“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!