Living overseas 9-ish years out of the past 13 years, every single day was a constant opportunity to see and experience something new. Seeing a new place or trying a new local dish was an addiction, a rush. Travel is one of the reasons I ever invested in my first DSLR camera about 10+ years ago. I wanted to remember every single thing and photography forced me to look at the same thing/experience from every different angle. Photography has always challenged me to not just look, but really dig in and see.
I knew that moving back to the states a year ago (can’t believe it’s already been that long) would potentially pose a challenge of feeling stagnant and underwhelmed. I’m thankful for our home and our neighborhood. But I live in, what some might call a “cookie cutter” neighborhood. Without the risk of sounding like a diva, I struggled to find the beauty that was photograph-worthy in my every day scene.
Not long after we moved from Spain, our girl Lou’s struggles came tumbling down like a ton of bricks. My life became isolated to try and protect her from anything and everything. I went from exploring and adventuring to walking on egg shells daily to make sure her routine stayed the same every single day. She became fearful of leaving the house and for a while, even going outside. She went weeks without leaving the house, which for me as her primary caregiver, meant that I went weeks without leaving the house, too.
In those circumstances, we did everything we could to get her to want to get out and about. We started with simply putting in effort to just go outside in the backyard. We created a butterfly garden and even built raised herb gardens for her. She liked the idea of her own gardens and creating a place for butterflies. We required her to be a part of the entire process from researching which type of plants to use for butterfly gardening, to going with us to purchase the plants, all the way to digging the holes and planting. She’s also required to water and prune each of her plants. The responsibility and care was all her own; I just followed her lead.
Since she’s been involved with gardening, we’ve seen her confidence boosted and thankfully, she is no longer so afraid to go outside. She stands by the windows to await a butterfly and will bolt out the door to go and take a peek of it fluttering on her plants. She’s taken a delight in every living thing that wiggles, slithers and flies in our backyard. She has a thirst for identifying and experiencing new animals and critters. Seeing her face light up when there’s a new bloom or bird is absolutely heaven.
We built the gardens to help her, but she’s taught me to see the beauty in the every day, even in the small things.
Yes, even the lizards.
And the moths, too.
I’ve never thought that I would be a bug-loving lady, but here I am.
I went from photographing ancient castles in foreign countries to insects.
And I love it.
There’s been a whole heap of beauty around here all along.
I just had to open my heart to see it.
Thanks, Lou for being you and showing me there’s beauty in all the small things.