Lens-Artists Challenge #175 – Follow Your Bliss

Moonrise Reflection, Kiawah Island

“Out of the bliss comes magic, wonderment and creativity.”

Michael Jackson

One would think it would be simple to describe and illustrate those things that bring us bliss – defined as “perfect happiness; great joy”. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately) I can think of many things that bring me bliss – which as my opening quote attests, does indeed lead to wonderment and creativity. So this week, in response to Lindy’s challenge, I’ll share several of them.

Pineapple fountain, welcome, charleston, waterfront park
Welcome to Charleston – The Pineapple Fountain

“Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.”

Robert A. Heinlein

I agree wholeheartedly with Mr. Heinlein that before all else, the love I share with my husband, our families and our friends brings me my greatest joy. But today I’ve focused on some of the other things that bring me happiness. My opening image (as well as my closing capture) is from an evening earlier this week. The glory of nature – especially a magnificent sunset enjoyed with good friends – brings me great joy. Another source of continuing joy, shown in the second image, is our move to the south, including life in the Charleston area, and especially, on Kiawah.

live oak, sunrise, golden light
Live Oak, Sunrise

If you aren’t grateful for what you already have, what makes you think you would be happy with more.”

Roy T. Bennett

Being part of a community of wonderful photographers on Kiawah, and the wealth of knowledge they and our guest speakers have shared, has brought me great happiness. It is a community of generosity, where ideas and techniques are shared and growth is encouraged across the board. I love photography, which brings me joy and helps me to notice and appreciate the beauty around me. Sharing it with other, like-minded neighbors further enhances my appreciation.

flowers, trees, garden, red
Springtime, Charleston

“Happiness depends upon ourselves.”

Aristotle

Although I’ve always loved nature, my obsession with birds has developed only since moving to Kiawah. The amazing creatures that inhabit our trees, our lagoons, our coast and our skies is beyond anything I could have imagined and brings me great joy. In the images below, 3 roseate spoonbills on the left, and on the right a flock of egrets nestled in for the night beside a lagoon.

The Birds, The Birds

“Today is your day to dance lightly with life.”

Jonathan Lockwood Huie

You might think based on the image below that I would address my love of flowers – but you’d be wrong 😊. I do love them, but they do not love me so I tend to admire them from afar or through my photography. The image represents the joy of travel. Since Covid began, my husband and I have not traveled abroad but we’ve made a few trips here in the U.S. These beautiful specimens were captured at a garden we visited during this year’s trip to California .

flowers, impression
Funky Flowers

“Joy is the simplest form of gratitude.”

Karl Barth

I’ll end as I began, with a glorious sunset here on Kiawah. It represents my love of nature, of Kiawah, of photography, of birds (yes, here flying across the water) and of the joy that comes with creating from and sharing all of those things.

sunset, Kiawah, lagoon, water
Day’s End, Kiawah Island

“Create. Not for the money. Not for the fame. Not for the recognition. But for the pure joy of creating something and sharing it.”

Ernest Barbaric

Sincere thanks to our guest host Lindy Low LeCoq for her imaginative challenge, which gives us all an opportunity to think about the things that bring us bliss. Be sure to link your responses to her original challenge post here. Thanks too to those who joined us for last week’s Shapes and Designs challenge. What fun seeing the many varieties that are everywhere, especially within Mother Nature’s bounty. Finally, we hope you’ll join us next week when Ann-Christine brings us challenge #176. Until then, wishing a wonderful Thanksgiving to those who celebrate it, and a continued reminder to stay safe and be kind.

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