Casting Off

Hello Friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Anchor Point 1” and is available for purchase by following the instructions at the bottom of the page.

The river never stops. Even when it’s cold enough to freeze the ice slides forward on a thin layer of liquid water beneath. There are times when it rages and sweeps away everything in its path and times when it laps gently at the shore delivering life to the landscape. But it never stops.

Time flows like a river. Our perception can give us the impression of time flying as when visiting with an old friend or we can slow time to a crawl as when that cup of coffee is knocked off of the table and seems to hover in mid air for a moment. But it never really stops. Time erodes the world. It carries away the opportunities of the moment and changes our personal landscape. One way that this happens is by living in the past. It’s good to have a sense of nostalgia especially if it gives us a sense of peace but if it blinds us to the present it can be a problem. I’m guilty of this. I think it’s human nature to hold onto things that bring us happiness. But if we miss today’s opportunity we’re going to miss tomorrow’s happiness as we watch yesterday’s joy fade away into the past. I chose tonight’s feature image to represent holding onto yesterday because it is an anchor point. It’s purpose is to hold the boat in one place while the river flows by. It’s that stability that gives us the ability to board the boat and navigate through the river but at some point have to cast off. Casting off requires letting go of the anchor point that is weathered and worn. Here then is the paradox, letting go of the anchor exposes us to the hazards of the current but without letting go we may as well not be in the boat in the first place. What will we do in the river of time? Will we go boldly into current and build the future or will we hold onto the anchor point until the river swells and sweeps it away? Certainly there’s a place for nostalgia in our lives. But it should be more of an aid to navigation than a anchor the prevents travel beyond the starting point. It’s place in our lives should be where we can visit and resupply for the next journey but never the place where we are stuck.

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Escape

Tonight’s Feature Image is titled “The High Road ” and was taken on Fayette Station Road. Tonight’s bonus Image is titled “Up Up And Away” and was taken in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.

I think most people resist confinement. In my area winter keeps me inside most of the time and by February I’m feeling claustrophobic. I feel the need to escape up some mountain pass well away from the noise of civilization. I could load up the Big Blue Truck and drive until the road ends and then drive a little more. But once I reach the top of the mountain then what? I could park on the ridge and hitch a ride in a hot air balloon!

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It’s really all about finding some peace of mind in a world that places constant demands on your attention. However, turning myself into a real life Phileas Fogg does have a certain amount of appeal. I can imagine myself floating high above the mountains and snapping beautiful aerial landscapes as I pass. I could write notes to my friends and fold them into paper airplanes and drop them as I pass by. And, because Amazon delivers by drone I could resupply without landing. The two biggest problems about this kind of escape from the noisy world would be plumbing and drive through windows. Dealing with a drive through window could be resolved by simply lowering a bucket by rope. Plumbing on the other hand might take a little more creativity. Of course one would have to land occasionally. What good is being able to freely travel the world if you don’t land and fully experience new places? Perhaps I can design my balloon with a bay for my big blue truck. I could land in a open field and drive into the city long enough to enjoy a show and have a meal. Then as soon as I’ve had my fill of civilization I could return to the blue wilderness among the clouds. But eventually even the most ardent adventurer gets homesick. No matter how much you enjoy going wherever the wind takes you that longing for the green forests and blue mountains of home. Perhaps my balloon would have a propeller and a rudder for the specific purpose of returning to the Allegheny plateau and the people that I love.

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Fire On The Mountain & Alone Time With God

They had been walking for a very long time. Everyone was exhausted and cranky. The children were crying and the old people just sighed with “that look” on there faces. Along the way there were miracles and even now all of there shoes looked like brand new but still the people complained. Moses lifted his eyes to see the fire settling down on top of the mountain.

One of the most important things in life is alone time with God. That’s actually a lot of the reason why I crave the moments of solitude and the quiet places. It always helps to get out and away from society and the distraction of various responsibilities and obligations. I like to sit down and talk to God just like I talk to anyone else in the room or on the trail. There may not be fire and smoke or the voice of a trumpet but He’s always there just the same.

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The Rise, Fall And Rebirth Of A Giant.

For centuries the giant stood on the banks of the beautiful Kanawha River at Glen Ferris and watched over the villages that sprouted up along the water. It laughed silently along with the children who played beneath it’s branches. It glowed along with the young lovers that swooned and stole kisses in the park. It kept the secrets that were whispered in it’s presence. It held the hearts that were engraved in it’s bark. The giant old tree loved the presence of the people so much that it grew a bench from it’s roots in hopes that the villagers would come and share the stories of lands beyond the mountain tops. But all things must change eventually. One day the skies grew angry and poured their rage into the river and even a giant couldn’t withstand the torrent. The giant fell with a thunderous crash. And yet, when we look closely at the stump we can see hope rising again. A single twig still continues to stretch out towards the sun. And love lives again. It’s said that strong roots gives us the strength to survive but it takes more than strong roots to rise again. It takes determination and love.

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Tonight’s Feature Image is titled “The Giant Reborn” and is available for purchase by using the Contact Form on mywebsite. (Note, I do not share or sale contact information.EVER)

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Solitude And Focus

There are times when a person just needs a little solitude. When the world around you is full of flashing signs and blaring music and distractions of every kind. We all have those moments when the mental clutter just needs to be pushed back and space needs to be given for focusing on one thing at a time. We need to just let our minds drift for a little while like a bird on the lake. He’s not trapped in the water. He can leave at time of his choosing. He can paddle around and go to any part of the water or land that he wants. He’s not overtaken by winds or currents but instead he rides them. He works in harmony with creation and achieves what is needed. And he rests when it’s time. He is at peace with his environment as God intended. Solitude isn’t really about being antisocial or introverted. It’s about focus. It’s intended to be a limited time for mental and emotional recharge. We exercise our bodies to grow stronger and have more endurance but any successful athletes will tell you that it’s during the resting cycle that the strength manifests. Our minds and spirits are the same way. We need a resting state to fully benefit from the stimulation we experience in daily life.

Hello Friends and thank you for your support of my page. If you have enjoyed the photos or the writings please let me know by commenting and sharing my work on your social media. I also want to invite you to Follow Lloyds Lens Photography on Facebook

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Tonight’s Feature Image is titled “Quiet Contemplation” and is available for purchase by using the Contact Form on my website. (Note, I do not share or sale contact information.EVER)

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What Was The Question?

Tonight’s image is an old mile marker that’s found along an abandoned road near the Meadow River in West Virginia. Apparently it marks mile number 42.

Fans of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to The Universe have already begun to snicker. For the rest of the world here’s why. In the book and subsequent movies a large supercomputer named Deep Thought was built to answer the ultimate question of “What is the meaning of life, God, the universe and everything?” After billions of years Deep Thought came up with the answer 42. The irony was that the people who built the computer were long dead and by the time the answer came nobody could remember the question or why it was asked. Now, to be honest I have never read the book and was only present while the movie was playing. As such, I’m only familiar with the trivia. But when I heard the story I began to appreciate implication.

We as humans seem to be hardwired to want to skip learning experience and go straight to mastery of just about everything. We want the “cheat codes”. So much so that we often put more efforts into gaining the cheat than we do experiencing the win. In the Hitchhiker’s Guide the scientists and priests who spent all that time looking for the meaning of life did so at the expense of living life to its fullest. This is the folly of trying to win at all costs. It’s the struggle that makes the victory sweet. If you skip the struggle then the victory is hollow and you never really get to experience it fully. What’s more is that you tend to be so focused on the goal that the importance of the original purpose is lost.

Maybe I’m making that very mistake myself in trying to make my point. Let me close by simply saying that life is an adventure. One that you’ll miss if you try to skip ahead.

Oh and the answer to the question asked by Douglas Adams? Well, I have an opinion of course. The meaning of life, God, the universe and everything is that we were created by God to know the love of our creator. That’s it. It’s that simple. No need for advanced AI or billions of years waiting for an answer that’s as vague as the question. Just talk to him and listen for answers.

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Return To Wading Willows

The sound of the rippling water lapping at the shore combined with song birds brings a sense of peaceful joy. I approached the wading willows as if greeting old friends. The willows seem to dance ever so slightly in the river’s currents and it feels as though they are listening to the songs of nature themselves. In the distance the osprey soars across the sky looking for a pearch stunned by falls. Dragonflies skim the waters surface as they hunt occasionally leaving little ripples of their own and the evening sun reflected in the tiny waves produces a light show that only God himself could engineer. The breeze coming off of Kanawha Falls is cool and gently stirs in and around the small park. I take a deep breath and release the stress of the workday into the river so that it will carry away the cares of the outside world. I thank God for choosing to place this natural sanctuary here for me. I take a few minutes to tell him about my day and seek his wisdom. But most importantly I listen. I listen to voice of peace spoken by God and echoed by the moving water. The conversation isn’t long and with my peace renewed I climb back up into the big blue truck and head for home.

It’s important to take time to decompress and find peace throughout the day. Please let me know your thoughts in the comments section below. If you have enjoyed the photos or the writings please share to your social. You can also like and follow Lloyd’s Lens Photography on Facebook

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