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Oct 04, 2017
Back in Atlanta!
I’m back in Atlanta where summer is slipping into fall.
Bauer and I walk every morning, and the last few mornings have had a chill in the air and freshly fallen leaves crunching underfoot.
I’ll always be a So-Cal summer girl at heart. I don’t fancy winter, but I do love fall in the South.
What’s your favorite season?
Even when I’m not traveling or doing my travel photography, I’m still taking photos all the time. There is so much to photograph in a city like Atlanta, and the fall colors will soon be luscious.
And though it’s growing chilly outside, I’m feeling the warmth as I sort through my Destin beach photos.
What is that?
As I was opening my blinds at sunrise on Monday, I saw an orange glow reflected in the neighbor’s porch window beyond my back fence.
“Oh my gosh,” it dawned through the fog of my early-morning brain. “It’s the sunrise! It looks amazing!”
“Bauer!” I yelled. He started jumping up and down, responding to my excitement. Thankfully, I already had my walking clothes on. I grabbed my camera and off we went.
I got the first shot from my front porch over the top of the apartment building across the street - a flaming beauty of a cloud-engulfed sunrise (seen at the top of the page and here).
We hoofed it quickly to the nearest parking garage, a little less than a half-mile away. Up five short flights of stairs, and we were on top, in the open air, looking at the sky. The sun rays blazed through the cloudy horizon line, painting the clouds in magnificent hues of orange, red, yellow, and blue - a mad artist splashing his buckets of paint into the sky.
Already the sunrise had lost some of its punch, and I was wishing I’d been on top of that parking garage a little sooner. But, it was still a sight to behold.
Bauer and I run up those garage stairs a lot for the exercise (I hate to run. I only run up the stairs, because I know what a good workout that is!). Usually I hit the top stair and turn right around to go down. But on Monday morning, I eagerly ran across the empty top level, turning around, searching out the best shot.
I could see a couple of iconic Atlanta buildings off in the distance, but the view I liked best was of the old water tower a few blocks away.
Bauer was anxious to run around, tugging at his leash and making it hard to take photos. The top level was empty of cars and not a soul to be seen, so I let go of his leash. My hands free, I was able to get a few steady shots before the beauty of the Golden Hour burned away.
Bauer and I walked back down the stairs, went another mile, and headed home.
My front porch is looking a bit forlorn. Last Sunday, someone stole my little black metal table, leaving the two chairs to sit lonely, an emptiness between them.
Also stolen was my cement St. Francis statue that I’ve had for many years. It’s only a couple feet tall but heavy. St. Francis always stood guard just to the left of my front door.
When I got home and saw them missing last Sunday, I had a few moments of anger and a feeling of violation, as well as a strange mix of sadness and nostalgia - I remember buying the table and chairs to spruce up the front porch of our big house in the suburbs only a year or two before my divorce...
I got over it quickly with a mental prayer of forgiveness. Forgiveness may seem hard, but it's so much better than holding onto anger. Anger destroys inner peace.
It’s sad that people feel the need, compulsion, anger...whatever it is that makes them steal or do other much worse things.
But, on Monday morning upon returning from our walk, I couldn’t help looking at the little empty spot by my door, a ring on the cement where the saint once stood.
Only moments later, however, my own loss was put into its trivial perspective as I learned of the tragedy in Las Vegas in which so many lost their lives. Their lives. I’m praying for those folks and their families.
It makes me feel powerless. What about you?
My photography has always been my way of seeing beauty, even in the most mundane or even ugly scenes. When I hear about senseless tragedy like the Las Vegas shooting, I try to take that powerless feeling and turn it into motivation for doubling down on finding beauty and goodness in the world.
Because beauty and goodness are still there, everywhere.
As the inimitable Fred Rogers (AKA Mr. Rogers) said on advice from his mother: When in the midst of tragedy, look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.
Darkness only wins if we let it.
Learn to forgive - yourself and others.
It’s not easy. I know how hard it is. I’ve felt the sting and humiliation of betrayal.
I’ve felt the loneliness of shattered dreams and lost expectations.
But, you know what?
The more we hold on to anger, the more it hurts us. Look at what someone's anger did on Monday.
I came across this quote a few years ago, and it resonates with me today:
He who learns must suffer. And even in our sleep, pain that cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart, and in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom to us by the awful grace of God. -Aeschylus
May we all grow in wisdom and grace.
See you between the raindrops.
The prints in this post may be found here
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