Today we visited a gorgeous spot nestled into a green valley in the Alberta back country called “Big Hill Springs Park.” I always drive away from Big Hill feeling refreshed and inspired. The park’s centerpiece is a collection of pristine wedding-cake waterfalls that shimmer and spray their way down tuxedo black stones dressed in frothy green bridesmaid mosses. Stunning. Absolutely stunning.

I can’t go places like Big Hill without my camera, since holding it is an excuse to notice things that I’d ordinarily walk right by or appreciate only in passing. Subtle dances of playful light, Earthy eddies swirling paisley patterns on the fringes of the stream, rich shadows guarding treasure in deeper pools just beyond the pathway. It’s all magnificent. And worth noticing.

Photography reminds me of what so many people miss. MY PHOTOS often focus on things most people wouldn’t think of taking pictures of. My most recent was a small tumble of crystaline water smoothing out a fallen log (Click on pic for larger view). I got right down, almost dipping the camera in the water, giving the lens a creekside view mere mortals would never enjoy. But there it is. I captured it, or some part of it anyway, and I’m thrilled for having been let into the experience, like a special club was opened to me because I was willing to get on my knees.

God spoke to me through that moment: Keep your eyes open, Brad. And your ears, and your heart, and your hope, and your faith. It’s like he is telling us that there are so many blessings to be had if we will just look — not just harder, but differently. It’s a discipline, you know. Try it sometime. Go out into your yard and look at it from a few angles you’ve never enjoyed before. You’ll see the part of the fence that needs painting, the mobster of a spider trying to pull of his latest heist under your deck, or the way the light spills through the swaying oak tree when you sit on your back on the grass with your legs bent ninety degrees so that they are climbing the trunk. Try it.

Wake up!