It’s rare that I have the type of day where I just can’t seem to find the good. I can usually find something to be happy or excited about but today I was really struggling to. Yesterday, my family suffered a tragic and unexpected loss when my uncle’s house burned to the ground with him inside. My aunt was fortunately able to get out unharmed but my uncle passed away and there is nothing left of the amazing home that they shared together. This event left me shocked. I am having a hard time putting into words how it makes me feel or why but the short story is that it had been over 15 years since I had visited them (they lived in New York) and I had just days before promised myself that I would contact him this week. Being on the other side of the country from your family makes it easy to lose touch. Time and distance can really make the years fly by. For some reason my uncle had come up in conversation three times last week and I thought to myself that it was just ridiculous to have gone so long without talking. I often tell the story of my trip out there and what a great time I had. I had questions for him and I thought to myself that I should really call and ask them because the years were flying by and he was getting older. In my mind I thought I didn’t want to have any regrets and not reach out to someone who had treated me so well. I cannot believe that just a couple of days later I lost that opportunity. This is where clichés come from.
Then today happened. Already feeling an incredibly heavy heart for my cousins and aunt and what a terrible time they are going through, and already feeling completely helpless from so far away, the bombings in Boston occurred. Such a senseless and tragic act that again, I struggle to find a way to put feelings into words. A time-honored event, this year being dedicated to the memory of the tragic loss of life at Sandy Hook Elementary School earlier this year, and it was targeted in the most devastating way. Innocent people, children, have lost lives, lost limbs, and will never be the same again.
I found myself overwhelmed with negativity and spending too much time in front of the news, tearing up over what appears to be another terrorist attack on our great country. Say what you will about our country and our government – I have always been and always will be a patriot, a proud supporter of our military and of our country’s deep and rich heritage. Full of anger and sadness and feeling overwhelmed, I thought I needed to do something. What can I do? I am too far to help support my family. Too far removed from Boston or anyone there to make any sort of difference. I love to take pictures and taking pictures makes me happy in every cell of my being. So for me, that was the answer. The answer to the sadness, the anger, and the questions, for me was to find what beauty I could on this awful and gloomy day of loss.
So I grabbed my camera and tripod and headed out to see what beauty I might find in the world. And beauty I did find. Because no matter what tragedy strikes, whether the fault of anybody or not, there is always so much to be thankful for, to be in awe of, and the sun will still rise and set. Every day.
Here are some of the beautiful things that I found today.