When I take a moment and tilt my gaze toward my surroundings, I am always startled by what I witness. I caught this recent sunset a few weeks ago and loved how the sky shaped its palette. The colors trickled into one another and blended together in a way that makes you pause and adore the universe. This admiration didn’t take much effort. All it took is looking up at the sky and taking a moment to consider what is outside of my immediate periphery.
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I caught the next view on my way out of dinner with my daughter on a weeknight. As we exited the restaurant, we talked and, again, my eyes gravitated toward the glory of the palm trees and the mix of blues and yellows highlighting the evening sky. I felt the awe of my surroundings and acknowledged the convenience of not having to travel or hunt to seek this kind of beauty. What choice did I have but to bow my head in gratitude?

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Several of these kind of whispers continued throughout the week. While I ran in the afternoon, a deep pink stumbled along my pathway, asking for me to pay attention. The center sprouted in a way to amplify both strength and fragility of the petals. I paused, capturing the bloom of spring.This particular flower engraved the earth, declaring its magnificence in a way I couldn’t ignore. What does this mean? I must continue to gaze at what is in front of me. Sometimes it is easy to lose my way, especially when I prioritize noise over solitude, busyness over quiet and restlessness over stillness. These natural reminders push me to refocus my perspective and realize the clarity of the present.

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This month I spent some time at a local Japanese friendship garden and documented the swirls of the water against the grey rocks. Each ripple is a layer, a complication or another place to unearth. As much as the water moved, it also stayed still. I stood, mesmerized, not knowing what to make of this particular active painting. It let me to a place of wonder – the idea that this safe haven is present in the middle of the desert.

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The week finished with an eye catching sunset of the mountains serenading the sky, while the trees took vigil, witnessing the brilliant yellows and pinks. I stood watching with a full heart, thinking of one of my favorite quotes by Rumi: “There are a thousand ways to kneel and kiss the ground; there are a thousand ways to go home again.” Indeed, this is the case, if we decide to pay attention to what is right in front of us.

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