Friday, May 9, 2014

Come to Me

By Cathy 

The rain has been relentless in the Pacific Northwest as of late. It is the kind of rain that gets you wet. “Rain, turning to showers,” the weatherman will say. Showers you can walk in, rain, well rain soaks you; big drops, puddle making drops.  It is the kind of rain that makes getting outside to photograph anything a challenge.  

Right now the inside of our house is in disarray. We are painting and getting ready to have our hardwood floors redone. There is no molding around anything, the furniture in every room is pushed to one side and there is nothing on the walls. This happens every few years, well the painting at least, it has been about 20 years since we had the floors done. But what I am noticing this time around is that I am taking it slow. I am somehow able to live among the mess, and still take time to notice the beauty around me. I imagine this is due to a couple of things; my age for one, and the fact that I can’t work like I use to, but also my desire to purposely work on being mindful to all things in my life. My camera has taught me this. I can somehow move the mess out of my vision and see beauty. And, I watch outside for sunbreaks. 

Blue forget-me-nots and white sweet woodruff fill a small hill in our yard and one afternoon I noticed the rain had stopped for a moment. I headed out with my camera to capture their mass beauty. I clicked away, not really happy with what I saw through the lens, and then reminded myself to slow down and really look and allow the photo to come to me.  Soon the light caught my eye and I could see that the buds on the deciduous azaleas bush beside that colorful hill were getting ready to open. I was reminded how when this bush is in bloom, it fills our yard with a honey like fragrant that can be smelled all over the yard.  And then, I clicked. 

One early evening I watched as the sun reached through the clouds and landed on the huge native rhododendron we have in our yard. It is our state flower and while its blooms are not as big or as bright as some of the garden varieties we have, it is my favorite. The bush is really tree like and the golden hour was dancing through the high branches and the soft pink blooms.  I once again grabbed my camera and headed out with the dog at my heels. I reminded myself, as I did the day before, to go slow and  notice her from every angle and give myself some time with just her; slowing down to visit this old friend and allowing her to lead my eye.  And then, I clicked. 

The hummingbirds visit often during these spring rainfalls and I keep the feeders on the deck filled with fresh nectar. These little beauties are fast and it takes patience on my part to capture them. But at noon one day, among the mess, I sat just inside our door with my camera ready. I listened to the rain on our metal roof and I waited.  The dog sat beside me giving me looks, wondering what it was we were doing. The new growth on the Fir trees, which line our deck, dipped in the rain and all the different shades of green glistened against that pop of red of the feeder.  It was simple, calming and beautiful. And it was not long before my patience was rewarded. And then, I clicked. 

The pull of getting behind the lens of my camera every day, has taught me to slow down. It has taught me to notice light and shadows and patterns; to look at things I see every day from different angles and levels. I sometimes have people ask me what it is I do with all my photos. So I tell them. I use my camera to see, to focus, to slow down, to notice and to look at things with new eyes. It helps me to be mindful. It also makes me happy.

What are you clicking away at these days?  Be sure to share your photos with us in our flickr pool or on Instagram #focusingonlife. 


Carol said...

Just plain beautiful!

Dotti said...

'Allow the photo to come to me'. I like that! That is the perfect mantra for those of us who love photography. Too often I force things and then I'm unhappy with the results. Such a great post to remind us of the wisdom and beauty of taking time to slow down, to see beauty amidst the mess, and to breathe. Your post if full of wonderful wisdom and beyond beautiful photos, Cathy. And boy, it is green there. It is here, too. Isn't it wonderful?

kelly said...

this post cathy is like a giant exhale. the soothing flow of your beautiful words and the gentle reminder to slow down. i so totally needed this today. what a wonderful way to start the weekend. xo

terriporter said...

Slowing down, breathing, noticing what's around us -- things that are sometimes hard in the busy lives we lead, but oh, so necessary! Just reading this makes me want to grab my camera and go and sit somewhere while I wait for the photo to come to me. What a wonderful concept! Your photos and your words are always such a treat to wake up to!

CarolHart said...

Very nice post Cathy. The rain has been relentless here on the West side also. Like you, I look out for a break in the weather and try to seize the moment, either with my camera or with my garden shovel! Have a lovely weekend my friend.

Carol said...

My favorite local teacher says this all the time. "Let the photo find you." Take it all in and let your brain filter out the essence." "You don't take the photo, you Make the photo." Love it

Post a Comment

Thank you for sharing part of your day with us. If for any reason you are unable to leave a comment here on this post, please leave your comment on our Facebook page or in our Flickr discussion group. We love hearing from you!

© Focusing On Life