“For me, a landscape does not exist in its own right, since its appearance changes at every moment; but the surrounding atmosphere brings it to life – the light and the air which vary continually. For me, it is only the surrounding atmosphere which gives subjects their true value.”Claude Monet
I absolutely love this quote. Monet is my favorite painter. He studied light. He painted the same scenes numerous times with different interpretations of light. He appreciated change, perspective, color, and the unique ways thoughts and emotions were brought to a particular setting. Our mental state has an effect on what we see.
Value in Nature
These photographs posted are taken from the same place but the atmosphere was so completely different from the top and bottom. They are all beautiful in their own way. I never grow tired of visiting my favorite places in nature. Each time something different can be seen causing reflection, refreshment, or simple appreciation of the beauty experienced.
In the lush green image above, there isn’t a lot of water flowing. In the photographs below, I love how the barren cold brought with it the most water I’ve ever seen at this location. Looking at the falls from a different angle also revealed a rainbow. We had to wait for the clouds to pass, but once they passed, the sun could reflect off the water and there was a faint rainbow in the waterfall. Day made. I love rainbows.
Value in the Word
Sometimes the Bible feels the same way when I sit down to read. Different verses may speak differently depending on where my heart is. Yes, there are certain solid truths, but the scriptures may convict our hearts, bring confirmation and encouragement, or simply reaffirm the love of the Lord depending on where we are in our journey and where our heart is at when we read.
There are times when I’ve read familiar passages and find encouragement I’ve never experienced before. If I’m 100 percent honest, there are also times I’ve opened my Bible and felt empty. There have been moments when I tell the Lord I just can’t right now, it’s too much, but it doesn’t change the fact that I still believe the Lord speaks. And that doesn’t make my perspective right but the struggle is still so very real.
I do know He is continually drawing us into a deeper relationship with Him. Regardless of where you are in life, take the time to read. The Bible speaks of hope and life. If you read two verses and it’s too much or it’s empty, talk to the Lord before you read. I’m so thankful for His patience when I struggle. Keep searching, keep reading, keep choosing to follow, and sometimes just be still…He knows your heart.
“We never receive a complete knowledge through mere research with our minds. Knowledge of God comes through our hearts – the windows of our souls.” – Charles Spurgeon.
The heart. The “wellspring of life” – (Proverbs 4:23). Choose to daily give your heart to Him and be amazed at the “true value” He gives to life. The “atmosphere” of His love opens up a whole new way to see and experience the journey (Ephesians 1:15-23).
This article was first published here at photographybyhsumner.com and was written by Hannah Sumner, a talented photographer based in Florence, Alabama. If you have a story you’d like to submit for the Dogwood Journal, submit it here!