Looking for and finding natural beauty, is my life. It carries me through my days, cushioning me from life's disappointments and the tragedies of the human condition. I remember the day I walked around the shore of Echo Lake State Park
in New Hampshire, snapping photos of tree bark. I approached this tall pine
, among others, on a crowded beach, and stood just a couple of inches from the scabrous and meandering bark. The people sunning on the lake shore literally stared--no doubt they thought I had escaped from the "loony bin." What IS that woman doing, standing with her nose stuck against the trunk of that scraggly, old pine?
I've always had to explain to people how and why I LOOK at things with great interest. I've been asked in recent years,"Why are you always looking up
?" The answer, of course, is that I find great inspiration in the trees, sky, and clouds. And why shouldn't I? Chances are, those particular acquaintances might be more concerned with contemplating their navels.
I remember WAY back in my college days, when I carried an apple home from the dining hall at Penn State and a roommate made a quip about "pseudo-intellectualism." But I was in earnest when I commented on the form and exquisite color of the apple. Of course in those days of upheaval and rebellion, we questioned everything. Especially the "Establishment," the "military-industrial complex" and the other stale institutions of the status-quo. Now, in my ripe old age, I realize that more than anything, we have to question ourselves, as the basis for any positive change. Transformation begins with our own perception and intellect. We have to take responsibility for who we are, for our own attitudes, actions and reactions, before we can change the world.
I'm lucky that simple beauties change the world for me! If this means I'm a "simple" person, I'll take it. I think I'm blessed to find the beauty and mystery in small details some other folks might be "too busy" to discover.
NOTE: I did tweak the above photo a bit, to bring out the hues that were already there, in the pine bark.