I was asked once by a high school student how my spiritual life impacted my daily life or if it made any difference at all about how I see or experience the world. Indeed, it has. My interest in photography is an extension of what I believe.
Beauty and truth are the same reality: together they reveal the Creator. If we take the time to appreciate beauty in the world around us, even in the delicate form of a tiny flower, we also experience the love with which the Creator shaped it. This becomes obvious in an orchid show where each flower represents the intentional and patient care of its owner. Humans devote great time and skills to produce one short-lived blossom. God, the great horticulturalist, is the originator of all that beauty throughout history and throughout the world. We realize beauty is love made manifest – it is the invisible God showing us signs of His tender love.
Each exquisite flower is a twinkle in the eye of the Creator. When God planted the first garden, he no doubt found special delight in the how the Orchidaceae took seriously His command to multiply.
I know nothing of the names of these wonderful orchids, let alone how to propagate them. I’ve no green thumb, nor even the desire to raise them. Shakespeare thought a rose by any other name would smell as sweet. Yet they speak to me – I’m awed by their comeliness in endless variety. I have not been drawn to learn more about them, though their myriad shapes, colors, contours and scents make them . . . splendiferous!
The ones above are so alive, they appear to be in motion – a graceful dancer in festive costume.
And those above are like great winged bird in graceful flight, whose downward flap of the wings propels them across a lake.
Or perhaps like so many winged insects approaching a fruit tree beckoning to be pollinated.
Some folk are gifted with creating beauty through the variety of human arts – in color, sound, shape, motion, words, etc. They take their talents and the resources of earth and offer it back in the form of grace and beauty. Orthodox icons are theology in lines and colors. Beauty and truth portray the same divine reality. If we each created beauty every day, the world would be transfigured and transformed. Some of us, like myself, are not so talented, so I do not create beauty, but perhaps can capture the beauty I see in God’s world all around me in a photograph. My faith, my theology, compel me to do this.
Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed such as these. Taking photos for me is an extension of my faith. Faith propels me into the world of nature, and with eyes of faith I see these things I might ignore or momentarily admire. Faith tells me to seek them out and to take the time to allow their resplendent, ethereal timelessness to enter into my soul.
All of the above photos were taken at the Cox Arboretum during the The Miami Valley Orchid Society Show, February 14-15, 2015. You can view all of the photos I took at The 2015 Miami Valley Orchid Show. You can find links to all my photoblogs at Fr. Ted’s Photoblogs.