The writer Anthony Doerr wrote a book about spending a year in Rome. It contains this statement: “A good journal entry ought to be a love letter to the world.” I love this! I feel the same about photos. Yes, not everyone has the luxury of taking only pictures of nice things. Photo journalists are often tasked with documenting terrible things and events. Many crimes against people, humanity, and nature would be ignored if someone didn’t document them by taking pictures or video.
But my job is self-appointed, and I have tasked myself with documenting beauty. And that means allowing myself to create little love letters to creation.
Alligators can be incredibly dangerous, but here’s my love letter to their knobbly and unusual beauty. Seeing them glide through the water or sunbathe on the shore never gets old. I love this image more than I love the alligator, but that’s OK.
This picture is a love letter to our patio. The plant grows in a pot and delights me every day. It’s attractive to bees and hummingbirds, too. On the mornings, when the sunlight hits it just right, it glows in a purple haze. The little hairs on the stems add their own glow. So simple and yet so intricate.
Another favorite: a tern. He can hang out perfectly still over the water, looking for fish. Then he dives down bill first to catch his breakfast. Watching these birds reminds me of the intelligence of nature. Each creature is perfectly equipped for survival.
And what about man-made beauty? Here we have a museum piece from India, exhibited in a museum in the United States. It is made from metal kitchen and food vessels. Here’s my love letter to the makers of beauty. How lucky we are to have access to their talents!
Last, but not least, the beauty of sheer joy. Chasing each other through the snow, playing, feeling the energy that comes from cold air and a great playmate. Here is my love letter to Gordon and Lizzie. Perfect dogs, perfect photography companions, perfect reminders of how simple joy can be.