We may be re-energized by a brisk walk or a exhilarated by a bike ride, but we also require the quiet introspection that comes from solitude, reflection or prayer, from placing ourselves before the world like an open lens and allowing ourselves to be imprinted by it all, like photographic plates or film, by what the world is showing us.
Before even leaving for our trip to New Mexico, I knew one of our stops would be the majestic and oft-photographed San Francisco de Assisi Mission Church just outside of Taos.
It takes stillness to get a true reflection, just as a camera must be held perfectly still to capture a clear image. And stillness, like quiet and like solitude, is harder and harder to find in our busy lives.
We all need a place to pray with others who share our faith or just to be alone with our thoughts and our God. Washington, D.C. has many such places for believers of every kind. And with the weight of the nation and the world on the shoulders of so many of these men and women, it’s a good thing.
The truth is, there’s just no way to see everything, which is why I find it so easy and rewarding to walk these same paths over and over. For it is never the same experience twice. The camera helps me to see and remember (and to share with others what I have seen), but mostly it has taught me to slow down, to focus, to pay attention to movement and color and light. More than anything, to light.