It’s so easy to get busy and overlook the bounty of everyday life. School started this week for me so I’ve been totally immersed in the classroom over the last couple of weeks. I’ve had to make an effort to take my camera out and find an interesting shot each day. Lucky for me, a focus on appreciating small details has helped in so many way. It has reminded me just how fortunate I am, pushing me to take a positive view even when I am feeling tired and overwhelmed with all there is to get done. And I am actively searching for ways to document my appreciation, letting an image represent a bigger idea.
At the end of the first week of school, Geoff and I decided even though Fridays are the day we feel exhausted, that we would take the time to watch the sunset and go out to dinner. There is something healing about watching the sky transform from blue to pinks and oranges. And the bubble man was out again too, creating kid-sized bubbles and coaching kids to run inside of them, trying to keep it from popping too soon. The kids delight in this game…and who can resist, especially when combined with the soothing feel of salt water on your feet?
Earlier in the week, one of my students came into the room with these beautiful flowers clutched in her fist. “They’re dahlias, Mrs. Douillard,” she announced. I love the geometry of these lovely blooms, my eye returns to them throughout the day as I notice new details.
I often complain about the gray of the marine layer we experience here on the coast. The clouds seem to flatten my photos, making everything feel drab and dull. This week, with a heatwave in our region–many areas of our county experience temperatures in the triple digits–I am appreciating the thick gray dampness that blankets the sky. Without air conditioning in our school, the fog has kept things a bit cooler and more bearable. I watched these seabirds frolic in the gray as I walked the beach on my way home from work the other day.
Getting home last night, after our late dinner following our sunset expedition, I got out of the car and looked up. Through that one tree that grows along the side of our driveway, I caught a glimpse of the moon shining through. My camera was in my bag, so I pulled out my phone, framed my view through the branches of the tree and clicked the shutter. I appreciate the reflected glow of this celestial orb and the way it lights up the night. And my tree created a perfect, interesting frame to look through.
So, what are you appreciating this week? Take a look around for the little details that make a difference in your life or in the life of others. And as I consider life’s bounty, I also realize that people are suffering, dealing with natural disasters like hurricane Harvey, illness and death, war and conflict. Appreciation helps to keep me grounded and hopeful, and ready to reach out and help others in the ways that I can.
Share your #appreciation this week, maybe your photos will boost someone’s spirits or inspire them to take positive action. You can post your photo alone or along with some words: commentary, a story, a poem…maybe even a song! I love to study the photographs that others’ take and think about how I can use a technique, an angle, or their inspiration to try something new in my own photography. (I love a great mentor text…or mentor photo, in this case!) I share my photography and writing on social media. You can find me on Instagram and Twitter using @kd0602. If you share your photos and writing on social media too, please let me know so I can follow and see what you are doing. To help our Weekly Photo community find each other, use the hashtag #appreciation.
Take a moment to reflect on small details and appreciate how they contribute to life’s bounty for you. Grab your camera and capture that appreciation in a photo. I look forward to seeing appreciation through your lens this week.