Looking Up From the Ground


I become so focused on my photography, that sometimes I forget to look up and just enjoy the moment.

The other day, I was intent on photographing this robin while I was at the Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens:

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Chasing a Robin

What appealed to me were the rich colors of the feathers on its back, as well as the distinctiveness of the white around its eye:

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Pretty Robin!

Yes, I can photograph robins in the backyard and I have (click here to see the momma robin outwitting me). But when I’m at the gardens, I photograph anything that appeals to me. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. But I always come back with a lot of pictures even on the days I plan on only walking.

As I was considering whether the robin was worth my time, I remembered to look up and notice – really notice – what was around me. Pretty, isn’t it?

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View at the Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens

The trees are leafing out and the grass is coming back. Straight ahead is the pond where I find the pitcher plants and the hummingbird. I relaxed my shoulders, took a deep breath, and just stood there, smiling at how much I was enjoying being outside.

This is what I heard:

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Wind Chimes at the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

The wind chimes were directly behind me. You can see they’re swinging – it was actually pretty windy that day. So I heard the chimes tinkling, the wind blowing, and the birds chirping loudly. It was nice.

As were many other things in the garden, including the tulips.

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Red Tulip at the Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens

It’s nice some days to just be and enjoy. To not always be rushing around, over thinking what comes next, and keeping mental checklists in my head. It’s good to just relax, smile, and enjoy.

Our happiness depends on the habit of mind we cultivate. So practice happy thinking everyday. Cultivate the merry heart, develop the happiness habit, and life will become a continual feast.
– Norman Vincent Peale