All too often we find ourselves searching for something or someone that will bring "true happiness" to our lives. Have you ever said, "I just want to be happy"? We are so busy trying to fill ourselves with "stuff" that we think will make us happy, only to be disappointed. How many of those people around you seem to be trying to fill themselves up with something that they think will make them happy? Maybe it's a new boy or girlfriend, maybe a new car, a new house, a different job, or more money? Maybe it's not possessions at all. Maybe it's drugs or alcohol? Perhaps it's something that looks much better, such as helping others? Yes, we can even try to fill ourselves up by trying to get others to praise our efforts. Different things for each one of us I suppose. We are all searching for something. Quite often the "something" changes as we grow older. The happiness that a new bicycle brings at age 7, can't be purchased so cheaply when you're 37. We get so wrapped up in our search for happiness and the cluttered nature of our daily lives, that we often forget to slow down and enjoy the simple gifts that surround us.
Clutter in our lives isn't a new concept. Even King Solomon, one of the richest and wisest men of his time, concluded, in his late years, that "Everything is meaningless, like chasing after the wind" (Ecc. 1:14 NIV).
With the electronic age, the clutter has gone hi-tech. We can now be reached anywhere, at any time it seems. Cell phones, email, facebook, and text messaging, allow the clutter to enter our lives faster than ever, 24 hours a day. What chance do future generations have to get a few minutes of uninterrupted time to listen to the frogs singing their chorus, or the birds greeting each morning with their love songs unless they learn to shut off the electronics once in awhile? How will they ever know that they can climb a mountain if they never get the chance or take the time?
Whether it's the sound of a stream rushing its way down the mountain side, the sight of a Canadian lynx almost effortlessly chasing a snowshoe hare through the deep snow, the tranquility of a meadow filled with wildflowers, a playful otter fishing for dinner, the sound of the breeze as it whispers through a stand of majestic white pines, or even the sound of the birds singing in the back yard in the morning. Chasing the Wind is about taking the time to notice the incredible, wonder-filled world around us. A world where the sunsets illuminate the sky over the lake, the frost glistens in the morning sun, a bull elk bugles in the meadow just over the next ridge, and the cry of the loon and the crackling fire sing us to sleep.
While no photograph can capture all of the sights, smells, and sounds of the wilderness, they can bring back memories of wilderness adventures shared in the past. If you can hear the loon crying in the back of your mind right now, you know what I am talking about. If you cannot, what are you waiting for? You don't have any idea of what you are missing. "The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes." - Marcel Proust
Chasing the wind has not only blessed me by allowing me the time to spend hiking, exploring, and photographing the wilderness around us, it has also allowed my family and I the time to share our love of the wilderness with some incredible young people, sharing values that the wilderness reinforces daily such as love, respect, perseverance, integrity, patience and humility.
It is amazing how many of us spend the majority of our lives searching for the very love and happiness that God gives us freely. A simple gift from him to each one of us.
All proceeds from the sale of Chasing the Wind photographs, cards, and planners are utilized to pay for wilderness travel expenses for youth interested in Chasing the Wind.