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I know a trail shoot was succesful …

when I come home filthy, covered in mud, bleeding from my brush with thorns and other sharp things of nature and smelling of the earth that I was crawling around on.  There are few things in this life that renew my spirit as much as simply immersing myself in the incredible magnitude of my God’s creation.

The beauty is everywhere; above the Earth, below the cloud-laden sky, beneath the rocks and growing on the trees.  There is so much to see, so much to smell, so much to experience that it always sends my system into overload.  It is the most wonderful of feelings.

Today, when I headed high into the mountain, my destination the old orchard, I was on a quest for the redbuds that are currently in their prime.  They are beautiful and they know it.  They show off their pink blooms and shout to the world “look at me … I am the epitome of spring and one of Mother Nature’s triumphs”.

They are as perfect this year as I have seen them in many years past, but they weren’t all I came into contact with.  While I didn’t see the family of bears that I always hope to come across, there was much to tempt the senses.  The moss is green, so green it nearly hurts my eyes and the fiddlerheads that I love so much have all but unfurled into the ferns that they will become, the fungi growing off of the trees sing their own sweet melody … I could go on for pages and pages of the wonders that I beheld on this day alone.

I love being a photographer.  It sustains me, centers me and reminds me that no matter where I may find myself at any given time, the beauty of my Creator takes my breath away.  The music and rhythm of nature is more beautiful than any written note that was ever thought of and the faces, each one made up of the same elements, though entirely different, is awesome.  There is no music that can compare to that which creation sings.

Once I reached the orchard, sliding in mud and wading through rushing mountain streams, I found myself spellbound.  All of the apple trees were in bloom and the honeybees were abundant; the sweet scent of the blooms seeped into my skin, weaving its way into my blood, making me one with them.  I was in awe of the beauty and still now, hold that beauty close to me and know, that when the dark times come, the memory of that beauteous experience will sustain me.

I love the orchard for many reasons, one being that, to me, it is as old as time.  My dad talks of eating apples from there when he was a boy as did his father before him.  It has stood the test of time and the apples, because they are high in the mountain, are sweet and would tempt Eve all over again were she here in this time and place … but the sweet nectar of the apples is still a few months away.  That being said, I will be in the orchard many times before the apples are ready.  It is a part of my center and blesses me on more levels than I can even explain.

I am blessed in so many ways.  I am blessed with an eye for photography.  I am blessed to have the equipment to photograph the wonders I see.  I am blessed to live in a perfect little slice of Heaven on Earth.  I am blessed to know that everything I see, everything I smell, everything I touch was made by my Father God who, for reasons that escape me, loves me in a way that I simply cannot fathom.

Yes, today was a day for wonders, for redbuds, for apple blossoms, for mushrooms, for violets and for the smell of springtime in my mountains.  I am humbled by His love for me and cannot, and won’t even try to repay Him.  I will instead, try to live each day with thanksgiving and praise to the God that I worship and will follow the urgings of the Holy Spirit as I go along the path that I have chosen.

Psalms 103:1 ~ Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name

Psalms 139 13-16~ 13For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
16your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.

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