“Happiness is not a goal…it’s a by-product of a life well lived.”
Readers may wonder why I’ve chosen the photograph above in response to Krista’s “Happy Place” challenge this week. First, the road sign with the image of a camera represents the happy place I find myself in whenever I am out shooting, and even more so when I’m also traveling – an emotional rather than a literal happy place. Second, you’ll notice the Scottish road pictured actually has TWO lanes, each with enough space for a car AND a truck to travel, and no one has to worry about oncoming traffic – which makes it a particularly Happy Place. Third and most interestingly, the shot represents to me the happiness that comes from being able to laugh at ourselves. Let me explain…..
“No medicine cures what happiness cannot.”
Gabriel Marcia Marquez
While traveling the roads in Scotland we frequently came upon signs such as the one in my opening shot – a photo of a camera with no explanation. As a photographer I naturally assumed the signs meant there was a scenic viewpoint, and most often the sign appeared directly opposite a glorious landscape (no surprise considering the number of beautiful landscapes across the country). Because most of the roads in Scotland are quite narrow, the ability to pull over is very rare. Imagine my frustration when each time a camera sign appeared, there was in fact NO pullover spot until much further along, most often too far beyond the scenic view to capture it.
“The surest way to be happy is to seek happiness for others.”
Martin Luther King, Jr.
I mentioned my frustration to my daughter-in-law, whose family is from, and still partly located in, Scotland. Without calling me an idiot (which she had every right to do), she very sweetly explained that those signs designate SPEED cameras, and have absolutely nothing to do with the scenery nearby. Well DUH, of course they don’t !!!
“Whoever is happy will make others happy.”
Now, I could have reacted a number of different ways. I could have been mortified to look foolish in front of my daughter-in-law and our families. I could have beat myself up emotionally for my stupidity. I could have had a bit of a rant about the fact that there is no explanation to go with the camera sign, like “SPEED CAMERAS IN USE”. Or, I could have laughed out loud at myself for assuming the “scenic view” explanation — which happily, is exactly what I did! And do you know what? It became a favorite memory of the trip which still makes me smile whenever I think about it.
“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”
All of today’s photographs were taken during our Scotland adventure this fall. All of them represent Happy Places where I was able to shoot to my heart’s content after finding a somewhat convenient pullout spot. My husband, as always, was patient and supportive of my constant searching and stopping requests, and we only came close to causing serious traffic accidents twice – but as we like to say, close only counts in horseshoes, right? 😄
“Happiness is a perfume you cannot pour on others without getting some on yourself.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Sincere thanks to the many readers who expressed concern about our situation here in the Charleston area due to last week’s horrific floods. Happily (which seems like this week’s theme) we were high and dry and had no issues other than the inconvenience of the many road closures in our area. Both downtown Charleston and Kiawah Island were completely closed off for 2 days due to the deep and dangerous waters clogging the roadways. Several of my friends here had water damage but none were life-threatening or permanent. Our thoughts are with the many area residents who were not as fortunate.
My best to everyone for a truly HAPPY week! To visit more Happy Places, click here.