The other day when I was looking at the pictures I had taken of the african Violets in my kitchen (actually the pictures were all from one plant) – there was one that was really dark, so much so in fact that you could not tell what the picture was. I decided to lighten it to see what would come up, and was pleased with what I found. Although I am sure it is not the best picture as far as photography is concerned – I like it – and in the end I suppose that is all that really matters.

When I looked at the picture after I had lightened it, I was pleased with the sureal feel it had to it. More like a painting than a photograph.

Because the picture did not have the clarity the other Violet pictures had I decided not to add it to my blog, but as with most things in my life that I have put to the back burner – the picture seemed to haunt me, so much in fact that this morning I decided to open it again. After viewing it yet again I have decided to share it. So what if it is not the perfect photograph – I still like it – So with that said here it is.


This picture got me to thinking of how often we put something on the back burner or even throw it out just because the clarity is not there, or we feel it does not measure up to some fiction of our imagination. How many opportunities do we miss out on because of faded colors?

A few years back while Jamie and I were out Christmas shopping, one of the local homeless people happened to walk by while we were outside getting a breath of fresh air. As is my nature when anyone passes by me, I smile and say “Hi”

The man known as Red Beard around town – a loner – thought to be an outcast even to the local homeless community, hesitated, slowed his pace and stopped. A question in his eye.

We talked with him for about 1/2 an hour standing there on the sidewalk. We talked about how cold it was – so much so in fact that his water bottle had frozen in the night, and how he had a new light for in his shed. We talked about the ways of the world, how he carries all his ‘stuff’ with him because he is afraid someone might steal it…

My world changed that day – all with the simple word of “hi” – all with a smile – Clarity was not there – the colors were faded and dull – but the beauty inside was deeper than I could have imagined. For whatever reason, one that I might never know, Red Beard crossed our path that day and I am glad I took the moment to smile at him – to take a second to say Hi. I could have easily have averted my eyes and looked away – carried on with my day – I would never have known the difference….

I watched Red Beard walk away — calling to him — “Merry Christmas” – he turned – he smiled – and with all the feelings a soul can show through a voice he said back to us “Merry Christmas” — we all understood.

I noticed at that moment that the question which showed in his eyes when he first stopped was no longer there, replaced somehow with a sense of peace. As he walked he stood a little bit taller. Beneath the faded colors this man had Clarity.

I am glad I noticed!

Published in: on December 12, 2007 at 8:15 am  Comments (13)  

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13 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I like the picture.. in alot of ways right now it is very much like me.. often in my life I don’t know where I am headed I just know that I am going somewhere.. it isn’t until I give my self time to just sit and just be that things start to crystalize and become clear.. thanks for the pic..

  2. Beautiful post and a beautiful photo to go with it.

  3. I’m so glad you decided to share the African violets with us. I love the way it turned out after you lightened it. It is very much like a painting.

    I’m also glad that you shared the story of Red Beard with us. I love the way your conversation turned out after the initial hesitation on his part.

    Life is full of surprises. Beautiful ones. The African violets are one; Red Beard is the other!

  4. Now I see. Yes there are some amazing people out there walking around with no place to live. I have known many and some of them are probably saints. In India there are many of them

  5. Oh, so beautiful. The story first – i work with mentally clients doing art classes and I am always humbled by their wisdom. And the photo – I really really love. So smooth and textured, I want to touch and smell. Your site has brightened my day twice in 2 days. Thanks. I can sure use brightening right now. 🙂 Sometimes life is just…just.

  6. I really like this picture as well, thank you for sharing it. I love the story of Red beard, i have met many ‘red beards’ in my life and although not all of them are receptive i always loveto have little chats with them.
    Thanks again for sharing.

  7. That’s exactly what I meant, about the little things. You may never know what a blessing you were to that man, in this life-time, but a blessing you were.

    The picture is beautiful.

  8. I like this picture, Truddle. A lot. It reminds me of a painting.

    Your story is lovely, too. As are you, for stopping to say hi. 🙂

  9. Thanks everyone for your kind comments, but more than anything Thanks for understanding!

  10. Truddle, I’m always enlightened a little when I visit your blog (never often enough). I adore the photograph, but more than the visual beauty, I love the way you can craft a small story about a sidelined photo into a beautiful life lesson. Thanks as always for helping me think past myself.

  11. Thank you Beth – your comments mean a lot to me 🙂

  12. I agree I like it too – the colors are thick and beautiful – and the softness is really nice. The photo looks comfortable like how a person would feel like a good book and a nice warm fires.


  13. Thank you so much!

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