile it can change everything.
    The same holds true in the reverse. I want to let everyone know how much I care for and appreciate them. This starts from my family, and certainly goes to my friends like you, and all the wonderful friends and togs I’ve met in this past year or more.
    I truly value your friendship, and always look forward to everything you share with us. You are a one of a kind friend!
    Thank you for being there for us, and for being you!! 🙂
    Much love from me to you and Mrs Toad! 🙂

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      What incredible comments, Rachel! Seriously! Just wonderful, my dear friend. When we’re able to make connections with people like the one you’ve expressed here, it really makes it all so rewarding for us. I think that life is coming at us faster and faster… we’ve even had our own challenges in “keeping the car on the road” at times lately with everything. Comments like yours here really give us some much needed extra inspiration to carry on, Rachel. How can we even begin to thank you for this, and for all you do for us… I really don’t know. Much love to you from us! 😀

  18. avatar Adam Allegro says:

    Beautiful words my friend. It seems, once again, your post has made me take a few minutes to just think. 🙂 Have a great weekend buddy.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      That just means so, so much to us Adam, you have no idea! Thank you so very much, my good friend. You are indeed, the best of the best.

  19. A great and meaningful post today my friend. Life is way too short to be unhappy in where we are or what we are doing.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      I totally, totally agree Mike! Thank you so kindly for taking the time to pop by and see us today, and for leaving us your wonderful thoughts my friend!

  20. avatar Jim Nix says:

    wonderful scenery Toad!

  21. Breathtaking shots of a lovely place Toad! I can feel how near and dear it is to your heart. I love what you have written here. I am thankful for getting to know you even though not in person, because you are a true inspiration to many!

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      I am honored and humbled this morning in reading your comments here, Michael, how awfully kind of you my friend! I feel the exact same way about you, in all truth! 🙂 Thanks, my friend, we would most certainly not be here if it wasn’t for you…