Grace Filled Week

grace filled

This was a good week—a grace filled week—and for that and all my blessings I am grateful.

Grace Filled Week

The weather gave us a good mix of all the things that make January in Minnesota an interesting time. The week began with an all-day snowstorm on Monday that dropped anywhere from 8-12 inches on the metro area.

Schools closed, freeways jammed, and spin-outs and accidents happened frequently. From my vantage point inside my house, it was a beautiful day. The day after the snowstorm, with a rare schools closed because of snow day, kids happily headed outside to go sledding and play in the beautiful new snow. Cross country skiers were delighted with the first sizable snowfall in the Twin Cities in several years. The fresh white snow clung to trees and bushes for days adding to the delight and beauty this snowstorm brought.

Ordinary Grace

Good Samaritans cleaned sidewalks and driveways for neighbors and friends, helped “un-stick” stuck vehicles, stopped to check on spun out cars to make sure everyone was okay, and made an extra effort to extend kindness to those in need.

Even when I can barely listen to the news because of the constant barrage of crazy, stupid, selfish, and sad news, hearing stories of people doing good deeds for friends and strangers, lifts my spirits and reminds me that good still exists.

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”

Fred Rogers

grace filled
During the snowfall

 

grace filled
Evening as snow continued to fall and the wind began to pick up

 

grace filled
I focused my camera on the snow on the window while looking out at the street light at night creating an abstract view of the snowstorm

 

Resilience and Beauty

After the city dug out (kudos to all of the people who work long hours clearing streets and highways in our city and to the resilience of Minnesotans) the weather warmed enough that the moisture evaporating from the heavy snowfall created conditions that coated many trees with hoarfrost—another beautiful sight. One of the good things about the bone-chilling temperatures we endured earlier this month is that when the temperatures returned to normal winter temperatures for Minnesota it felt balmy outside in comparison. The ability of the human animal to adapt to different environments is truly amazing.

grace filled

grace filled

On Wednesday I had another Makers’ Hands photo shoot with two interesting artists, one who worked with stained glass, the other who sketched and drew. It was a very good day. I love seeing the varied creative pursuits of people. Each person’s art is different but no matter what their pursuit, making and creating is healing—a way of connecting more deeply with oneself and with life.

Makers Hands

Makers Hands

Thursday, I did a short head shot photo shoot. It was fun and I could see how my recent classes and study are making a difference in my work.

The temperatures rose above the freezing mark to the mid-40’s on Friday so I went to the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum to wander inside and out with my camera. Even with a brisk wind, it felt like a spring day walking outside, compared to the frigid temperatures we endured earlier in the month. I love being able to spend time outdoors in nature.

Japanese Garden at MN Landscape Arboretum
This reminded me of my Wild Altars series of photographs from the north woods that I made last spring

 

The way the fallen leaves in this photo led my eye intrigued me.

 

The conservatory at the MN Landscape Arboretum is always a favorite place for me. It’s not a large conservatory but always has flowers in bloom and plenty of green plants to soothe the spirit. The top photo in this post was taken in the conservatory.

The world is grace filled with ordinary things like creativity, nature, beauty and kindness. What ordinary grace filled your life this week?

May you walk in beauty.

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