“Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of the earth.” Thoreau, Walden


I am not a photographer. I realize too late, after the moment passes, that it was an opportunity to snap a picture. Yesterday I yearned for some inspiration. I decided to take a walk and pay attention to the earth. It is easy to slip into the doldrums of a “busy” life and not really embrace what surrounds us. That if we choose to open our eyes, that in our backyards, on the pavement, in the sky, in the neighbor’s garden, that there is a definite poetry and beauty to the earth. On the corner of my street, I viewed this cactus with pink flowers in full bloom.  This image definitely speaks to my personal metaphor of the pendulum of sorrow and happiness. Despite the cacti’s thorns magical beauty can exist.


This tree stump caught my eye. It reminded me of my palm, the lines intersecting and telling a story. Some of the   lines are more deep and pronounced. The surrounding cracks brought to mind one of my favorite quotes by Leonard Cohen, “Forget your perfect offering. There is crack in everything. That is how the light gets in.” Again and again, in small and large ways, I am learning that the perfection I sought in my younger days does not exist. What better way to reinforce this lesson than realizing that nature too is not completely perfect?


Walking along the pavement, I peeked through these yellow flowers. Their fragrance littered the air and it brought back memories of my days in India. My grandmother brought a similar flower to me every morning as a greeting. I forever associate that smell with my grandmother’s smile. Again, this poetry of the earth awakened a memory that I buried. This is what happens when we possess the presence of mind to pay attention.


Rounding the corner, I approached my home. Before entering, I captured one last image. The cloud cover presented hues of grey, white, and speckles of baby blue. Overcast days are rare in the desert. I was struck at how it appeared the clouds were playing together, blending in and out, but leaving enough room for the light blue to provide just enough comfort.

Pay attention to the poetry of the earth.