The sky announced its arrival. Hues of light pink, blue, and white blended together forming a marble layer cake in the air. I captured this image two nights ago, minutes before thunder, lighting, and a torrential downpour hit the desert. A hard rain pelted the pavement and the trees bended as if they were doing yoga.

This fast flurry of showers gave me pause. Because where we live, rain happens in flash. Just as you start humming to the beat of the water or snuggle in your bed to listen to the showers as you sleep, it is gone. There was no break in the pattern this night; within minutes, the rain disappeared and a lingering musty smell monopolized the desert air.

The next day I looked at this photo again, looking at the richness of  the white puffs  married to the colors and how the sun was entirely covered, but tried to penetrate through the clouds. Minutes later, all was erased by showers. The passage of time chronicled in mere seconds, but also an important reminder that inspiration can happen in mere seconds and it can vanish just as quick.

It prompted me to acknowledge all that inspires me. I am a collector of quotes and often write in a quote journal. Recently, the words of Maya Angelou captured my attention. She says, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”  I reread The Great Gatsby this month and it inspired me to revisit some of the classics that I didn’t quite have the maturity to understand in high school. Other books, such as The Same Kind of Different As Me by Denver Moore and Ron Hall, The State of Wonder by Ann Patchett, and Just Kids by Patti Smith inspire me to discover worlds through another author’s use of words. My daughter’s deep belly laugh, my mom’s cooking, my sister’s compassion for the elderly, and my husband’s care of premature infants are all everyday reminders of what moves me.

I can’t always quantify why something inspires me. Inspiration is about feeling and how you want to act because of it. And it is highly subjective. What moves me may not move you. But as I get older, I find the need to grab inspiration. Anytime I can. Even if it exists in the swirl of the sky.


What inspires you? Are you always aware of it?