The Inner Path of Photography

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

Tag: Writing and photography

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.
Love.

“A Child, Deer, Woods: The Gift”

 

 

As a child, I tiptoed through the woods
hoping to discover the flattened grass
left from the sleep of deer the night before.

To find one of these spots was to step into a deep
experience of the Sacred.

Awed, immersed in the mystical,
I imagined the deer watching over me, and received their special gift
allowing me into their secret, peaceful home.

I still silently breathe a sigh of gratitude.

 

“Blizzard”

hstraube_2014_capecod_firstencounter_snowdrifts_web-6343

 

I miss the snow this year,
my second winter on Cape Cod.

I miss the drama, the storm,
the pure Immersion in cold and wind
snowflakes on my face.

The silence and softness surround me

Enchanted

In love with capturing God in a blizzard.

*****

 

Image: “Blizzard”
From Winter: Cape Cod, “Capturing God”
© 2014, Heidi Straube
First Encounter Beach, Eastham, MA, Cape Cod

Photographer’s Note:

I love the softness of this image, the sensuousness of the drifts, the stillness.
It feels like a dream – which it was.

It gives me great pleasure to explore, experience, feel –
To shoot in situations that aren’t traditionally thought of as ideal times.

The dark, the middle of a blizzard, the rain.

Never being sure of the outcome, trusting the Connection is true
This, for me, an essential of being passionate and alive.

“Nonchalance”

hstraube_Innerpathphotography

From the collection “Morgan Turns 21”
© Heidi Straube 2013

I see you
Whether you pretend to see me or not

Your nonchalance does not fool me
My heart remains the same

Love does not disappear on a whim.

Amid the chaos and distractions
The Beloved is always here.

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