Saturday, May 18, 2013

There is Beauty in Everything

Though I jumped into the Nurture Photography Challenge a little late, I have thoroughly enjoyed the photo prompts and challenges.  This week is the grand finale.  I’ve made lots of beautiful pictures this spring.  But rather than share a parade of pretty pictures, I will share how the act of picture-taking shapes me and how the pictures change the way I feel, think and act.

I try my best to speak with kind words and act with care.  And many days, I succeed.  I am the thoughtful friend, the considerate wife, and the patient mother. Those days, I am the girl in the garden with fragrant and fringed peonies.

me with peony

But sometimes my best is far from good enough.  I snap at my husband or lash out at my children.  My tongue seeks to control my actions.  This girl is my evil twin, my nasty alter ego, and we call her “Sharonda.”  (I am sorry if your name is actually Sharonda ; I’m sure you are quite nice.)  She is a diva. She is irritable and she uses words to hurt those she loves the most.  My family teases me when she shows up and they shame her into hiding.

Rather than beat myself up for being less than perfect, I challenge myself to hold my tongue. I look for the beauty in everything and everyone.  As I strolled along the sidewalk, camera in hand, searching for pictures to be made, my sights settled on this old abandoned chair.  The sunshine lit up the torn and tattered chair like a scene from “Touched by an Angel.”  I was so compelled by the site that I had to take the picture, though there was nothing pretty about the scene.

abandoned chair

Beautiful does not always mean pretty – sometimes it just means appreciating effort, permitting growing pains, or not giving up. Sometimes light is all that is needed to see the beauty. I may not be able to control what others say to those I love, but I do have the power to make sure their memories of me are filled with words that bring life and joy and encouragement.

bouquet of pink peonies


  1. I have never glimpsed Sharonda so I don't believe she exists--I've never seen you anything but kind and concerned with me, with your family, with strangers in stores. But I do know about words and how they can heal and hurt.

    Of course you know I love the old chair picture the best because it begs a story to be told. The light puts it in the spotlight--it's waiting to tell that story. The photo of you is lovely--that soft faded light. No sign of Sharonda. I still don't think she exists.

  2. I love the second picture!! It's so raw! Beautifil shot!


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