Changing The Pattern

The cool air blows through mountains. Changing leaves are shaken loose carried to river. They float like tiny rafts racing to the sea. Soon the last leaf will fall and the forest will sleep through the winter. As I look at the single leaf caught in the eddy of the mighty Kanawha River I have to contemplate how it’s all connected. Not a single leaf drops from the forest without God’s knowledge. No life is insignificant. As I continue to watch the circling leaf I see that the pattern repeats and the leaf returns to same spot where it almost breaks free and the current draws it back upstream. What is needed to free the leaf is a disruption. As a child playing near water I learned that if I could make a big enough splash by tossing a rock into the eddy I could disrupt the pattern and free the leaf to continue it’s journey.

As humans, we are creatures of habit. We are trying to get just a little further in our journey down the river of time but we get caught up in life’s eddies. We get to point where we almost break free and the current draws us back towards the past. We need a disruption to break us free. There have been times in my life when I felt like God was tossing rocks into my nice smooth eddy. I was content to ride that eddy until it eventually pulled me under. The loss of a job, a wrecked vehicle or some other personal disaster abruptly changed the pattern. As I look back on my life I realize that these events were not attacks but instead they were opportunities to advance. Sure it’s unsettling to have your nice comfortable pattern shattered and you have to struggle to get above water again but you have to trust that God knows what he’s doing and look for new current that will take you to the next leg of life’s journey.

As we began to enter into the dark days of winter I know that there will be people who struggle emotionally. Life doesn’t seem to be vibrant and joyful. Let me suggest that you might just be craving a change in the pattern. Try something new. Take an alternate route to work. Or, in some cases find a new job altogether. (Be responsible and make sure that it’s not negative impact overall). Go visit an old friend or make a new one. Whatever you choose do something that breaks the routine. Remember that no life is insignificant and even though you may not understand what’s happening that you matter to God.

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. If you don’t want to miss a post then you can sign up for email alerts on my website at the bottom of my Welcome Page. I would also like to invite you to Follow Lloyds Lens Photography on Facebook.

Tonight’s Feature Image is titled ” Sycamore Leaf On A Small Journey ” and is available for purchase by contacting me on Facebook or by using the Contact Form on my website.

4X6- $5.00

5X7- $10.00

8X10 – $15.00

First Date

As the evening sun hangs it’s sleepy head the well worn tracks light up and draw the soul into the West. He stops at home just long enough to shower and change clothes and pull that special envelope out from inside the stereo speakers. He doesn’t really own any fancy attire. A pair of pants that aren’t ripped or faded. One of two button up shirts and the boots that he only wears on Sunday morning to Church. The socks don’t really matter as long as they’re clean. The clock on the wall says that it’s fifteen minutes after six but it’s always about three minutes slow. He checks his pockets one last time before grabbing the keys off the chest of drawers and heading out of the door in a rush. The rusted old truck grinds and sputters. Laying his head on the steering wheel in frustration he mutters “Please Lord. Not tonight” and he turns the key again. The engine has three hundred thousand miles on it, but it roars to life. He drives parallel to the tracks and heads into the city. The parking lot is crowded but he finds a spot out on the edge and pulls in. A cinder block serves as a parking break. He pauses for moment at the door and checks to make sure that he has the envelop full of cash and that he didn’t get any dirt on his clothes while “setting the brake”. As soon as he steps inside the restaurant he spots her in the corner pretending to read the menu as she waits nervously hoping that he shows up. She’s in that little black dress. She spent hours making sure that she looked her best but all he notices is that special sparkle in her perfect eyes that lets him know how she feels. The envelope holds every penny that he could save up for two weeks but it’s money well spent. Their first date is going to be perfect.

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. Please also consider following Lloyds Lens Photography on Facebook. If you don’t want to miss a post then you can sign up for email alerts on the bottom of Welcome Page.

Tonight’s Feature Image is titled “Heading West” and is available for purchase by contacting me on Facebook or by using the Contact Form on my website.

4X6- $5.00

5X7 – $10.00

8X10- $15.00

(Some cropping may be necessary )

Stepping Through A Gateway Into A New World

I grew up watching old black and white reruns of the Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits. A lot of the plot was always an analogy of the cold war but there was often the idea of an alternate reality. A world that almost identical to our own only with a few key differences. Tonight I’m wondering “what if I had chosen to do X instead of Y”? Our lives are a collection of the small choices that we make on a regular basis. So what if A gateway opened in front of you? On the other side of the reality you could see all the maybes that were the options that you didn’t choose. Would you step through? Would you really want to know what you missed? And what if by choosing to do things differently you changed the here and now? Would you have the life you really wanted? And what if I told you that every grain of sand that slips through the hour glass of our lives was it’s own little gateway to change? What if you discovered you didn’t have to change everything all at once in order to effect the outcome? What if by changing where and how the next grain of sand falls just a little we could effect the overall impact on our lives and that those changes compound into a big difference?

What does it take to make these changes? I guess it’s going to depend on what you want to change. For most of us the goal is to enhance the life we have instead of trying to replace it all together. We want to learn a new skill but don’t want to pay for a class until we see if we enjoy it. So the answer is look online and I’ll bet you can find someone on YouTube or other platforms teaching for free. If the goal is to get in shape or improve overall health the answer could be a pleasant stroll at some point in day. The hard one is a change in attitude. You have to consciously decide to alter your reactions over and over throughout the whole day. But eventually something happens and the change gets easier until you’re a new person.

We don’t need Rod Sterling to open up a magical vortex into the brave new world in order change our reality. All we need to take the opportunity as it arises and commit to the action.

Forging Yesterday

It’s said that photographers work with two main elements. Light and Time. I suppose that’s why so many of my writings emphasizes the observation of time. Tonight I’m looking at another version of my favorite old barn and I began to think about how quickly all of our tomorrows become yesterdays. It seems that I was just blogging about how much I was looking forward to Springtime and this morning I saw the leaves falling on my lawn. When I was a kid summer seemed to last a lifetime and today I blink my eyes and it’s almost gone. Sure we’ve had some unseasonably warm weather but the light is fading fast. A few years ago I was in a gym and one of the other men in the locker room made the same observation about how fast the summer went by. His friend answered that when they were only six years old summer was 1/6 of their lives. Now they’re sixty years old and summer was only 1/60 of their lives. The passage of time was relative to the age of the observer.

We live in the moment but moments pass so quickly and we are left with a collection of yesterdays. We can plan what we want tomorrow to become but we only have now to bend time and forge the now into a yesterday worth collecting. Mistakes will be made. It’s inevitable. Many of us are trying so hard to go back and fix the errors that we are losing the now and the opportunity for a new and better yesterday. You see, the old cliche about building a better tomorrow is just that. A cliche. All we can really do is use our now in the best way possible and hope that when we are finished with it that it matures into a better yesterday. A yesterday that is captured by the lens of memory and added to a fine collection which can be shared with those we love.

Hangups,Errors a And Blunders. The Mistakes We Are Trained To Make.

Nobody is born being an expert. We might all have different aptitudes for various skills but it’s practice that makes perfect. Even if we achieve the skill level of “expert” that doesn’t mean that we are free from simple human error. Suddenly being faced with the undeniable truth that you’ve made a royal screwup is God’s way of keeping us humble. In other words, oopsies are the great leveling force of the universe. Remember, it was experts that built the Titanic and amateurs that built the Ark.

When I saw the collection of lost fishing tackle snagged in the overhead power lines my first thought was that someone’s kids had been on their first fishing trip. This inspired the meme below.

But after some thought I began to consider the phenomenon of “muscle memory”. If you are trained to cast a line with a high arc you might not think to adjust your cast while standing under the power lines. Your reflexes would kick in and your body would react out of pure instinct. You would do the right thing but at the wrong time. This kind of mistake happens to all of us and it happens more often than we care to admit. It also happens during the thought process and when reacting to something that someone else has said or done. I think that’s why it’s important to be quick to forgive. Jesus said to let he who is without sin cast the first stone. While there’s different interpretations of what was being implied in this statement I believe that at least in part Jesus was pointing out that errors in actions often include errors in judgment and nobody is immune from this. The experts in the law were reacting out of reflex without examining the circumstances. It’s the same kind of mistake we all make every day.