“Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before”. –  Edgar Allan Poe


Mitchell Lake, Ely Minnesota


There I stood. Looking at the dark, painful world in despair. Not knowing how I would rise out of bed each and every day with the roar of ugliness that has suddenly filled my heart.

How would I look into those young innocent eyes of my children without sadness and despair?

How would I continue to walk this earth with gratefulness and love when it no longer was there?

Yet alas I’m a fighter. I cannot let it win. I must not let my voice be quieted, I must stand up and speak out loud and clear and let my voice sing.

I am a fighter. I will always fight for my beliefs and will be a voice for the voiceless.

I will not let hate bring me down.

I will not let tyranny rule my life.


I will stand up,

be tall,

use my voice,

and proudly wear those pants.

I will never ever let myself fall so low.


I will let light

and the promise of hope

for a better future for our children

fulfill my days with gratitude,

beauty and grace.

I will never ever give up.



“Knowing your own darkness is the best method for dealing with the darknesses of other people.” –  Carl Jung


Mitchell Lake, Ely Minnesota

“Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness”. –  Desmond Tutu


“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that”. –  Martin Luther King, Jr.

Mitchell Lake, Ely Minnesota
“Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness”. –  Martin Luther King, Jr.
Mitchell Lake, Ely Minnesota
“I  will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness because it shows me the stars”. –  Og Mandino

Lake Harriet, Minneapolis, Minnesota

“We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope”. –  Martin Luther King, Jr.

Lake Harriet, Minneapolis, Minnesota

“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning”. – Albert Einstein

Lake Harriet, Minneapolis, Minnesota

“You may not always have a comfortable life and you will not always be able to solve all of the world’s problems at once but don’t ever underestimate the importance you can have because history has shown us that courage can be contagious and hope can take on a life of its own”. –  Michelle Obama
Lake Harriet, Minneapolis, Minnesota

“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek”. –  Barack Obama
Lake Harriet, Minneapolis, Minnesota

“People are like stained – glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within”.-  Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

Lake Harriet, Minneapolis, Minnesota

“Now, as a nation, we don’t promise equal outcomes, but we were founded on the idea everybody should have an equal opportunity to succeed. No matter who you are, what you look like, where you come from, you can make it. That’s an essential promise of America. Where you start should not determine where you end up”. –  Barack Obama

We shall overcome. Peace.


    1. Thank you Lisa. Yes it has been quite the week. I’m still trying to understand how people voted for Trump. I’m trying to get my mind wrapped around all the horrific things he said and stands for and trying to believe that we are better than that. It has been such a tough week here. There has been so much back and forth on both sides. SO much confrontation. It is really bad. I hope that the next four years don’t set us back 50 and there is so much at stake: The environment, women’s and human rights, plus the fact that we elected a man to the highest office that speaks in a way that I can’t even have my 9 year old hear. It is heartbreaking. But yet, I will never ever back down. Never. Thanks for the song! 🙂

  1. Keep positive, Nicole. I will be holed up for the next 4 years on my little tropical island waiting for the storm to pass. Honestly, I have lost hope for my generation. With a very conservative Supreme Court, the consequences will be dire for women, for equal rights, for the environment, and for education.
    The younger generation will have to fight, and fight hard for our country. I wish them strength, perseverance, and hope that their path is lit with grace and peaceful understanding through the darkness.

    1. Yes I have too Debra, however, I have so much hope in the younger generation who is more open minded and educated. Yesterday I was in tears to see that the four urban high schools in Minneapolis organized a peaceful protest march and walked together for miles. It made me cry! These are young kids and they are doing it! There is so much hope.

  2. Your photos are gorgeous! I need to visit Minnesota. In fact, I heard the other day how beautiful the state is. I think I heard it on a travel show on PBS. And, yes, we can never give up! xo

    1. Thanks Jennifer! Wow these past few days have really been hard. What has been worse is seeing all the confrontation between both groups on both sides. Yet I am given so much hope in the youth. Young people organizing and speaking up. Peacefully protesting and working together not apart.

  3. I feel for you and all those who did not vote for that creep. For those who did, shame on you. The fact that the republicans have control of the senate is frightening. Mike Pence is really scary. I am encouraged by the protests all over America.

    1. Yes it is very upsetting Debra. Its implications for the world, for others outside of the US and for us here are beyond frightening, ranging from climate, environment to human and women’s rights. Yesterday there was a protest arranged by all the urban high schools and it brought tears to my eyes. These young kids are learning to stand up and fight intolerance and be kind. Our country has become a place of love yet also one with so much hate. It is very sad and frightening.

  4. This is all anyone can do Nicole, and you have shown yourself time and again to be an advocate for the downtrodden. They will need a voice now more than ever and I plan to do my part.

      1. I am making that my goal. Any thoughts you might have on organizations you have really enjoyed would be greatly appreciated.

      2. I just joined the Climate Lobby and also subscribed to a friend of mine’s blog, Climate Mama. These are climate related advocacy and lobby groups. I also work with ONE.org on a regular basis to help women and girls and extreme poverty. I am hoping to work also with some Human Rights groups. There are so many. Will have to look and dig into this one more.

    1. Thanks Lisa! Maybe I will sail away too….ha ha. Got to find some humor in the situation. 🙂 On a serious note, thank you always for the support. It means so much!

  5. In my despair and shock I had to make a way to survive this unbelievable uncertainty for our country and everyone who lives here–everyone. I am going to work harder at my advocacy for nature and the health of our planet. Each of us must find a way to survive this shock.

    1. Yes I feel the same way Sally. After all the despair and devastation, I became empowered and motivated to do more. I am now researching different climate change advocacy groups to see where I best can fit in and get to work. If climate change is not stopped, nothing will matter anymore! In my opinion, it is the most serious problem of our existence.

      1. Yes I get the emails and the magazine from Sierra Club and love them. I learned all about the Boundary Waters and the mining issues from their magazine. I couldn’t believe it as I was just in Ely and had no idea about the controversy. Will look into joining.

      2. Thanks, I’ve found the Sierra Club (my local chapter too), World Wildlife Fund, Natural Resource Defense Council, National Parks Conservation Association, Wilderness Society, Heifer International, National Wildlife Federation, and a few more to make a true difference.

      3. Here are a few more climate groups I got from a friend who reports from DC on Climate change. I feel a bit overwhelmed trying to decide which one, honestly, but it is a start. And I love Sierra Club and WWF, Heifer.
        NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council), World Resources Institute’s Climate dept, 350.org, Amazon Watch, and Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network.

  6. This is uplifting, powerful, beautiful and full of hope and strength Nicole. So happy to feel your determination and resolve come shining through. Your quotes are so well chosen and give great reassurance. Warmest wishes.

    1. Thank you so much for sending this to me! It is excellent and so well stated. I will never hate or be cruel. I am still desperately trying to understand Trump voters mostly for the fact that even if I was feeling left behind or anti establishment I still could never ever vote for someone who has said such hateful things. If he condemns it and doesn’t pick white supremacists for his cabinet then I will believe he has moved on. These are very scary times. Thanks again for the piece! It is very good and helps me try to understand. 😌

      1. Yes they do! I’ve been reading as much as I can on all the issues. When something has been said in the news for example if an appointment to Trump’s cabinet has been made, I research that person and look on my own to see who he or she is. We all must be as informed as possible.

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