Having been raised in a rural community, I have felt since childhood that the natural world is the manifestation of an underlying, spiritual reality. The patterns, the colors, the behavior we see in living creatures points to a deeper activity on a grand scale. I’m reminded of Walt Whitman’s piece, “A Child Said, What Is Grass.” The poet muses over possible answers to the question, including this one:
“Or I guess it is the handkerchief of the Lord,
A scented gift and remembrancer designedly dropped,
Bearing the owner’s name someway in the corners, that we
may see and remark, and say Whose?”
For me, the child’s question of “Whose?” has a clear answer. As I contemplate the creatures or the scenery of the natural world, I do not see a random act, but an intentional expression of a higher intelligence with its owner’s signature stamped in every corner.
For years I have had an interest in photographing birds. Unfortunately, the cost of good camera gear and film development made it a difficult hobby to pursue. Birds do not intentionally pose for portraits and most shots are not worth keeping. With today’s digital technology, if you don’t like a photo, you simply delete it.
As one who has devoted his life to the study and teaching of spiritual principles, I’m always looking for ways to share with others ideas that are meaningful to me. I’ve done this through speaking, writing and music. Now I’m adding a fourth avenue of expression: photography.
Like music, images from nature have a universal appeal that moves us at deep levels. Every aspect of nature “bears the owner’s name someway in the corners.” When we ask, “Whose?” our eyes may be opened in that instant, and I’m finding that’s a great time to have a camera.
You can view my growing collection of birds and animals here: Birds and Animals