“Water is the driving force of all nature” – Leonardo Da Vinci
This morning I hopped on my phone and started writing a caption for an Instagram post I’ve been neglecting to make. As I usually do when I can’t think of anything to write, I went to my Pinterest board of poems and quotes for some inspiration. With a quote in mind and inspiration at the ready, I started to write. But then I stopped – “Is Instagram the place for this kind of introspection?” I shoved that worry aside and kept writing (after all, I decided this year to stop caring so much about fitting into the box of what other people think). But then I stopped again. Because I know I’m all too good at being long-winded, and I wasn’t sure I would be able to get all my thoughts into an easily digestible Instagram caption. So here I am writing a personal post for our blog. It’s something I haven’t done in a long time, and I hope you’ll excuse this change of pace.
I recently went through our images over the last several years and pulled out all of the landscape, nature, and scenery images we’ve taken. I was surprised (but not too surprised) to find that an overwhelming amount of the photos are of water. Most are from our family trips to the coast, but there were also photos of rivers, lakes, various session locations we’ve used, rocks, shorelines, waterfalls, and even a few water fountains. The photo I had planned to share this morning? Yep, it’s a photo of water too.
Looking at this collection of water photographed over the last three years I can’t help but recognize all the life lessons I could (and have) learned from this amazing part of nature.
Be open to change.
Stay steady when the difficulties of life swirl around you.
Keep strength deep within you.
The journey to anywhere is a winding path.
There’s always peace after hardship.
Learn to find happiness in the midst of storms.
I could go on and on…
Somewhere in my subconscious mind, I’ve been drawn to water and the lessons I’ve needed to learn or relearn. And the crazy thing is, when I look at each of these images and where I was at in life when I photographed them, I can see the lessons I was learning in those moments.
When I was drawn to photographing light reflecting off of water – I was learning to accept and reflect the happiness and positivity around me. When I was drawn to photographing the beauty of a stormy day on the beach – I was learning to find happiness despite the storms of life that were surrounding me. And when I was drawn to photographing the steadfastness of rocks, withstanding the to and fro of water rushing around them – I was learning to trust that we could withstand the refinement that life had in store for us.
The past five years – and even the past three years – sometimes seem like the longest years of our lives. We chose to get married, start a family, and then start a business all while working ourselves through college. And it has not been easy. But now that we’re on the other side of things I can look back on our life from this relatively steady place and I can see so many of our family struggles, my personal struggles, and our business struggles reflected in this series of images; in the lessons that each image and moment had to teach me.
I believe life has a way of giving us exactly what we need. We don’t always see it until after the hardships have passed and the lessons have been learned. But I’m learning to trust that things will always work out in the end. I’m sure my fascination with photographing water will continue for a long time, and I’m sure I’ll continue to find lessons to learn now that I know to pay a little more attention to each of those moments as they come.
Now I want to hear your experiences! Have you had any life lessons come from unexpected places? Take a moment to reflect, do you see a pattern of things you’re repeatedly attracted to (or attracting into) your life? Are there any lessons to be learned from these moments? Leave your thoughts below!
This is really beautiful, it makes me want to go to the coast or sit by a lake and spend some time reflecting and thinking!
This personal post is so beautiful. Thank you for sharing your insights. I’ve felt this way many times when I’ve been near water but I don’t think I’d ever be able to articulate it this well! So lovely and so true.
Valuable points. Such a refreshing post for a change! Thanks for sharing 🙂
Lovely insight! I think you should feel free to post stuff like this where ever, whenever you want, regardless if it’s on social media, your website or a personal journal. People will read it or they won’t. They will appreciate it or they won’t. It doesn’t really matter. But for those who do read and appreciate it, you will have built a connection with them. But more importantly, the act of writing it helps clarify what meaning we want to draw from our experiences so that we can be more mindful going forward. That’s what matters most!
Hey Kyle, I just wanted to say thanks for your comment! I’m introverted so it’s easy for me to keep to myself, but that doesn’t lead very well to building connections. This is something I work on daily, and I really appreciate that you took the time to share your thoughts on it here.
I love this so much and also always find peace and happiness being near the water. Grew up on a lake, going to the ocean and now am always by rivers. My favorite is ‘the journey to anywhere is a winding path’ very true!