A few weeks ago, I saw something on my way to work that I have not been able to forget. It was an extraordinarily beautiful sunrise scene in which a huge amount of mist was rising off the river, and the surrounding, frost-covered trees were illuminated with mist-diffused sunlight. Every morning since then, I would wake up and wonder if this would be the day when all the conditions would come together at the right time and reproduce the effect I longed for. I even did a Google Images search for a photo that came closest to the image I held in my mind and looked at it frequently to remind myself that such astonishing beauty does, in fact, exist in this world.
A few mornings seemed promising. I’d defrost the car and head out to explore along the river. But each time there was an ingredient missing. Perhaps the weather needed to be a little colder or there was too much cloud cover.
But some days – and you never know when it will happen – everything comes together, and if you go out in search of your vision, you are quite likely to find it. You are at an advantage if you can read the signs and know when the elements and conditions are in the process of aligning.
This morning was one such morning. After a long string of overcast days that included two days of blizzard conditions, the sky was more or less clear when I woke up. I got up just in time to witness a colorful, early sunrise.
We had been in the clutches of a brutal cold spell for a couple days, and overnight the temperature dropped to -25 degrees (F) with windchill. The tree branches were covered with ice crystals, and plenty of mist was rising from the river. I went outside and heated up the car so I could be where I needed to be when the sun came up, despite it being -10 degrees!
I took pictures at the place where I saw the awesome scene before, and sure enough, the sunlight playing with the mist rising from the dam was a sight to behold.
However, I felt that more awaited me elsewhere as the sun continued to rise. I felt drawn to a different location and got back in the car and drove down the road a bit. What I found there was astonishingly beautiful.
On my way home, though, I sensed it wasn’t yet time to return home and allowed my intuition to guide me to the other side of the river. I didn’t have a particular destination in mind but was curious what the view was like from the other side. Again, it was picturesque enough, and I pulled to the side of the road to snap a few photos. A few minutes later, I was about to turn around and head home once again, but something inside me insisted that I keep going. I let intuition be my guide and soon found myself facing a breathtaking scene very similar to the vision I had kept in my heart for weeks.
Some days everything just comes together like that. You have a clear vision of what you want, have done your best to prepare yourself, and go in search of it when you sense the conditions are right. Some days, a necessary element might be absent – until that one day when everything is in alignment, and you’re there in the moment, aware and ready! You are in the right place at the right time…even after a string of overcast days that feel as if they will never end.
While waiting for the conditions to come together and manifest my vision, I connected with whatever beauty I could find in the existing conditions. I did this in order to strengthen the habit of connecting with goodness rather than allowing the gray skies of the here-and-now to dampen my spirit. This, I feel, is critical for any warrior of light. In addition, I read a book that helped me to use my camera more effectively. I put every bit of new advice into practice as I read along so that when the time was right, I hopefully would remember: 1) that various settings exist, and 2) how to access them in the moment.
When it was too cold or stormy to go outside, I turned my attention to frost paintings on the window.
(I see a phoenix flying through the sky in the frost picture above. It even has an eye, a beak, and textured feathers!)
Every morning, I was excited to see Mother Nature’s window masterpieces. It gave me a reason to get up in the morning, even as I held onto a higher vision.
|Frost painting of snow-covered trees during a nighttime blizzard – in my opinion|
I believe that you must connect with something beautiful or meaningful even when the present atmosphere appears bleak. There is always something worthwhile you can attune to, and doing so strengthens the habit of noticing and cultivates awe. One day, noticing and intuition will direct you to where you need to be. Conditions are right, and you show up and manifest your vision.
Now there is another image I hold in my heart. It came to me in a dream: Ice-covered willow branches bathed in golden light from the setting sun. It was the most sublime sight I’d ever experienced.
The way I see it, there are at least two kinds of people. Free-spirited artists can hold a vision like that in their awareness, envision it clearly, and render it with paint, pencil, ink, or whatever their chosen medium may be. They can manifest their vision without waiting for external conditions to fall into place, for they experience themselves as co-creators with Life. They know when a vision has been fulfilled and a work of art is complete – and when inspiration comes, they begin a new piece with the same passion. True artists don’t cling to past accomplishments. They keep moving along the path of their vision.
And then there are those who don’t know how to manifest a vision artistically because they never learned how. Perhaps they were never interested in learning, didn’t think they had enough talent, or simply couldn’t make time in their busy life to develop certain skills and mindsets. These people are cautious planners who avoid taking unnecessary risks. They wait for the conditions to be right before setting out to manifest their vision.
I think both types of people can ultimately manifest what they hold most dear. But it involves paying attention and taking action at some point. You must do something different than what you have been doing all along and take a step out of your comfort zone (much like when I ventured outdoors on a frigid morning). The important thing is to hold on to that vision and let its energy fill you, guide you, and pull you through each day. Allow it to keep you engaged with life and to direct your course.
The photographs in this blog and in my Flickr photostream are available for purchase as prints or cards through my Etsy shop by selecting a “custom print” in whatever size you prefer and indicating either the name of the print or the blog post and order in which it appears.
© Susan Meyer and River Bliss Photography, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, including all text and photos, without express and written permission from this website’s author/owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Susan Meyer and River Bliss Photography (www.river-bliss.com) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.