Beauty

I stepped away this past weekend. 
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Actually, it was a gift from the man I love. That in and of itself is a story. 
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One where he sees me, understands me, loves me, 
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is proud of me and supports me
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in my dreams. 
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He knows the rush, 
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the vitality that gleams within when I hold a camera.
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And I want so much to share it.
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And so, he found a place for me to go, to learn, to be inspired. 
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And I was. 
See,
it wasn't just a weekend away, not just a once in a lifetime trip to learn from a photographer, 
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a woman I admire so thoroughly, but it was a first. 
The first time I've boarded, landed, 
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rented a car, traveled in the noise of only my thoughts,
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 navigated the unknown, 
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checked in 
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and then sat in a room full of strangers 
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(that now know so much of my heart) 
all 
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by myself. 
It was a weekend where the mountains sang, 
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snow laced 
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but green dressed, 
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where roads wound, 
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surrounded and serenaded by thin wooden giants, their bare arms stretching out in praise to the soft blue expanse.
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The sharp crisp held promise for me, heard my dreams and ministered to a soul's yearning
for beauty. 
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Just a few women joined me this weekend.
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We laughed at scattered chickens, 
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we delighted in the inspiration,
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we dreamed.
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We warmed 
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under worn quilts, 
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we ate well but were filled by so much more.
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We marveled together at the greatness of the possibility at our fingertips. 
We cried together at the immortality photography breathes. 
And we understood that this shared passion means so much 
but in such unique ways to each of us.
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It's a God-breathed zeal, I believe. 
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Needless to say, words fall short of the richness of what I was given. 
And yet, I try. 

I learned to share connection, to share emotion, to share dreams, 
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to share 
to share life.
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This crazy 
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beautiful 
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life.
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Because I believe it's made up of two things, color and movement.
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And, sure, we can plan our path, 

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make arrangements, prepare the crew, lead the way, 
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but shortly into our trek, 
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usually life takes us on more wildly colorful adventures than we even dreamed. 
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This adventure is not just how my love of photography has been birthed, but how it has blossomed.
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And now, this vivacious color, this dynamic movement, 
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this is the breath of it now.
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It's the beauty of the unknown, anticipation of what's to come. 

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It's appreciation of the now. 
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It's the beauty of celebrated miracles and times of serene peace. 
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It's the beauty of a budding, hopeful romance and a proven, seasoned love.
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This is what life is made of. 
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Because, as we all know well, life can move too quickly, and sometimes the color fades. 
And when all comes down to it, 
the choice to see our life as beautiful
is just that
a choice.
A choice to savor the simple
cherish the details
breathe the lovely
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embrace the ordinary as beautiful. 
And so, I return to my ordinary, beautiful life. 
Empowered, equipped and excited.
Grateful, humbled and inspired.
Refreshed, renewed and passionate. 

Thankful for the beauty.

My photography can be found here.

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