One of the aspects of my life in the midst of concrete and constant busyness swarming about was the fact I stopped taking pictures of the world around me. In my frustration, I let my discipline of noticing wane. In a new setting, I’m trying to spark again both the prose and the pictures, the poetry of place that exists where I am finding renewed peace and rebuilding focus.

When I am in a place, finding space for my mind to wander and my thoughts to flow, I like to pause in between chapters, listening to the voice of the trees nearby, learning the chorus of what the wind and trees sing together. Coast Live Oaks have a different sound than the black oaks of Lake Arrowhead, more like raindrops falling on hard ground than small rattles gently shaking. I like to see what birds I hear, what creatures call this area home. In Pasadena, one would hear more ravens and parrots. Now I hear more doves and hawks, signs of wild, nearby, open space. In Pasadena, I smell exhaust. Here, this morning, I walked outside to be struck by the aroma of Chino, where the cows dwell.

In my former place, I would look out my windows and see the concrete rectangles of other people’s apartments, surrounding all around, feeling like a rock placed in the middle of a stream, worn down by the constant flow.

Here is what I see today. Here are a few things that I noticed this morning as I was sitting outside reading, finally, Alasdair MacIntyre’s After Virtue.

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