I am fortunate to live in a quiet little neighborhood bordered by a beautiful creek with a walking trail beside it. The walking path runs several miles through town and connects to a couple of city parks. It’s peaceful and lovely and one of my favorite places to walk and bike. For years now, I’ve been telling people how stunning the views, how shaded and serene the route, and how well maintained the trail is.
I have an insane number of pictures of the creek on my phone, snapped over the years when the beauty of the setting moved me to pause and fully savor the view. One of those pictures is from yesterday morning’s walk. The sound of the rushing water, as usual, soothed me and the stunning colors of the fall trees warmed me. The view was simply spectacular, so I stopped and framed up a couple of pictures with my cell phone.
I got home and entertained the idea of sending those pictures to my adult children, who have a shared fondness for our path along the creek. But when I looked at the pictures, I realized my images didn’t even come close to doing it justice. It reminded me of when my husband and I took hundreds of photos of the Grand Canyon but didn’t come away with a single one that adequately told the story of its beauty and grandeur.
Whether you’re trying to capture the glass-like stillness of a lake undisturbed by boaters, the violence of a storm, the perfection of a newborn baby, or an ocean wave just as it crashes against a rugged, rocky shoreline, the same thing holds. It is challenging to share the moment as you experienced it with one well-timed shot.
Pictures often don’t do the spectacular scenery justice, just as words sometimes fall short of telling a beautiful, meaningful, horrifying, or heartbreaking story in all its fullness.
Still, we take pictures. We tell stories. We write business plans, though not all are compelling enough to achieve the desired outcome. We write letters even though our words are sometimes inadequate. We compose songs and poems that might not move another human’s emotions aside from our own. We send text messages and make social media posts that seem perfect at the moment but perhaps leave us with regret because they were misunderstood or didn’t convey the impression we had hoped to leave.
Can you guess why we keep doing this? Because we are hard-wired to share. We see something that is stunningly beautiful, and we want others to experience it. We feel moved because a story is worth telling, and we want others to feel moved, too. Sharing allows others to double our joy or divide our burdens.
If you are a photographer, a poet, a painter, a storyteller, a technical writer, a blogger, keep snapping the photo, keep painting the portrait, keep writing, and creating and sharing. You never know how desperately someone needs to see that beauty through your eyes or how your message, flawed though its delivery may be, might move and inspire another.
Today I’m bravely sharing my less-than-award-worthy photo of the creek along with my words in hopes of encouraging each of you to do the same – share what moves you.