Nature and the Soul, Explored Through Photography

1,000 Things

She looks like a seraphic white dove from a distance. Up close and in profile, like a fuzzy, green-eyed, hump-backed teddy bear.  Head-on, like a cross-eyed, comical what-is-it.  She’s always laughing, or so it appears.  She’s my new favorite friend of the fluttery kind, and I almost missed her.

In fact, I almost missed it all. I’ll show her to you in a little bit, but first let me explain…

It was a gazillion degrees outside.
I had gravel in my flip-flops.
I was totally ticked off because it just wasn’t “happening for me,” photography-wise.  I’d spotted a kingfisher perched politely on a bare branch on the opposite shore of the narrow lake, but by the time I got to that side, the kingfisher had gone fishing – elsewhere.  Just then a dainty green heron lowered her wings and hooked a tree with her talons on the side of the lake I’d just come from. It seemed a wry taunt.  I was not amused.

So here I was, in foul humor, limping hurriedly along to the next site I deemed having potential for that “one good shot,” frustrated and full of myself, when a voice in my head (yeah, I hear those) clearly chided,

“You just missed one thousand things.”

I wasn’t in the mood for reprimands even from myself, so picked up my pace just for spite, but the voice was insistent.  Crap.  I KNOW that voice.  It’s often right.  Grudgingly, I set my camera bag down, fished out my macro lens to replace the telephoto I’d been sporting apparently, and solely,  for the arm-workout the weight of it ensures.

I  slowed down. Then stopped.  I closed my eyes and listened.

And then, sure enough…… ONE THOUSAND THINGS.

Okay, more like dozens, since I’d likely already passed at least 900 of them in my haste.  DOZENS went whirring or rustling or slithering or fluttering or gliding or ambling by and around me.  Humble things, modest in size, but packed to the gills, the pinions, fur and scales with interest and beauty.

I had wanted to be the big shot photo-huntress, come back to camp with shots of raptors and snakes, white-tailed deer and shore birds, strutting in like a Navajo hunter with a trophy elk hide slung over his shoulder.

Instead (and I thank God for this), I sat down in a field of native prairie grasses taller than I, and listened to the stories the goldfinches, the red-winged blackbirds, the passionflowers and dragonflies were telling.  I counted big-eyed skippers and lost track at 162, I laid on my back in the near-blooming goldenrod and listened to Earth’s breath, felt Her pulse.

After the voice and before another hour had passed, I had honestly seen hundreds of things I’d missed….some external, some within. So the question I’m scattering out here as seed is….what are YOUR “one thousand things?”

Are they the myriad expressions that pass across your child or grandchild’s face as a new revelation softly assaults their eager minds?  Are they the subtle, unspoken ways your lover or spouse communicates to you your hallowed place in his/her life? Are you missing them while still looking for the “BIG birds?”  Are they the ways the ocean waves curl and foam at your feet, inviting you to recognize your body’s kinship to the elements, being largely comprised, itself, of water?  The personal satisfaction and self-confidence your work brings to you?

Will you slow down, pay attention, be informed, maybe even TRANSformed?

Here is the dove/bear/what-is-it I promised to tell you about earlier. Isn’t she delightful?  She’s a flower moth of some sort (Schinia), though I haven’t been able to determine if she’s a unimacula, a luxa or a buta.

Doesn’t matter ….she’s just one of a thousand things I almost missed.

(Click on any photo to enlarge.  Do you see what’s hiding in the next to last photo?  She’s the Queen of Camo!)


8 responses

  1. Dot Fielder

    Your pictures (and your commentary) just keep getting better and better. Thank you for the reminder of the thousand things I miss every day.

    You’re awesome!

    August 15, 2010 at 9:49 am

    • Your loyalty to read, and therefore “share my world” is what keeps me wanting to write these, Dot. To me, it feels like I’ve invited a few close friends to an cozy get-together in my home, and am delighted when you come. When I read your blog, it’s the same way…you opened a door to your world and I came on in. Love that.

      August 17, 2010 at 5:30 pm

  2. Wonderful, creative voice in words and photographs. Thank you for sharing the world through your eyes. It’s a beautiful place.

    August 15, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    • As it is, Cecelia, through your poetry…thank YOU for sharing THAT!

      August 17, 2010 at 5:25 pm

  3. Robyn

    How did I miss this? It’s lovely, Syd.

    September 1, 2010 at 12:03 am

  4. Wow! First I read your latest post on rain and water. Then I read this one.

    You probably have no idea what a low place I have been in for the last couple of days, and it really “peaked” (if that is the right word) this morning. To have your comment appear on my dashboard and then to come hear and read your beautiful and uplifting words was exactly what I needed at this moment.

    Thank you so much for taking the time to visit and comment.

    September 9, 2010 at 4:42 pm

    • Ellie, new friend, I had the same experience while reading your blog: “just what I needed.” Very synchronistic. As far as “low places” go: been there, done that, and recently. 🙂 But “meeting” new friends like you goes a long way toward remedying that mental posture. I’m sincerely thrilled to have found your blog, and will visit regularly…and if you have a Facebook acct. and want want to look me up, feel free, as we seem to have much in common. BTW, I read your book list, and got a real kick out of it. You appear to be well-read, very candid and open-minded. Love it! WRITE on, sister, your gifts are appreciated!

      September 9, 2010 at 5:42 pm

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