Do you ever have one of those days, when you look at the great accomplishments, and contributions, of another person, or persons, and you feel you are less than you should be? At times, do you feel you do not excel in anything because you truncate your involvement in whatever you have tried? You move on to something else…never mastering what you left behind? You think, “It could have been great…I could have been great. I should have done more!” This is what I sometimes feel when looking back. And when looking forward, I think, “I do not have enough life left to become great!” I realize I have lived almost half of an average lifespan and the second half is going to speed away before my eyes.

When death takes influential men and women, icons of success, I am saddened that the world has lost another great, and I become even more sad when I think that I may never be like them. But there are great men and women that die every day leaving a lasting legacy with just a very few. Greatness is not only measured by the quantity of great, world-renown deeds, successes or fame, but it is also measured by the quality and simplicity of authentic kindness shown to others. It is amazing, and rare, when all these do converge into human beings’ experience. These people, who we desire to be, and think we must become, are magnifying glasses. They display what is happening every day, in every home, in every heart, and mind of those individuals who have committed themselves to true greatness: Selflessness, hard-work, compassion, kindness, love…

I may not be an expert in anything I do, but in all I do, may I embody this type of greatness.

So, if you are having one of those days, do not compare or measure worth to the greats of this earth, but allow them to be the magnifying glass of what is great within you. And don’t give up hope…be great today and in whatever days you have ahead of you.

One afternoon following Christmas, my husband and I took a walk at Occoquan Regional Park in Occoquan, VA to take pictures. The light was fading and we were heading back to our car and I saw a little path that led to a ledge overlooking the water. Along the path was a branch with a couple orange leaves holding on for dear life. Most of the leaves had fallen, but these lonely leaves were trying to brave the winter.

I love the stubbornness of the bright orange/red against the fading browns on the ground. They want to prevail! I’m sure with strong gusts of wind, they will eventually succumb, but they are supposed to. It is the nature of the seasons. Things must grow and then fade away for new growth the next season. Life is like this too. We need to change. We need to grow. I enjoy capturing moments like this with photography and thinking about how the image relates to life. Stay strong and great through this season, and then let the wind gently blow you into the next.

– Melinda

Time Light Productions

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