The old chow pup woke me early, too early, a full moon still spilling across the lawn, but I found myself unable to return to sleep ... brewed a pot of coffee ... and by then, the sun had begun to come up. I opened the door to the cool early morning air, heard the first birds of the day, in the distance the faint mooing of a neighboring farmer's cattle as they went out to pasture ... and the sun seeping through the forest, that gentle light, drew me out to wander. It is Memorial Day Weekend, a time to remember those who died to give us mornings like these, to stand in the Sunday morning sunlight and receive its blessing of new life, new every day.
As I wandered, taking photos as I do most every day since I moved to Z Acres about a year and a half ago, I kept thinking how much I enjoy capturing these images, sharing them with others. We so often think beauty is somewhere else, far away, in some exotic place, nearly unattainable. As it happens, though, after a lifetime of travel, and years spent wandering gorgeous areas with real estate agents looking for perfection (thankfully, I have kept them as friends, even if I didn't end up buying through them), I ended up finding Z Acres as something of a fluke. It was just a few miles away from where I had lived for a long time. The place, in fact, had been on the market for quite some time. I've become convinced it was here for me ... meant for me, Home for me, a reward for a life lived looking for and longing for the place that would hold me. I could find my corner of a little paradise without leaving friends and family, staying close to all I'd grown to love.
While taking these photos, I unraveled a thought I'd been weaving for some months now. With the encouragement of many friends who had been enjoying my photos, I've started to think that perhaps photography -- and specifically of this special place -- could be more than a hobby. People had been asking me for prints. Why not provide them? Why not put together a show of framed and matted prints and offer them for sale? Something to mull over ...
That's what Z Acres does for me. It is a healing place. It is a place of serenity and blessings. People who come visit me here soon talk of the peace they feel when spending time here. Indeed, creating professional photos of Z Acres could be a way to expand on that. A way to show that beauty is right here, all around us, nearby and just around the corner, and when we look closely, our eyes can open to daily wonder.
But enough wandering. The sun is hitting a high point in its arc. I have work to do, gardens to tend, dishes to prepare for Memorial Day, when Larry comes to visit, and we fire up the grill for something of that traditional cook-out ... Latvian style. I tuck my camera in my pocket, and roll up my sleeves, but not before looking up at the slanting sun through the trees once more, silently expressing my gratitude for the blessing of this place, and the path that brought me here.