Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8
Lovely dead crap.
I know…I know. But before you say anything, it actually is a thing…an Instagram hashtag. A tag devoted to finding beauty in unexpected places. Which as you might imagine is a concept that is right up my alley.
The simple fact of the matter is that there’s just not a whole lot else to photograph this time of year. At least outside anyway. So yeah, it’s definitely a challenge to find beauty…but kind of in the very best way possible.
This is why, if you happened to be walking around in the neighborhood, you’d likely find me crouched down in front of one of my neighbors’ dormant hydrangeas or hovering over the dried up remnants from a summer annual.
This is what photographing nature in Winter requires from us. To look beyond the obvious. To notice little details. To see with different eyes. But the payoff for seeing beauty this way is walking home with an overwhelming sense of gratitude. And having my spirit lifted in a really special way.
Dostoevsky wrote: “Beauty will save the world.” And I think what he means by that is beauty has a way of inspiring us and leading us to recognize when we are in the presence of something sacred. An encounter with beauty has a way of opening our eyes and hearts to the transcendent – that is, those things that exist above and beyond our physical human experience.
When life feels hard and the suffering of the world is too much to bear, this is where I seek comfort. In beauty. Not as way to escape the trials and challenges of life, but as way to see suffering from a different plane or perspective. A place to connect with the Divine – a way to be in the presence of God.
My Christian faith teaches me that this world and this life is not our final destination. And for me, beautiful moments like this are a gift from a Good and Loving God. A small taste of the joy that we will experience in Heaven when we are in His presence.
Seeing my life through the eyes of faith and the lens of gratitude….it has made all the difference. My sincere hope is that it brings you the same kind of hope and peace that it brings to me.
P.S. I realize that I don’t often share these kinds of heavy-handed spiritual/religious kinds of posts. But my Christian faith is a very big part of who I am and informs the way the I see the world. I sincerely hope that I haven’t pushed you away if your religious (or non-religious) views are contrary to what I have shared here.