Sunday, October 19, 2014

Finding Beauty in Negative Spaces

Signs...some people look for signs at every turn, while others believe that fate will have its way, no matter how observant you are. I believe that everything happens for a reason, and that God sends you signals when you need them most. Yesterday, I received a much needed signal.

Those who know me best know that the past few weeks have been pretty rough. The stress of losing my grandmother and being betrayed by someone close to me have taken their toll on me. Emotionally, I am completely drained, and my patience is shot. It is hard to get up in the morning to go to work, all I want to do is just stay in bed and not do anything.

I look forward to the weekend to escape from the rush and just relax. Yesterday, however, there was no time to relax. My co-worker was at home with his family to celebrate his son’s first birthday, which left me as last reporter standing. And with Olson’s Mud Run, the Edgerton Quilt Show and The Piano Men concert all taking place, my weekend was going to be quite busy.

I stopped by the Edgerton Quilt Show at 10 a.m., and of course forgot my camera. So I spent a couple hours looking and making notes of what I wanted to get pictures of when I returned. Around noon I headed home for lunch. After that, I went to Olson’s Mud Run and took photos for about an hour before returning to the quilt show to take pictures.

By that time, I was pretty exhausted and wanted a nap. However, I had to head back to Olson’s Mud Run to take more pictures, then return home and get ready to attend The Piano Men concert. All this running around was draining.

As I was driving back to Olson’s Mud Run, I was stopped in my tracks. Right before me was a vision in orange and red, a majestic tree with leaves of flame. What really struck me was even though the tree reached tall and proud into the sky, very few of its leaves had fallen. Unlike some of the trees next to it, there were no large bare patches.

The tree that stopped me in my tracks

Even though time was of the essence and I still had a lot of work to do, I knew I had to stop and take a picture of this tree. I pulled onto the side of the road and crossed the street to get a picture of the fiery foliage.

Same tree, different view
As I walked around the tree, I noticed something. I was immediately drawn to the red and orange, but the view from the opposite side was a vibrant yellow.

Upon closer inspection, I spotted green and yellow leaves, even Wisconsin trees love the Green Bay Packers!
Even nature loves to cheer "Go, Pack, Go!"
Before I knew it, I had spent 20 minutes photographing this one tree. I was calm and relaxed and my stress levels had decreased. This tree was more than just a tree, it was a sign.

It was a sign that in my hectic life, I needed to slow down. Whether it is stopping and smelling the roses or stopping and enjoying the fall colors, there is always time to take a breather.
Beautiful fall foliage
By taking the time to explore the tree’s many angles, I discovered there was more to the tree than first glance. Had I not stopped to take a picture, all I would have seen was that first passing glance. Beautiful yes, but it was just a part of the story. There is more to life than initial meetings and first glances.
Stop and smell the roses...err appreciate nature's beauty

It is not often that I see something that stops me in my tracks, that makes me stop everything I am doing. That is my fault. I spend so much time rushing from one thing to another, I do not spend time just looking. That tree was more than a sign, it was two-part lesson.

Fiery beauty close to the sky
Lesson 1: Slow down. Life can get hectic, but do not be so busy that you let the simple joys and beauty pass you by.

Lesson 2: Dig deeper. Explore things from all angles. What may appear beautiful or unique from one side may look different when viewed from another angle. Viewing something from another angle does not make it less beautiful, you just appreciate and value it even more for its unique traits and characteristics.


  1. are a very smart girl.......stop.....relax.......we should all do that once in a while.

  2. so calm and relaxed just like the picts