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Image by Jirasin Yossri

What do you do to connect (and reconnect) with the visual beauty around you?

In my thirties, I lived in Uptown New Orleans, at the edge of a neighborhood where tour groups wandered daily to learn the city’s history and to admire the unique and charming architecture. I loved that I lived somewhere others go on vacation! For me, the sights of New Orleans were simply part of my daily routine, but I’m grateful that I also never lost sight (pun intended) of just how special it was to live there.

One of my favorite memories was of a Saturday morning when I exited my little house, camera in hand, and just started walking - through Uptown and the Garden District, the Warehouse District and CBD, the French Quarter, and into the Marigny/Bywater neighborhoods. I snapped photos of any and everything, not because I thought my pictures were going to be something special, but because the act of photographing deepened my awareness of the beauty all around me.

It turned out that the pictures were something special, because that trek across the city was just a few months before Hurricane Katrina which changed and even destroyed so much of my hometown. I’m grateful for the experience that brought me to vivid appreciation of the sights, sounds, and smells, and I treasure the images I took that day.

Now, I live just outside the city, but I still take photo walks to heighten my connection to the beauty around me. When Gretchen Rubin began her exploration, she decided to hone her sense of sight with daily visits to the Met. Though I don’t have an art museum nearby, Rubin’s example inspires me to increase the frequency of my photo walks - even if only to my backyard garden - and reconnect to the sights of my life.

What do you do to connect (and reconnect) with the visual beauty around you?

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