I just realized it’s been almost two months since I posted any of the moments of delight that have happened. How did that happen?! One word, summer. Summer in my part of the world is short and a time to thoroughly and completely savor every lovely moment of sunshine and warmth. Talk about delight!!!!
This summer has been graced with many, many moments of delight. When I can, I take pictures of those moments with whatever camera is most handy, often my phone but sometimes with my more advanced cameras. The most important part isn’t even taking the picture, though, it’s taking the time to notice, to be in that moment.
It’s surprising when I review the images that have accumulated in my delights folder. I get to experience the delight again as I share with you. There were so many images in that folder, this time, that I’m going to split them up and save some for next week.
Summer Delights, Part One
I don’t often take pictures of food as so many people do (or as this artist friend of mine who does amazing paintings of food). Occasionally, though, the beauty of a particular dish just demands that I photograph it. The bright colors in this seafood stew only hint at the amazing aroma and flavors that it offered. The most delightful part was that it was made without the aid of a recipe and from things I had in the fridge, freezer, and garden. Cooking can be a truly creative activity!
I had never tasted a fresh fig until visiting family in Europe in the past few years. Prior to that, my notion of figs was heavily influenced by a certain cookie which I had tasted once, maybe twice, as a child and banished to the category of “not eating that”. Tasting large, juicy fresh figs readily available from the grocery store in Switzerland changed all that. Checking our area grocery stores yielded, at best, VERY occasional fig availability that were poor imitations of what I’d so enjoyed in Europe. So it was a huge delight when a friend mentioned she’d seen a sign for CNY Figgery. Imagine that! Fresh figs right here in central New York!
We took a drive to the figgery and discovered they also sold fig trees! So we’ve been carefully tending this tree all summer. Isn’t it beautiful?! It is now twice as large as what you see here and filled with more than a dozen ripening figs.
As you may have noticed, much of my work is about paying attention to the little things, the often overlooked beauty right at our feet, at times literally at out feet. My husband has become adept at this, as well. While working in the yard one day, he brought me this heart rock that he’d discovered.
There’s something pretty delightful, to me, about seeing plants sprouting in unlikely places as in the next two images. They speak of strength and resilience.
I don’t often photograph sunsets. It seems to me that it’s easy to be awed by sunsets while we often miss less obvious sources of awe.
The next two images are not the most spectacular images of sunsets, but represent two moments of delight in my summer. The first was the sunset from Emmaus House at New Skete Monastery the first evening I was there, awaiting the arrival of participants for my first Seeing with New Eyes photography retreat. I was sitting alone in the quiet of the warm evening listening to all the sounds of the mountain and anticipating what the next two days would hold. This gentle sunset was a perfect backdrop to that moment.
Water, beautiful light, my camera, and a couple of delightful hours free to play were a pleasant respite from fun but long days in a computer classroom learning Corel Painter near Seneca Lake.
I often find that it’s difficult to capture the grandeur of the sky in those moments. While this still doesn’t do it adequately, it’s closer. I’ve found that if you take several images with a wide angle lens and then merge them to create a panoramic image, it gives a better sense of the vastness of the sky and the colors.
Much of delight has to do with the unexpected as well as the beautiful. While sitting with a friend one evening, I was surprised by the simplicity and beauty of this scene created by the setting sun coming through the front door.
On the second Wednesday evening of each month, if I’m not traveling, you will find me in the company of a group of women with whom I have shared six years of Creativity Group. It’s always a fun, inspiring evening (actually that’s a pretty lame description of what happens, but it’s difficult to put words to. See my post here about creativity group.). We rotate hosting the group in our homes. I always love to host in the summer so we can be out on our deck, which some have dubbed the “tree house”, shown here all ready for the group. It was a wonderful evening filled with many delights.
There were many moments of delight that were not captured except in my soul. But there were a few more that I was able to capture as an image. I decided to save those for another installment next week.
During the coming week, take time to notice those moments of delight and take a picture in your soul if not with a camera.