Where’s home?

Home is where the hearth is.  Here’s an interesting video about dreams, life, passion and home.  Something to cool your eyes and hearts during these hot summer days.  Enjoy.

Paint Branch Creek after a Storm

“You don’t take a photograph, you make it.”
– Ansel Adams

IMG_0097You could say this is my ‘backyard’ in Silver Spring, MD, USA.  I can look out the window and see the stream snaking its way down the valley.  Just a few weeks back, on May 15th to be precise, it was pretty stormy.  The normally placid Paint Branch Stream transformed itself into a roaring river as the storm raged.  The next afternoon as the waters were subsiding I went for a walk.

My thoughts strayed back to February 27th, less than 3 months earlier. It was just a few meters away that I had slipped on ice and fractured my left wrist.  On this day, though, the scene and the invigorating smell of the damp earth and the fresh air reminded me of my home state at the southwestern tip of India.  After the downpours of the hot and humid tropical monsoons of Kerala the earth and air seemed to look and smell the same.  After having endured the sparse, drab, grey and brown vegetation around here due to the prolonged, freezing and tiresome winter this past season, the sight around me now was a feast for my eyes!

I am a photo enthusiast, not a professional.  I love color, texture, and most of all, candid photography.  And what can be more candid than landscapes?  Landscapes don’t turn on fake smiles when you point a camera at them.  My camera is a well-worn Canon Powershot A2000 IS point-and-shoot.  Over its 5-year life it has seen some irresponsible handling.  There’s a slight chip on its lens and its sensor needs a bit of (a lot of, actually) cleaning.  Yet it gave me a beautiful picture.  I cropped it for the dimensions  I wanted.  Enjoy.

Sound sound

What is the most beautiful sound in the world?  I’m sure each person has his/ her own opinion on the matter.

I was walking along the path next to a storm-water control pond one evening last autumn.  A middle-aged couple walking, hand-in-hand, towards me, stopped and asked, “Are you here for the frogs, too?”  I didn’t understand what they meant, and smiled stupidly.  They took it as a Yes, and said, “It’s beautiful, isn’t it?  We come here every evening to listen to the frog chorus”.  I still didn’t understand what they meant, smiled affably, and continued on.  I couldn’t see how the croakings of some ornery amphibians could be beautiful.

The need for peace and beauty is a basic need.  Shira White, founder of Beautiful Now, was ‘in a dark place’, emotionally.  After a series of disasters she ‘slumped into a pile of negativity’.  As she looked around for support and encouragement she concluded: ‘no news is good news’.  That is, until one day, sitting on the edge of her bed, she happened to look up in time to see a “beam of sunlight shoot through the glass wall in my new master bathroom, hit the malachite vanity top, stripe across, curling over the edge and down the cabinet, across the Arabascato floor, licking its way up the curvy side of the bathtub, and higher to a fuschia-blossomed orchid sitting on top of the sidewall”.  She decided the answer was to focus on beauty and find at least one beautiful thing every day – and to capture it.   What she discovered was that once she started looking, there was beauty happening everywhere.  If only we stopped long enough ‘to smell the roses’!  Check out her web site:

http://www.beautifulnow.is

Beautiful Now conducts competitions in different categories.  The finalist for the recent ‘Most beautiful sound in the world’ competition was Marc Anderson.  So what was the most beautiful sound in the world, according to Beautiful Now? Listen:

You can find it, and other beautiful (winning) sounds, on this page:

http://www.beautifulnow.is/sound