The Inner Path of Photography

We yearn for the taste of the sacred…and through our cameras discover it, the world, and ourselves.

Tag: Photography and words

This is a Wonderful Day…

This is a wonderful day.
I’ve never seen this one before.
– Maya Angelou

How do we keep the freshness of our spirits and love of life when it sometimes seems we’re caught in the sameness of every day?

How do we stay in wonder?

For me, my photography practice and every day walks are my window into the mystery and beauty of life these days – no matter what is happening in my outer or inner world.

Some days I bounce out the door, looking forward to the beauty I know I’ll see. Other days I go only because I know that I’ll feel better by the time I return to the house – but still grouchily thinking that I’m tired of seeing the same old thing.

Each time, however, I’m entranced by something new. I have to laugh at myself thinking the walk would be boring. Or there’s nothing new to shoot, I’ve taken that picture before. Or, in the darkest of days: Who cares.

I care. I care about the essence of life, love, and beauty.

I care about the wind on my face, the sun that warms me, and even – sometimes when I’ve felt so trapped and alone “staying safe,” – I care about the gray rainy day that I insist on walking out in, even if for a brief fifteen minutes.

Today I walked in the glorious sunshine, the same daily walk I take along my road bordering the Hudson River. Not expecting something new, just happy to be out and breathing clear, fresh air.

I brought my camera, as usual, ready for inspiration, but not requiring myself to shoot. Listening to an interview with Brother David Steindl-Rast, a favorite monk, sharing his wise and warm perspectives on gratitude, spirituality, and the essence of life, I felt my body gradually getting into the rhythm of walking, breathing, relaxing, being.

I took pleasure in the sound of his voice and uplifting thoughts as I looked and felt my surroundings, appreciating the budding forsythia, the tiny flowering fruit trees my neighbors have planted, a handsome house that is newly built.

I started to notice – absorb – resonate with my joy of being here and now; grateful for the beautiful things that continue to happen in my life.
(I call them “small miracles everywhere.”)

I walked and waved to the few cars that passed; the drivers waved back. I waved to a couple having a video chat on their porch; smiling, they waved back.

I waved to a cat sitting on the steps of a house I’d love to live in – and no, the cat did not smile or wave back. Instead, he ran next door to his own home; startled and probably wondering who this crazy woman was, walking, walking, waving to all.

But I’m fine, Mr. Cat. I practice living in the moment, allowing pleasure.
I recognize Grace.

I photographed new things I hadn’t noticed before. I made some images I’ve shot previously but this time from a different perspective, in a different light, with a new eye. I captured new stories to tell, experiences to share.

I forgot about anything I’d been worried about, and settled into the “now,” the wonder of being.

The sun was setting and all became quiet. A red fox suddenly appeared from the marsh and dashed across the road in front of me. He ran through a yard, and into the woods in a flash.

A small white dog perked up and made a beeline towards the trees. He stopped. He sat. He waited.

After a time, the dog lost interest and trotted back to his house. The night bird sounds began.

The fox came out of the woods, crossed back over the road and vanished into the reeds.

This is a wonderful day.
I’ve never seen this one before.


Image: “Tree Spirits on the Hudson (Apples)
©Heidi Straube 2020

Download the pdf of “This is a Wonderful Day”

Thank you, Maya Angelou.

“Advice from Magnum Photographers”

“Get a good pair of walking shoes and…
 fall in love.”



Inspiration for you…
whether a photographer, artist, or lover of life and beauty.

Download and enjoy!

Advice from Magnum Photographers PDF

Profile of Abbas, Photographer, with Images, Books

“My studio…today”


May you feel the majesty of Life today.

Image: “Majesty of Life”
© 2016 Heidi Straube

“Sailing the Unknown”




One doesn’t discover new lands

without consenting to lose sight of the shore

for a very long time.

– Andre Gide


Image: “Sailing the Unknown”
© 2014, Heidi Straube


When our spirits first imagine them, the lure of new experiences, grand adventures, and making amazing life changes can be very compelling. Seduced and enthusiastic, we decide to take the journey.

Some of us research, plan, set the course. Others leap into the experience and create direction as events unfold.

Either way there is often the illusion that we can always come back to the familiar, the place from where we left.

But true sailing the Unknown has no guarantees. There are highs. There are lows. The winds come up and blow us to places that aren’t on the charts, and we have to correct direction, or choose a new destination – sometimes temporary, other times permanent.

Even if we return to from where we left, we are changed. We have had to draw on courage, trust. We have had to conquer fears we didn’t even know existed before we took the voyage.

Surrendering to the experience, we expand, we flex, we deepen. We become different inside, even if those who we return to see us as the same. The new people we meet on the way are unaware they are seeing a changed person, even from a month before. We are living life from a new place.

When we sail well, we allow life to pierce us, caress us, challenge, uplift us. Throughout, we retain our hearts, our core beings. We nurture and grow the beauty of our souls. And we allow our inner beauty to shine through our actions, thankful to be in this world and on this journey.

To those who find themselves in the Unknown, discovering new lands, whether by choice or circumstance:

I wish you courage, compassion, strength and love.

If you are unable to see the shore – if you feel discouragement, fear, or aloneness –

I wish you the qualities of trust, relaxation, and peace. Yours is a deep and brave quest.

May you find your inner stillness that comes with the beauty of the sail.


If you need some nurturing today, perhaps you’ll find grace in my reading of my photo-poem, “Surrender.” The poem and photograph, with the audio link at the end, can be found here.
Other photo poems and mini-meditations can be found here on this blog.

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