I must admit this week’s photo challenge was an exciting one for me. As a life-long lover of the arts and art teacher by profession I can think of several examples of art that have had a profound impact on my life: seeing Guernica in my elementary art class and learning about its meaning, visiting la Pieta and the Sistine Chapel in Italy, rounding the corner at the Salvador Dali museum in St. Petersburg Florida and seeing the Discovery of America by Chrostopher Columbus for the first time.
Yet, this is a camping blog, so I would be remiss if I did not mention the profound joy I get from camping and that is exploring the most marvelous masterpiece of all – God’s creation in the world around us.
The beauty of God’s masterpiece is that you can visit the same place over and over again and never see it exactly the same way. Whether it be the change of seasons or the slow progression of elements over time, there is always something new to appreciate. There is also an abundance of natural diversity if we are fortunate to be able to explore it. Friends of ours just returned from a vacation in Sedona and commented how strikingly beautiful it was. Just think about how many different terrains can be explored in our country alone. And that is just the beginning! What places have you visited where you have been awestruck by the beauty God has provided for our enjoyment?
“Art is a collaboration between God and the artist, and the less the artist does the better.” – Andre Gide
The great-horned owl sitting in the tree in broad daylight along the bike trail. The red-winged blackbird fanning its wings atop a hay bale in the field. The blue butterfly that stopped for a mere second on atop a black-eyed Susan. The face of my dog mid-dream while I scrambled to get the camera. All these and more…photos that I would love to have but was unable to capture in the moment. Call it photographer’s remorse or a bad case of Sod’s law, it seems that I always manage to see the things best worth photographing when I have either left the camera at home, or it is not ready in time. And I am an amateur, I can only imagine what it feels like for a professional! It used to really bother me (and quite honestly, still does) but I have come to the realization that I can’t allow such missed opportunities to blind me from the “big picture”. If I am to be perfectly honest, some of the best moments I have encountered in nature have been somewhat obscured behind the camera lens. Whether it is trying to find the perfect angle, lighting etc. who knows what I may have missed just by watching. Recently, I have enjoyed taking walks in nature with my husband and two dogs, not attached to my camera waiting for the next photo-op. It is nice to observe, relax and enjoy all of God’s creation. Never mind the dozen or so birds that were posing perfectly for photos along the way. So I will continue to look for those moments I can capture that make me smile, appreciate God a little bit more, or even make me wonder…whether they be on the camera or just in my mind’s eye.