As our vacation in the Pacific Northwest wound down, yesterday Kay and I took a day trip to Victoria, on Vancouver Island. The highlight was a few hours spent at Buchart Gardens. And, of course, that's when I really regretted leaving our camera behind. We used the cameras built into our cell phones (for example, the picture at left), but that's no substitute for what we could have gotten. If only I'd paid more attention when preparing for the trip.
I guess that's a metaphor for writers. Every day we encounter situations and people that may someday be a part of a scene we're writing, even play a major role in a novel. All too often we pass them by without a thought. Maybe we'd be better served if we paid more attention, committing details to memory. Then we'd have clearer pictures to use as the basis for what we're writing.
I love the following quote from Elizabeth Barrett Browning so much that I often use it in my signature block. I commend it to you as you go through life. Look around you for evidences of God's handiwork. Pay attention. Don't forget to open the camera of your mind. And have a great Labor Day weekend.
"Earth's crammed with heaven, And every common bush aflame with God. But only those who see take off their shoes. The rest sit around and pluck blackberries."
~Elizabeth Barrett Browning