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May 4–May 10, 2021. Click on photos to enlarge.
Sunday in the park down the street from where I live.
Mittineague Park, West Springfield, Massachusetts. Sunday, October 1, 2017.
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In church today we read and prayed:
Be merciful to me, Lord, for I am in distress;
my eyes grow weak with sorrow,
my soul and body with grief.
10 My life is consumed by anguish
and my years by groaning;
my strength fails because of my affliction,
and my bones grow weak.
11 Because of all my enemies,
I am the utter contempt of my neighbors
and an object of dread to my closest friends—
those who see me on the street flee from me.
12 I am forgotten as though I were dead;
I have become like broken pottery.
~Psalm 31: 9-12
Susan turned to me as if to say, “This sounds like you.”
My body is tired. I suffer with stenosis and sciatica. I am in physical therapy. And my spirit is strong.
But I have my moments.
Will I have the strength to hike with my son in Colorado?
Will I have the strength to work in my garden?
Will I have the strength to stand in the kitchen and cook for Susan (Pictured here: salmon, her favorite)?
Will I have the strength to walk and stand for new portrait sessions?
When we returned home from church I read Psalm 39:
1 I said, “I will watch my ways
and keep my tongue from sin;
I will put a muzzle on my mouth
while in the presence of the wicked.”
2 So I remained utterly silent,
not even saying anything good.
But my anguish increased;
3 my heart grew hot within me.
While I meditated, the fire burned;
then I spoke with my tongue:
4 “Show me, Lord, my life’s end
and the number of my days;
let me know how fleeting my life is.
5 You have made my days a mere handbreadth;
the span of my years is as nothing before you.
Everyone is but a breath,
even those who seem secure.[b]
6 “Surely everyone goes around like a mere phantom;
in vain they rush about, heaping up wealth
without knowing whose it will finally be.
7 “But now, Lord, what do I look for?
My hope is in you.
8 Save me from all my transgressions;
do not make me the scorn of fools.
9 I was silent; I would not open my mouth,
for you are the one who has done this.
10 Remove your scourge from me;
I am overcome by the blow of your hand.
11 When you rebuke and discipline anyone for their sin,
you consume their wealth like a moth—
surely everyone is but a breath.
12 “Hear my prayer, Lord,
listen to my cry for help;
do not be deaf to my weeping.
I dwell with you as a foreigner,
a stranger, as all my ancestors were.
13 Look away from me, that I may enjoy life again
before I depart and am no more.”
Okay. Not so dire as this. But I am at the age where I ask “What are you going to do with your time?”
I am going to get stronger. I am going to hike. I am going to garden. I am going to continue to cook. I am going to continue photographing people—-and birds and butterflies and streams and landscapes. In all that I do I am going to give praise to the Lord!
And the title verse in complete: “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Luke 1:38
Reading from today’s Daily Word:
“When I set goals, I pray for my way to be made clear. I center myself and turn to the quiet place within. In the stillness, I listen for divine guidance. What is mine to do? How am I to do it? Gaining clarity is the first step toward achieving my vision. I call to mind the image of a crystal clear glass of water and ask Spirit for the same crystal clear clarity of my future direction.
“I trust that my path is unfolding in the perfect way at the perfect time. All is in divine order. Divinely guided, I follow the clear path to my vision. Aligned with Spirit, I advance toward my goal with clarity and confidence. What was once beyond my reach is now within my grasp.”
What is mine to do? How am I to do it?
I continue to believe my ministry is about helping to make the world a more beautiful place with my photography. Building community. Being of service.
I continue to count my gifts. Daily. The counting an inventory of my life. Last year on day I wrote:
Good service from our bartender, Holly