“Get out of L.A." they all say.
The pollution, the homeless crisis, the shallow friendships, and the isolation are a few things they list off for their reasoning. But their hardness of heart has caused them to stop noticing the flowers. Literally. They march on their causes — yelling loudly at the wrongs in the world — while forgetting to acknowledge the beauty, too.
“I grow everyday,” the flowers say. “I am dressed and adorned more beautifully than the richest king, and am here for you to enjoy. To give you a reason to pause and take a deep breath.” But we keep walking. There are too many problems in the world we think we need to fix before we can allow ourselves to “stop and smell the roses.” Maybe if we did, our constant complaining would seem childish. Maybe we don’t want to notice the good — like the birds still having a reason to sing or the trees still growing — because we want to justify our bitter attitude toward the world.
Someone recently asked me, “When was the last time you smelled a flower?” Confidently I replied, “Yesterday, actually.” But his follow-up question surprised me.
“When was the last time you felt the softness of a petal between your index finger and thumb?” This time I couldn’t respond confidently. Years? Had I ever? Maybe as a kid.
That question impacted me. If I hadn’t been noticing the delicate velvety feeling of a petal, what else had I been missing in nature? In life?
So I began to make an effort to notice and discovered something incredible. When I stop and appreciate the small details of everyday life — the taste of coffee, the sound of my nieces’ laughs, the kindness of a stranger on the plane — then I begin to be fully present and live the big moments, like traveling to Paris, seeing my sister get married, a niece being born. Because after all, those “big” moments are really just made up of millions of small moments.
Quantum theory believes that life is made up and impacted by subatomic particles which eventually cause planets to move. In the same way, our small moments affect the grandiose of our life.
For these fantastical wildlife photos, my process was simple. I woke up and decided to enjoy the day. Not because I necessarily FELT like it or because something big was happening that day, but because I decided. For some photos, I took a slow walk through the Hollywood Hills near my apartment and strolled at a leisurely pace, enjoying and noticing the details of nature. When something brought me joy, I took out my iPhone and snapped a picture of it (in portrait mode).
On one particular morning, a crow crouched on a fence, his throne, in downtown Hollywood. He watched the tourists and locals pass by. Then he observed me. If he had carried a camera, I'm sure he would have taken a picture of me: a wildlife creature invading his territory. I felt small as he perched high above me, acting as if he owned the streets of Hollywood. I reverently took out my iPhone and snapped this picture.
These next photos where captured when I drove to a Malibu beach on a lazy Sunday. I walked by the water, feeling the sand underneath my bare feet. I observed the seagulls fly gloriously over their sea kingdom. One of them used the wind to fly like a sweet melody. Its wings caught flight by the unassuming breeze and soon it was flying over its castle, the vast deep crystal blue ocean.
I was simply an observer, hoping to catch some of the indescribable magic.
For the editing I tried to keep it as simple as possible, because nature doesn't need a lot of editing like Instagram girls. I used the Adobe Lightroom Application and adjusted the light effects only slightly. Wildlife took care of the rest.
Orange, pink, spicy red
Singing loudly for us to see
But we keep marching on
Yelling about our new cause
“We grow for you to enjoy”
The flowers say
But it’s unheard through the noise:
Our worries of the day