I have had a blog on my mind since this past summer, inspired by my wonderful Uncle Mac who lives in a large city in Texas. He walks or takes the bus everywhere and seems to always travel with his camera. I do not prefer the city; too much black top, exhaust fumes, noise and often ugly buildings in my opinion. I prefer my suburbia, the sweet smell of my Lake Michigan, my trees and gardens. Usually the worst noise is the neighbors’ lawn mowers and leaf blowers. I imagine that I could easily be very unhappy if I had to exist where he does.
However, the pictures he takes of his home and neighborhood are amazing. He does not focus on the ugly or crowded. He determinedly SEEKS the beauty in his surroundings and finds plants in a deserted field blooming, vines that hang over fences or grow through concrete, interesting paint jobs on the houses he passes and funny ways people have decorated (sometimes unintentionally) their homes. His focus is on finding peace and beauty where he is and I believe that he succeeds admirably.
One thing he likes to photograph is the sky and specifically the clouds. Juxtaposition of wires, trees, branches, shoes hanging by laces over the lines and shapes all lend to interesting compositions and stories. These stories are often elaborated on by the others in my family on Facebook where he posts his gallery. I see his beautiful cloud formations and think that the sky must be more beautiful where he lives.
I tend to look down, both physically and emotionally. I can very quickly forget to look up and appreciate the incredible day, the beauty around me and the sheer joy of just taking a deep breath and letting it go. Even in my gardens, I can look around and only see the weeds, the jumbled mess, the to-do list and the failures. The blossoms get overlooked as I focus on what is wrong. This year, there was a LOT wrong in my gardens as we had our rest year and the gardens were a mess. I didn’t want to go in them because I found it hard to appreciate anything.
I was having a particular grumpy frumpy day and was actually startled to see amazing clouds as I walked out onto the deck while taking out the compost bucket. I came to a complete stand still and just stared. I immediately thought of Uncle Mac and his gorgeous display of cloud photos and thought, “I have beautiful sky too.” Of course I put down the bucket, hurried in to get my camera and starting snapping. The sky was too big; the large cumulonimbus formations were too grand for my camera lens. The skies were declaring something much bigger than me and my meager woes.
I was humbled, I began to smile, I found joy in the beauty and I whispered a thank you to my Heavenly Father for reminding me, gently, that I am loved... even when I am grumpy and frumpy.
|His heart for me|