Gratitude

It has happened to me again - lassitude. I watch the world go by and never pick up my lens. Oh, I see lots of things. We've had an inordinate amount of rain lately, so much so it flooded the neighbor's cow field causing a newborn calf to escape. Then there was the night we heard coyotes in our yard. That made my hair stand on end. I've seen the largest flock of ibis and cattle egrets ever, wading through the soggy grass, and an eagle that perched at the edge of the expanded pond.

But I have no pictures of any of it. Just one of the field full of water, more documentary than anything else, and a close crop of the eagle, not very good.

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Truth is I'm intimidated by the work of others. At some point, all the fabulous photography of these others I admire caused me to sort of give up. I'd think, "I haven't the drive they do, haven't the will to travel, or the desire. I know I haven't the equipment."

On that point, my camera has become the camera of many. My daughter, now in her twenties, doesn't have one and enjoys photography. So I've begun to share it with her. That means twice as many RAW files to work with. I actually discovered my hard drive was almost full the other day!

But in allowing her to become the photographer, I get serious mom points. There's something about your kids enjoying something that makes you, as a parent, bend over backwards to help them do it. I'll always give up my photo time to see her happy taking pictures. Wasn't it just last year she was five, toting caterpillars around on her fingers?

Was it just last year I was taking one photo a day? It was, and I miss it.

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How can I miss something it's my own fault I'm not doing? Because, despite my laziness, I do miss it. I want the zeal back, the self-discovery that sent me out every day to watch the simplest forms of life emerge. A dragonfly flexing its wings. A butterfly, long tongue curling and uncurling. Even the strange pathway of an ant as it weaves around my toes. Those are what attracted me to the hobby, seeing the things others didn't bother with. 

All I've ever wanted was to watch the beauty of the world around me, see it grow and fade, the sun spanning the horizon. Experience the heat and cold of the place where I live. And I stand in the midst of it, a molecule of existence simply there to experience the performance. I am small and it is big; and I appreciate every bit of what I'm allowed to view.

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This is the time of year for gratitude, and so for that I am grateful. I can breathe and smell the flowers budding in my yard. I can see an array of fantastic colors created at nature's hand. I can touch and taste and carry in my mind, or my lens, these moments of life. Those are priceless, and whether I pick up my camera again or not (which I'm sure I will) of far more value than anything my mind can produce.

Thanks, world, for being there, and thank you, the reader, for taking time out of your day to read.


Other Articles on Steve's Digicams by the Same Author:

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Suzanne Williams Blog

Suzanne Williams is a native Floridian, wife, and mother, with a penchant for spelling anything, who happens to love photography. 

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