Page 364 was the final day of our mini Christmas break getaway. While it did take place over the school and preschool’s Christmas break, it was also a family getaway to celebrate MJ’s birthday. The theme of the trip was photography with the hope that we would be able to photograph some covered bridges and perhaps a waterfall or two as well. I would say it was a successful getaway as we had a great time together as a family and made it to 24 different covered bridges and visited a state park with some waterfalls. Ten of those bridges were seen on our trip home today as we traveled from Mason, Ohio. On one of them, I stopped and took a photo out the window and have chosen to use that photo on today’s page. Most of today, as well as the rest of our trip, was what could be described as a “picture perfect” day. This photo seemed to have come with its own frame and matting as the sky, water, and dam are framed within the window.
By the time we made our final stop this afternoon, the clouds had filled the sky and the wind which had been blowing fiercely all day brought with it some cold temperatures and the beginning of some snow flurries. As I finished the drive home in the blowing snow, I thought about how thankful I am that God gave MJ and I each other and for a shared love of photographing the beauty that surrounds us wherever we are. As we share the results of these photography trips, we are invariably asked how we find the places and scenes that we choose to take pictures of. There are probably several answers to that, depending the specific trip or what the photo subject is. For me, part of it is the training I received from my mom and dad. Our family vacations when I was growing up seemed to always include state parks wherever we went. I didn’t realize it at the time, but the parks were chosen because they were free, or nearly so, and that was the price that fit the family budget. All I knew at the time was I loved the peace and beauty that could be found in a wide variety of settings. So whenever we travel somewhere as a family and have the time to do some sightseeing, I always look for a nearby park. As our interest in photography has grown, sometimes the trips we take are planned with specific photo subjects in mind. For this getaway, I planned ahead by setting up covered bridge coordinates in my GPS and made lists that would hopefully allow us to visit as many bridges as possible in the time we had. But regardless of how the destination comes about, the key in all of it is to keep our eyes open for scenes that a photograph would be able to capture.
As I think about the day, I wonder how often we miss the beauty that God has surrounded us with. I wonder how much beauty surrounds us on a daily basis that we miss because we haven’t bothered to open our eyes. While it is sad that so many go through life without seeing the beauty of creation that God surrounds us with, it is even sadder to realize that our failure to open our eyes and hearts to people causes us to often miss the beauty of the people God has put around us. When we go out photographing, we look for the beauty that already exists and we do our best to take hold of it through pictures. Perhaps each one of us needs to be more deliberate about looking for the beauty that exists in people and intentionally “take a snapshot” that can be shared in a way that honors God.
I pray that you and I seek God for wisdom in how to make the most of the time He gives us. I pray that we would honor God within the families He has shared with us. I pray that we would recognize the scenes of beauty that God surrounds us with. I pray that we would be deliberate about seeing and sharing the beauty that God has put within each of us.