I don’t think everything happens for a reason.
It’s especially hard to embrace this sentiment when bad things happen to good people, as though they get what they deserve. And it seems a bit smug to say that good things happen to good people, as though they have in some way earned their just rewards.
I like to think that we each get our own measure of good and bad happenings, and that on the whole, while life may be unfair, it is worthwhile.
I do believe that living with an open heart and mind makes us receptive to goodness and more likely to interpret troublesome times in a positive light.
I am convinced of the power of the two forces of synchronicity and serendipity. When I find something of value or delight when I am not looking for it, when there are meaningful coincidences in my life, I thank God from whom all blessings flow.
Here’s my story. On the drive home from The Saltwater Retreat, my head was buzzing with new information and ideas. Several of my new friends had taken pictures with snazzy mirrorless cameras, and I’ll admit to a little gear envy. But when I held the lightweight camera up to my eye to look through the lens, something felt wrong, as though I was moving one step away from my vision.
I planned to make a stop in Williamsburg to stretch my legs and grab a cup of coffee. Exiting the highway, I noticed a gentleman at the end of a wooden walkway through a marsh. My eye was drawn to the tripod with the long telephoto lens attached. Making a quick decision, I pulled the car over to explore College Landing Park. I snapped a few photos of the stately Purple Martin birdhouse, now vacant. I ventured near the photographer wondering about the subject of his focus. I scanned the visual field, but could detect nothing. Then the photographer waved me over and pointed to the two eagles perched high up in a tree. Wildlife photographers are a special breed, patient and careful and deeply devoted to nature.
We struck up a conversation. The photographer noticed my Canon 7D and shared his plans to switch to Nikon gear to make use of some features that would be important to his craft. He asked if I might be interested in purchasing some of his Canon gear, specifically his Canon 5d Mark iii, camera body. We exchanged contact information, and I headed on my way.
After reading the reviews for the Canon 5d and talking with my husband and a few trusted photography mentors, I decided this camera would be a good fit for me and my style of photography. We met our new photography friend, Tommy Hayes, in Williamsburg and made the purchase.
I’m off to take new pictures with a full frame camera. Yes, it’s bigger and heavier, but it feels like home to me. Just as an artist might paint with a brush or a spatula, a photographer might choose from a variety of cameras – iPhone, point and shoot, film, or DSLR. The tools we use are not nearly as important as how we feel, shooting from the heart.
This chance meeting, at a park early one fall morning, led to something really good. A new friend, a new camera and a new beginning.