Sometimes great things happen when we donít expect them. A very minute detail or seemingly insignificant event can change the course of our lives. Taking a photograph did just that for me.
I saw very little beauty in the world. I saw very little hope. My attitude had been greatly altered by a battle with prostate cancer. It had become increasingly difficult for me to find reason in anything. I lacked both motivation and inspiration. My life had become a burden to me. Then, the simple click of the button on a point and shoot camera changed things for me in a way that I feel incapable of expressing in terms of the joy it has brought me. Keep in mind that every waking moment of my life I was dwelling on the fact that I am most likely going to die from prostate cancer. I know this because it is something I have heard from numerous doctors, and read in many medical journals. My advanced form of the disease is incurable when it leaves the pelvic region. My cancer had entered nerve cells, and lymph nodes; both are like super highways to the rest of the body. Things were very grim for me, but then Ė I took a photograph.
It was springtime in northern Michigan. The joke about Michigan is: if you donít like the weather wait five minutes because it is sure to change. March of 2012 is proof of that. We had experienced a very mild winter. Very little snow had fallen in the area that I live. Most winters we could have 3 to 4 feet on the ground in early March. This winter we had nothing until a ten-day-span that hit us with 3 different storms. During the ten-day period we accumulated nearly 3 feet of snow. The last storm, of the three-storm cycle, was heavy and wet. It caused major damage to power lines by virtue of trees snapping and falling onto them. In a matter of a few days, after the last storm, we had a sudden warm up; the snow melted very quickly. It was nearly gone on the morning of March 12th when I was leaving for work. The sun was starting to show itself as I headed out our ľ mile stretch of private road. Suddenly, to my left, I noticed the rays of sun peeking through a white pine grove. The pines lit as if they were on fire. The scene was enhanced by the fact that a fog was rising from the small amount of snow that remained in the shade of the pines. It was a breathtaking sight. The kind that I would often get frustrated by my inability to adequately describe to others. I stopped the car, and got out. I stood and stared while muttering perfect over and over. At that moment I remembered that my Kodak Easy Share point and shoot camera was in the glove box. I reached in and grabbed it. I was worried that since I had been leaving it in the car, that the cold nighttime temperatures may have drained the batteries. I pushed the power button, and was relieved to see it come on. I did next what you are supposed to do with that kind of camera Ė I pointed and shot.
The capturing of that one photograph led me to where I am today; full of life and dreams; aching to be creative, and artistic; aspiring to share with others the beauty that I am consumed by on a daily basis. In reality that photograph wasnít very technically sound. I didnít frame it very well nor were the colors portrayed in a way to show the absolute beauty of the moment. Still, I found something that I could leave to the world. I found a way to show everyone the sort of thing that makes my heart flutter. Nature had always done that for me, but I had given up trying to explain it. Now, I didnít have to try to explain; I could just simply show people.
With a gift from my daughter, I have upgraded to a Pentax SLR digital camera. With my new camera I have shot nearly ten-thousand photographs in a relatively short time. Many, if I donít say so myself, are awe-inspiring. Now, I find myself looking at everything differently. I donít Ďjustí look at things. I look for the beauty in things Ė everything. I understand that there is beauty all around us. Sometimes it is not evident at first glance. Sometimes you have to look from different perspectives. Sometimes you have to wait for the ray of sunshine to illuminate that which is hiding; it is there -- keep looking. I know that ĎIí will until the day I die.
In the grand scheme of things nothing has really changed, yet everything has changed because I have. I am inspired; I am motivated; I am happy -- all because I have found a reason to live.