new eyes//free write


I feel like lately I've fallen into the trap of negativity. I truly believe that just like optimism is contagious, negativity is equally so.

For the past several months I've been complaining about living here in Arizona--I was hating the weather and griping about how there were so many beautiful places to live--why in the world were we stuck in a place who's favorite color seemed to be brown and faded (very faded) green. Almost every weekend would come and go and the only thing we could find to do was eat and sit on our couch watching movies. We have yet to find friends to fill the spot of our Idaho besties and the lack of socialization was really getting to me.

I dreaded seeing co-workers or family members after a weekend because I knew they would ask something like, "How was your weekend, did you do anything fun?" and I would rack my brain trying to think of something, anything that was noteworthy, but always ended up replying something like, "It was fine--we went out to eat..." and then quickly changed the subject.

I constantly rolled my eyes at the dirt lots and chain-link fences that were the ever-present eyesores of the neighborhood--my eyes were yearning for scenes I had found in Europe--cobblestone roads, wild green grass and lush wisteria vines taking over thousand year old walls.

I was a grouch--and i was getting sick of myself.

Then a friend of a friend contacting me through Facebook and asked if I wanted to be part of his photography project. He and his wife had recently moved from Utah, a place surrounded my some the prettiest mountains in America to the desert of Arizona and he felt similarly to how I was feeling about the desolate landscape. The difference between he and I, was that he was working to love with his new home. He embarked on a project to find the good Arizona has to offer (it does have many good things) and capture the beauty--he wanted to fall in love with the wild desert.

I thought his idea was interesting, so I drove out to east Mesa and met him and his wife and we all drove out to the Superstition Mountains. As we got closer, I realized that I hadn't ever been right up to them--they're mountains I have seen my whole life, but had never taken the time to really experience them. My mouth was gaping open as we drove through the untouched desert, at peak time--the golden hour--those red rocks rocked my world. I was so happy to be right where I was.

The shoot was so beautiful--it was extremely quite and peaceful and there was a gentle, but crisp breeze. He shot film, so there as no peaking. We stayed out for a few hours and just as we were wrapping up, both he and his wife's eyes widened, I turned to see what was of such interest and right behind me over those gorgeous flat mountains, rose a bright silver dollar moon. I got the chills and my eyes welled up a little. It was one of the most beautiful things I'd ever seen.

I was suddenly so proud of my state. I had fallen back in love with it. Out there in the silence, I could feel that God loved me. He made beautiful things for us to look at, because He knew there were people like me, who needed to see them. That's when I know God is there the most--when I see His creations, unaltered by man.

Since that time, I've had the chance to drive out there again, this time by myself. It was just as magical and I felt just as loved.

I needed new eyes, and out there in that cool desert, I found them.
all photos by Pressing the Plane


Beverly Houpt said...

So Gorgeous! I feel the same about New Mexico from time to time (especially the part about all the brown). Going out and taking photos is the best way to get over that, I think.

Lex said...

I really loved this post! And the photoshoot turned out beautifully, ps.

coco said...

I was surprised to read this post, only because I remember when you lived in Idaho and you would post on your blog about your lovely Arizona and your love for it. I am so happy that you have found your love for Arizona again. Thank you for sharing. You are a lovely person inside and out.

Sarah44 said...

Such beautiful photos! You are stunning girl!!! I feel that way too about where I live sometimes. I find myself just watching movies quite frequently and not always having a lot of friends.

talley said...

I've lived in the foothills of Appalachia my whole life, and I've never seen a desert. I've always wanted to! I feel like we're exact opposites. Trade houses?

sophiesxworld said...

This blog post has honestly made me feel like I'm not alone, I moved a lot when I was little right up till I was about 10. I've been in the same house and town for nearly 11 years, and I too find myself sat at home, watching the same programmes and movies I've already seen a few weeks before. Your post has just encouraged me further to explore, and get out there, and see what my town has in store for me. Who knows what I'll find?
Thank you for sharing, and I'm glad you've fallen back in love with it.

Kendra Kozlowski said...

What a great post! I LOVE your outfit! Glad I found you blog! If you would like you can follow mine also:)

Ria said...

Thanks for these thoughts. Especially that Proust quote--I've been needing someone to tell me that for a while, now. Feeling similarly dissatisfied with my location but resolving to shape up! Thanks!

cristen said...

not to downplay the meaningfulness of this post, but i am so in love with the blouse you're wearing in the photoshoot. where can i find it?

Ashley Bagley Nielson said...

Thank you, I actually designed it and my mom made it for me. Sorry!

© i believe in unicorns. Maira Gall.