Still Learning To See


I realized today how down and discouraged I’ve been the past few days, very unlike how I usually am, the eternal optimist. I know, I know…I’m not alone in the darkness!

As I was walking, I looked up and saw a bit of blue sky stunningly framed by a white cloud and a darker one, quite beautiful and so normal a thing in life; at that moment I realized I have been cutting myself off from so much of life and the price was being deeply afraid and angry—flipsides of the same emotion really.

Then I realized—and this was my breakthrough—I was afraid of things that might happen in the future or, honestly, based on the crazy events of the past week,things that probably will happen in the future. But what sense does it make to be afraid or angry about something that has not even happened, that only might happen in the future? We all know there is plenty to worry about today, and plenty to do that might influence the future in a positive way.



So that bit of blue sky turned me around. I thought about having been with my grandchildren this past week. We built a wonderful little tree house. Simon had a plan, which we (mostly) followed, and it turned out to be, in his words “my dream come true!” Now we did have concerns about safety and so we did plan for how high off the ground it should be to reduce damage from a fall. But life has some risks! I can worry about when that fall might happen and, honestly, it is probably inevitable it will happen, but it hasn’t yet. In the meantime we  made it only five feet off the ground and we had several long discussions about safety. I can still worry, but it will not change the future and it isn’t much fun either.


We also had a lot of fun playing cards this week. It was fascinating that Simon, nearly five, started off just enjoying playing and not really caring about winning. By week’s end with the influence of 7-year old sister, Lily, and whatever subtle messages DeeDee and Grampa were giving him, winning was more important and losing was even more important. Isn’t it fascinating how we learn these things in life? And what is the cost in the long haul?


We had some great times together (and some not so great, of course) and I know this is how I want my life to be. I don’t want to worry about the next tweet or the twerp who is tweeting, and rather than worry, I know I’ll do what I can today—and tomorrow and the next days ahead—to make sure all people have a peek at that bit of blue sky that is truly what life is (on most days anyway). Phew! Thank you bit of blue sky!

This entry was published on February 2, 2017 at 9:04 pm. It’s filed under John Snell, John Snell Photographer, Photograph, Vermont and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

4 thoughts on “Phew!


  2. Deborah Leu on said:

    Thank you, John! I’ve been really down, too, and trying not to worry about uncontrollable future events. Not a natural optimist here, so it’s been hard. Guess I need to try harder. Hugs!

  3. Callie on said:

    Your pictures of friends and family are always uplifting, John. “When your friends are there then everything’s all right” (Elton John), Yes, this is a very scary time for us all, but I think, and perhaps I’m being overly optimistic, that this (expletive deleted) character will not finish a four year term and I hope he’s out of office before irreparable damage is done. What I don’t get is why “they” let him get there in the first place. We know how Bernie was eliminated by the Hillary crowd; certainly someone could have done the same with this expletive deleted.

  4. If ticks and Lyme are as much a concern in NC as they are in NH, being “up off the ground” offers much benefit.

    Overall, great sentiments. 🙂 And calling or talking to elected officials about what we want and/or that we are out there supporting them, is not that hard. Also – educate yourself about “Big Data” – again, not that hard. Realize more and more we are targeted by the exact information (skewed, of course) that pushes our hot buttons to obtain the results someone else’s desires. I signed up for a daily “Snopes” email where I can scan in less than a minute, the 4-8 top trending stories – fake news, etc – and the real (I hope lol) information about them. For some reason it doesn’t raise my blood pressure the way hearing these stores in other venues does. I also see and hear more of the fake news circulating that I might not otherwise be aware of. Interesting times, my friend. Everyone I talk to (on all sides) is both riled up and exhausted.

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