quotes

First the rain...

Sunset.jpg

 

I shot a wedding this weekend. It was on a boat that puttered slowly and gently around the lowcountry waters, shifting ever so gently back and forth with the sway of the boat and the shifting tide.

The skies were clear when we started our day - even with some hot sun piercing down on us. And then suddenly, the rain came in. It was a steady rain with no signs of letting up at all. Grey skies all around and a constant, gentle drizzle as we coasted the waterways.

Then as suddenly as the rain came, the clouds began to part just in time for us to see this remarkable sunset, color-filled and awe inspiring. I hustled the bride and groom to the back of the boat where I could get a good photo of them. It was all she wanted - a beautiful sunset photos of her and her husband, ready to start their lives together.

As I was snapping away at the photos, I heard one of her friends holler to them over my shoulder. "First the rain, then the sun..." It stopped my in my tracks. 

Of course.

Of course the rain has to come first. Of course you have to weather the storm first to appreciate the sunshine and the sunset. The thunder is there to shake us and move us. The water is there to nourish and refresh us. And then...the sunshine. To help us grow and bloom.

I have been here. Standing on stormy ground. Always hoping to find a way out. Maybe you are there now. Maybe you are stuck in a storm.  Just know in your heart that the sun will shine soon. It has to. There is no room for only rain. We need both to survive. So settle in and cover up, because this, too, shall pass.

The adventure of being alive...

One of my most favorite photos ever. I dream of this day every day.

One of my most favorite photos ever. I dream of this day every day.

It doesn't interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for – and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart's longing. It' doesn't interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool – for love – for your dreams – for the adventure of being alive.

Oriah Mountain Dreamer

Lessons in less

From brunch at The Darling Oyster Bar where upon I couldn't finish all the food we were given. A nice problem to have.

From brunch at The Darling Oyster Bar where upon I couldn't finish all the food we were given. A nice problem to have.

I often get caught up in the "I don't have enoughs" when in reality, everything I really need is right in front of me. I am clothed, have clean water, have a lovely roof over my head, power to my home, relatively good health and even extra food in the refrigerator and pantry...just in case. And often times, I can't eat all the food that is given to me because, you know what...it's just TOO MUCH.

I try to stop myself there, but in this privileged society, it's hard for me to say I don't need a haircut, some new clothes and perhaps that awesome new iPhone 7 Plus with it's sweet portrait setting that makes a cell phone camera look a little dreamy. (I mean, it IS my job after all).

Sometimes, I even make myself believe I don't have enough to do the things I need to do. I need a better camera, better lenses and a new computer for my job. I need a new pot to properly cook that coq au vin perfectly. And I could definitely use that special, fancy sea salt we ran out of to make that dish taste extra perfect.

If we balance out the "nice to haves" (new haircut, new shoes, new camera) more realistically with the "need to haves" (power, water, warm clothing), we suddenly start to see the shift happen. We start to feel the gratitude for what we have instead of what we don't have. Instead of seeing this lack as punishment, maybe see this as a gift.

I found this paragraph from a photographer I follow (stalk?) today and it really brought this concept I've been mulling over for weeks into fine-tuned focus.

"There are so many challenges to living our dreams: not enough money, not enough time, not enough knowledge, etc…. But the truth is, those are all one kind of problem…a lack of RESOURCES. And if you’re putting off living your own dream because of a lack of resources, then I’ve got news for you. NOBODY has all the resources they need. In fact, the very nature of big dreams is striving for something that’s not yet within our reach…it’s ALL ABOUT A LACK OF RESOURCES. So what can we do with what we’ve got to get there? It’s simple: you need to be more RESOURCEFUL. There’s a big difference."  - Chase Jarvis

Well...ain't that a kick in the pants? Instead of stopping us in our tracks, maybe we could use our perceived lack as a way to be more creative. That lens I want only makes me work harder for the photo I need. That pot and finishing salt I don't have makes me work a little more creatively in the kitchen to come up with another way to cook. So in the "lack" is actually a life lesson. Creativity is equal to Resourcefulness and is extremely necessary when you are working towards ANY goal. 

And for that lesson today, I am grateful.

 

 

 

As Tall as the Trees

live oaks

“Walk tall as the trees, live strong as the mountains, be gentle as the spring winds, keep the warmth of the summer sun in your heart and the great spirit will always be with you." Native American proverb

Those mighty live oaks that blanket the lowcountry are iconic. With their complicated branches reaching and bending, twisting and turning towards the sunshine and rain, they are the epitome of shelter, comfort and strength. They are home to animals and plant life alike. They are shade from our sweltering summer heat. They are protection from the elements for so many life forms.

Sometimes I take their strength for granted. Walking by them, leaning on them, finding comfort beneath there embracing branches. I curse the clean up every spring and fall as they shed leaves by the truckload. I get frustrated by their acorns scattered on my back deck as they jab into my bare feet. I mutter under my breath as I drag their broken branches blown down from a storm to the curb.  But there they stand - steadfast and strong every day - not asking for anything from anyone...only wanting to be there so they can serve to protect us. 

If a tree were a human, I would like to think I wouldn't feel this way. I would like to think I would embrace and love that person, despite their leaves they let haphazardly fall around or their acorns they drop clumsily every so often. I would love to think that despite these perceived shortcomings, we all have the space to be loved just as we are - broken branches, messy piles, and thick trunk and all.

Maybe as we move through life, we should remember the trees. Selfless and strong, bowing to nothing. Changing for nobody. And always protecting those around us, regardless of who they are. 

 

 

Country Roads

Steamboat Landing Road, Edisto Island

Steamboat Landing Road, Edisto Island

"Country roads, take me home to the place I belong..."
John Denver

Every once in a while, I grab a camera and set out for a spot I have never seen before. It seems to get harder and harder, but I keep finding hidden (to me) treasures wherever the roads lead me. Exploring has become sort of a personal project in my life as well as in my work. I seek to find things I haven't seen before. Even if they are familiar to the rest world, it's still all new to me. ANd isn't that the point of discovering and learning new things?

Somehow stumbling on a country road along these explorations makes me feel like I have found the ultimate treasure. That dirt road and the light streaming through the dripping Spanish moss tells me I have found what I was seeking all along. These country roads bring me where I always wanted to be in my heart.

They bring me home.

 

My Remedy

graham

I remember all of the things that I thought I wanted to be
So desperate to find a way out of my world and finally breath
Right before my eyes I saw my heart, it came to life
This ain't easy it's not meant to be
Every story has it's scars

When the pain cuts you deep
When the night keeps you from sleeping
Just look and you will see
That I will be your remedy
When the world seems so cruel
And your heart makes you feel like a fool
I promise you will see
That I will be, I will be your remedy

No river is too wide or too deep for me to swim to you
Come whatever I'll be the shelter that won't let the rain come through
Your love, it is my truth
And I will always love you...
Love you

When the pain cuts you deep
When the night keeps you from sleeping
Just look and you will see
That I will be your remedy
When the world seems so cruel
And your heart makes you feel like a fool
I promise you will see
That I will be, I will be your remedy

When the pain cuts you deep
When the night keeps you from sleeping
Just look and you will see
I will be, I will be
When the world seems so cruel
And your heart makes you feel like a fool
I promise you will see
That I will be, I will be, I will be...
Your Remedy

- Adele

Getting lost in the Books.

old books

"Anyone who said they have only one life to live must not know how to read a book." -Unknown

I could wander aimlessly around old bookstores and libraries. The musty smells, the lofty dreams, the vast knowledge. They are all reason for me to take to meandering through the aisles and getting lost between pages for hours on end, never to pick my head up out of the possibility of life.. 

 

 

After the Storm

showers

After The Storm
Mumford and Sons
 

And after the storm,
I run and run as the rains come
And I look up, I look up,
on my knees and out of luck,
I look up.

Night has always pushed up day
You must know life to see decay
But I won't rot, I won't rot
Not this mind and not this heart,
I won't rot.

And I took you by the hand
And we stood tall,
And remembered our own land,
What we lived for.

There will come a time, you'll see, with no more tears.
And love will not break your heart, but dismiss your fears.
Get over your hill and see what you find there,
With grace in your heart and flowers in your hair.

And now I cling to what I knew
I saw exactly what was true
But oh no more.
That's why I hold,
That's why I hold with all I have.
That's why I hold.

And I won't die alone and be left there.
Well I guess I'll just go home,
Oh God knows where.
Because death is just so full and man so small.
Well I'm scared of what's behind and what's before.

And there will come a time, you'll see, with no more tears.
And love will not break your heart, but dismiss your fears.
Get over your hill and see what you find there,
With grace in your heart and flowers in your hair.

And there will come a time, you'll see, with no more tears.
And love will not break your heart, but dismiss your fears.
Get over your hill and see what you find there,
With grace in your heart and flowers in your hair.