I take my coffee seriously, both as a drink and also as a ritual that starts the beginning of each new day. A good cup of coffee is rich with flavor, not too acidic or bitter. It should be bold and aromatic, but not overpowering. It’s not the quantity that matters, but the quality of the experience.
It also prepares me to engage with the day ahead, whatever it brings. And it’s in nature when I feel most engaged.
There’s the stillness of the air, cool and refreshing, where nature’s sounds travel undisturbed; where the word “noise” has no meaning. There’s also the awareness of mind and body, fresh and rejuvenated after sleep, which is ready to respond to the stimulus of the day ahead. It’s a raw energy that’s ready to be harnessed yet remains untapped, and it excites me to wonder where it will take me, creatively and imaginatively.
(It’s also a reminder of why it ‘s so important to maintain our minds and bodies in peak performance. It makes you happier and more creative, in every way. I’ve written about the body and mind before… )
And of course there’s the sunlight, glorious sunlight. Words fail to describe the emotions and feelings I experience in that magical transition between shadow and light, cold and warmth, vague and and clear. My mind and body react with joy, bliss, and gratitude for another wonderful day that I’m alive. That simple gift is so easy to take for granted, and instead demand something more, as though there actually exists such a thing.
I could easily describe trees, or mountains, or patterns in the sky. It’s not the label that matters, but rather its inherent beauty. Happiness is realizing why I’m inspired by nature, not looking for anything more, but just what’s in front of my eyes and inside my heart. The rest is just part of the difficult path we must navigate until our vision becomes clear. Once that happens, the destination is meaningless, and pursuit of it delays the clarity needed to make photography a worthwhile and lasting activity.
For me it all starts with a cup of coffee. But it can start with whatever you prefer, as long as you never take that gift for granted.
“The expression of beauty is by emotion. The person who can communicate his emotion to the soul of the other is the artist.” – Alphonse Mucha