Endless thunderstorms rumble in and out of our soft-shouldered Catskill Mountains the day of this writing. Weeks ago soaking rain softened parched land. Today, with saturated ground and overflowing streams, we hear sirens alerting us to flash floods. There are no birdsong serenades or wildlife to see for they are silent and sequestered in mysterious safe harbors.
Once upon a time, I lived on an island off the mid-coast of Maine. When powerful squalls approached, I’d walk to the shore with my camera in hand and photograph the birth and finale of these events. As rain and wind ebbed, there were quickened moments when the leaden gray sky transformed into an extravaganza of dark and light and color. Swaths of pink, lavender, deep purple, yellow, and blue illuminated the heavens with a majestic pageantry of dancing cloud formations. The storms were transient, and calm seas with azure skies ultimately prevailed. I stood among the seagulls on the rocky shore pondering God and Creation. I felt small. A mere breath. Yet I was complete.
Late August brings my 75th birthday amidst its hot, sultry days. I feel blessed living for three-quarters of a century! Even so, I accept the reality of our ephemeral lives woven with strands of joy and sorrow, birth and death. As for mortals, our days are as grass: as a flower of the field, we flourish. But when the wind passes over and it is gone, the place shall know it no longer. (Psalm 103). Teach us to count our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. (Psalm 90).
This is a season of transience for precious people in my life who count their days for various reasons.
I pray and count days for two close family members who may have fewer to count than I. Several weeks ago, a former husband suddenly passed away, and a dear friend’s husband lost his battle with cancer. I pray and count the days of mourning for each survivor. A beloved daughter. A beloved spouse.
I dedicate this video as a visual prayer to my family, friends, and all living beings who are in need. Joy imbues these images as it does my life. They were inspired by my faith in He who lives within while I only followed instructions. I find delight in a single flower petal, rugged shorelines and tranquil seas, precious pets, colorful birds, mystical statues, the silence of snow―everything and everywhere in all Creation as each dawn and sunset shout with jubilation. May these painterly photographs soothe and delight and inspire.
From my heart to yours.