The Wonder of Nature, Baby…

a force to be reckoned with.  As Hurricane Sandy makes her way up the East Coast, I find it both exhilarating and humbling to follow along.  I have many friends, some in flesh and blood, and others on Facebook and Twitter that I follow along with.  I wonder and think about their well-being and hope they will be well and safe, but at the same time, well, what can I say?  I want to be in the midst of the waves and snow and wind and carnage.  I want to wield my weatherproof Pentax and document the most awesome entity that is called Nature.  It is in my blood, my heart and my soul and even though I have mixed feelings about it, it doesn’t change the desire.

I can’t pinpoint the exact moment that I knew, beyond all rational thought, that I wanted to be a photographer, but it was somewhere in the middle of Mrs. Duncan’s third grade class.  I was caught taking photographs of the classroom and of the teacher, and she took my camera away.  As far as I know, if she is still living, she still has it.  Documentation of life as it happens became a pure obsession, one my parents (as those long ago sought after piano lessons) thought would pass.  But it didn’t pass.  Instead, it became an inferno as opposed to a campfire.

As years passed and photography consumed me, it had to take a back seat to the reality of having to work to feed my family.  A day job has, as far back as I can remember in my adult life, been the bane of my existence.  I got married and then had a child.  It wasn’t in my nature to quit once I had started something, so even though I loved my daughter and tried my best to make my husband happy, I could think of little else than leaving it all behind to pursue my dream.

But dreams are just that.  Imaginings and hopes that may or may not come to fruition.  The timing, at that particular moment, wasn’t right and I had responsibilities that kept me grounded.  I have no regrets (well, maybe some regrets where the philandering, cheating, no-good husband was concerned), but as far as my daughter, absolutely no regrets.  She was,  is and will continue to be a driving force in my life.  I had pretty much given up the hope of ever being a “real” photographer.

Fate and destiny has a way, though, of cutting through all the nonsense and paving a way where there didn’t seem to be one.  God knows the most intimate secrets and desires of my heart.  I began creating greeting cards a few years ago and have, to date, sold well over 20,000 cards.  God has blessed me well beyond what I believed I was capable of.  I have recently signed up to be a part of the Virginia Tourism team and excitement doesn’t even begin to cover what I feel.

Saying things out loud has always been a problem for me, but writing about or photographing and then writing about them is as natural as the breath in my lungs.  I look forward to every new adventure, each new sunrise and everything in between.   One has only to look at two sunrises or sunsets in succession to realize that they are completely different and have very different things to say.  Many times, I have (much to my family’s chagrin and disapproval) made myself a human lightning rod in the midst of thunderstorms, but take not into account my safety.  As I see it, if I die while photographing the wonder of nature, it has been a good death.

My blog posts come from my own brain and my own heart and my own point of view.  While there are times that I am certain I step on the toes and belief systems of the people I love and cherish, I cannot stem what comes from my soul.  To do so would be to deny that I, in any capacity, cease to exist and I have worked way to hard to overcome such ideals to let them hold me captive anymore.

Funnily enough, this post began as encouragement to those who are about to face an awesome display of nature and try to survive, but, has become more of an homage to those who follow along.  I am honored.  I am humbled.  I am inspired.  Life inspires me and that, in itself, is one of the most wonderful things I can imagine.

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