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Column: Finding beauty and letting it find you
Apr 13, 2013 | 3237 views | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print

I had always wanted to get a picture of those incredible sun rays that burst from a cloud or break through fog. 

Once or twice on a foggy day, I’d chase around, trying to find an angle that would be somehow exceptional and somehow result in those rays.

It wasn’t until I was driving to an appointment for a church assignment that I saw them.

I ended up maybe just a little bit late for the assignment because I had to run back to my house, pick up my good camera and shoot as many frames as I could in the few minutes the rays held.

Sometimes you go looking for beauty, sometimes it finds you.

A group of us hiked to a waterfall in the Olympic Peninsula with our cameras and tripods in tow. 

Most of the photographers in my group shot the waterfall in the soft light of the rain forest and then headed back to their cars.

Seeing the sun was about to break through, I held back, taking pictures of the same things from different angles until the sun did come out, lighting the mist over the waterfall and spreading misty rays of light over the scene.

Sometimes beauty finds you, sometimes you have to wait for it.

One evening while preparing dinner, the sky outside my window caught my eye. The dark clouds that had filled it broke up just enough to allow light from a setting sun to spread its rays over the vast landscape.

By now I’d learned photographers don’t call them the sun’s rays, they called them God’s rays.

Dinner preparations were put on hold while I ran to catch the moment.

Sometimes you wait for beauty, sometimes you have to run to catch it.

 The sky was changing colors ever so slightly and the cliffs along the Columbia Gorge were becoming ever more golden, when someone just to the side of me let out an exclamation.

We all looked to see that he was pointing in the opposite direction. Also a breathtaking view, we all turned around to join him in watching the sun set behind the hillside. 

Sometimes you run to catch beauty, sometimes you turn around and it’s already there, waiting for you to notice it.

We were all taking pictures of the young man waving as he headed off for two years of a mission. 

I, too, took pictures of his happy wave, then turned around and took a picture of the people waving. Among them was my sister, his mother, whose smile was really a grimace, whose happy heart was really somehow breaking.

Sometimes beauty is already there, but in a different way from what you had expected.

Though they had never met before, the school librarian had long admired the man known as the Berlin Candy Bomber and shared his story with others as an example of goodness and sacrifice.

That the World War II veteran would come to her children’s school and share with them the lessons of his life so thrilled her that on meeting him, to his surprise, she took his face in her hands and kissed him on both cheeks.

Some kinds of beauty are made by God, others by just regular everyday cute people.

You can chase beauty or you can wait for it. 

But be careful not to miss it.

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