Thursday, December 29, 2016

Wishing You Joy

By Cathy

Joy . . . a word we hear quite often during the month of December. We wish each other a joyful season, we sing of joy, and we see the joy on children’s faces. But, what about the rest of the year? Do you actively seek joy when things don’t seem to be going right, when you’re hurting, or during bleak winter days?

What is joy anyway? Joy according to the web is “the emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying.”  Synonyms for joy are delight, bliss, gladness, jubilance, and gaiety.

Joy is a pure physical sensation in our bodies. We jump for joy, we double over in laughter, and we squeal with delight. When we feel joy, we feel more confident, capable, and lovable. We feel good about ourselves.

I know how to find joy. All I need to do is spend time wandering in nature and seeking the unexpected. When I find something unusual, I am filled with joy. I smile, I giggle, or even laugh out loud. I’ve been known to do a little happy twirl now and then, too!

Let me show you some examples of nature that brought joy to my heart.

A little frog trying so hard to hide from me.

Red and green lichen, the colors of Christmas, found on an old piece of lumber.

Early morning frost.

And, the latest joyful find . . . a gnarled tree. I'm sure you're wondering why this tree trunk would bring me joy. Look at it again. It may only look like a gnarled tree to you, but to me it looks like the face of a camel and it made me laugh. Who knew I had camels in the woods behind my house!

I won't be be printing any of these pictures and putting them in frames. That's not why I took them. What I wanted was to record those little moments of joy. I didn't want to spoil that joyful moment setting up my tripod, fidgeting with the camera dials, concentrating on the right composure, or the right aperture to get the perfect background. There is no law of photography that says every picture must be taken on manual and must be perfect. If you think that, you might be taking the joy right out of your photography. Trust me, I know all about that! My pictures are for me and if an imperfect picture brings me joy or memories of joy, then I've accomplished what I'm seeking. In 2017 I will be printing my joy pictures and placing them in an album of joyful moments. It should be fun at the end of the year to look back through them.

As we end this year and look toward 2017
my wish for you is that you find what brings you joy
and that you seek joy every day.


Carol said...

This is just a beautiful post! It brought me JOY! I am so serious -it made me happy. And it carries a great follow up lesson in telling us to enjoy our photography. The top shot, by the way, is more than frame-able. It's a God message , and it's beautiful! Thank you for starting my day with joy!

Dotti said...

This is fantastic! First, the reminder to seek joy because it recharges us. Second, to remember to find JOY with our cameras not just seek perfection. And the joy album - what a marvelous idea! Also, what Carol said about the first picture - YES!

Joyful New Year to all'

heyjudephotography said...

I love your first shot, what a joyous find! What a good reminder that our photography isn't always supposed to be perfection. We fell in love with photography because it brought us joy. I love your "joy book" idea!

terriporter said...

Oh, yes, seeing perfection is so overrated! It definitely can take the joy out of photography and it's sad when that happens. Your shots all show the joy you felt when you took them and I think the joy album is a fabulous idea! Some of our photography is to be framed but some photos we take just because they make us happy. Love that you found a "camel" in your woods! Thanks for the reminder to seek and to photograph the things that bring us joy. And, by the way, your macro photography brings ME joy!

Anonymous said...

I so agree, Cathy, and these photos are such perfect examples! This is really the motivation behind my own photography. I think my little Project365 calendar serves the same purpose for me as your joy album will for you.

Jan said...

What beautiful photos! And I agree that there is so much beauty in every day and every place. Thank you so much for sharing this perspective as we prepare for a New Year!

JUDITH said...

Enjoyed looking at your pictures. Can't wait to see what will come in 2017.

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