It's harder than I thought it would be to choose just one thing! The simple exercise of sitting here and thinking of it, however, is making me smile.
I love my ability to see and appreciate beauty. I was walking around the property earlier today, and I could see beauty in so many places. Even where things are falling apart, becoming dormant for the winter, or just plain dying, I can see something beautiful. The bright red maple pictured here encourages
me on some of my grayest days - it remains vibrant amidst the rain and fog, doesn't allow its colour to be leached out by its surroundings.
Even when humanity is disappointing, or others around me are decrying the loss of decency, most days - and I wish it were every day - but most days, I can find something worth keeping. There is always a bright spot, a redeeming factor. That woman - she has a smile that lights up her whole face, if you can only coax it out of her. That child, mid-tantrum, is secure enough in his parents' love that he knows, even after his meltdown, and during and after the necessary discipline, that love will not reject him. That man rushing about, budging in front of you in line at the grocery store, he's doing his very best to care for his family, even if he doesn't always know how to express that in words.
I love how entrenched I can be in a symphony, or the bluegrass (the lovely Alison Krauss) to which I'm listening now. I love that through music, through photography, and through learning to give grace in some small manner in accordance with what I've received, I am getting better and better at seeing the beautiful. In this, I have many great teachers, many photographers and writers and beautiful souls, but I'd like to thank one in particular today, and that is Karen Walrond, who is all three. She's just come out with a book called The Beauty of Different (The book is available from Bright Sky Press and Amazon) and if you'd like (and of course, I think you would!) you can read about it on her blog by the same name. (Don't ask me how many times I had to check that spelling!) I encourage you to enter the contest - I did, and gained an additional entry by linking to it here.
More importantly, though, I want to thank Karen for helping `me to learn better how to see the beauty in everyone and everything around us. That learning, and looking, has helped me to learn that the vision in me is something that I love.