COPING with COVID-19: This Photographer is Looking at the World Through a New Lens.
My heart and thoughts are with you all during these troubling and difficult times. We are all looking at the world through a new lens. Sadly, Covid-19 has impacted us all, altering our world. My heart is heavy, yet my optimism is intact. I truly believe that when things are at their worst, humanity is at its best. If history has taught us anything it is that the kindness, generosity and good will within people is a strong and powerful force to be reckoned with. I am always amazed by how we instinctively come together to support one another. These actions inspire me, warm my heart and solidify my optimism.
We are in uncharted territories, navigating unfamiliar ground, unaware of what the future holds. As a result we are most likely experiencing extreme emotions. We are all searching for ways to cope. Seeking healthy ways to support our family and friends is vital. Being home bound and out of routine holds unique obstacles. Compound these obstacles with economic uncertainty and we are all experiencing huge stress. I do not hold the answers. I’m in this just like you. All I know is that my priorities are hyper focused. I am proactively seeking healthy opportunities. What can you do for your personal health and wellness? For me, one of my greatest forms of stress release is grabbing my camera gear and heading outside. As we live in the countryside, we are able to exercise and enjoy the fresh air which are always a welcome relief for mind, body and soul. Time behind the lens allows me an outlet for my creativity. In addition, I have started planting seeds for the garden. This is both productive and a means to relieve stress. The signs of new life sprouting, the smell of dirt and the signs of growth are all good for my psyche. I am seeing my world through a new lens. It is focused on family, friends, health and happiness. I am truly aware of my blessings and taking joy in the little things more than I normally do. While many things have been put on the back burner, I am surprisingly ok with that. I have taken my time in quarantine to not only take care of my family but to take some time to focus on some of my goals. Upgrading my website, editing photos for my son’s Grad yearbook and deciding how to approach this blog entry have all been positive in stimulating my brain and given me an opportunity to connect with others while maintaining social distancing. It is so important that we all find an outlet to recharge and regroup. Please create that time to rest and refocus, take care of yourself too.
In an attempt to create some joy amongst these sad and unstable times I started where my heart is, by posting positive, nature based images. My small contribution to try and brighten people’s day.
I will do my best to continue adding images to my website in an attempt to provide a momentary escape to browse and make you smile.
Staying connected is important. I have added, and will continue to add, more e-cards to provide a safe, economical and accessible option for you to stay connected with those important people in your life.
Egrets and herons hold strong symbolism. They are a symbol of purity for mind, body and soul. As a result, it is believed that connection to or contact with an egret or heron is a symbol of good luck and that these encounters also beget physical benefits.
While in Mexico I was blessed to have not one, but two morning encounters with these striking birds. With a wing span of approximately 2-3 feet, standing at about two feet tall with the most pompous plumage, egrets are a truly stunning and magnificent bird!
While also seen ocean side, the habitat of these graceful and elegant birds consists mostly of marshlands. Where, with a keen eye surrounded by vibrant yellow feathers they use their long slender black beaks to hunt for fish, crustaceans, small reptiles or bugs. I never saw them directly at the ocean shore where people frequent. Sadly, historically these brilliant birds were hunted for their plush plum. Perhaps that is why they are also smart at finding secluded, hard to reach locations. Due to conservation efforts their numbers have increased.
Camera gear in tow, I embraced my very early morning adventures where I seldom ran into another person. These are my most magical moments of encounters. Hidden down a steep embankment along the ocean shoreline was a group of egrets searching for their morning breakfast among the crashing waves. I did my best to slowly encroach towards them while hiding amongst the trees and shrubs or next to large rocks as not to alarm them. When photographing I often take a moment to sit, close my eyes and listen. Doing this allows me to listen for life. Listen to locate, as wildlife is so very skillful at hiding. Capturing wildlife images is very visual. It is a far more powerful and all encompassing experience when I take that moment to embrace my other senses. The rustling of the leaves, the ocean breeze dancing across my face while inhaling the sweet smell of the ocean. It was only when I closed my eyes that I could clearly hear the croaking calls of these beautiful birds amongst the waves hitting the shoreline. How blessed I am, that I was gifted the opportunity to sit for close to an hour watching these elegant and intriguing creatures.
For me, the symbolism stands true. This encounter brought peace for my mind, body and soul. A small snippet in time to simply smile and embrace the moment. I hope this story made you smile and that you find snippets in your day which will bring you peace, joy and happiness.
Early Morning Egret
A few images from the above encounter. It was hard to choose. Additional images have been uploaded to my Animal & Botanical Gallery on my website for viewing.
We all have gifts to give. In a time where the world is full of uncertainty and sadness, I hope that my images have given you a moment of joy. Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. Please take care of yourself. Be kind. Be compassionate. Be safe. Together we can get through this.