three photos for three friends

Once I become someone’s friend I am very loyal to them. This little post is my love for friends who will always live in my heart, celebrating the sweet family that they are. No matter the distance or time between our two little families, there will always be the same spirit of friendship & trust & encouragement.

❤ Happy 5th Anniversary, M & R ❤
May your family’s love always be light spilling from windows into the night,
inviting others in to the warmth you share.

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(^ Possibly my most favorite photo I’ve ever taken.) I believe this photo comes a little bit close to capturing how I see this woman, this dear sister of mine: a classic, essentials-only beauty full of life-giving love & true femininity

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I have glimpsed our Father’s love through this brother of ours & it is sweet sweet sweet

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You never know where the light is going to find you, illuminating beauty for a sweet surprise. I got this photo in the car on the way to the park (where we got the above photos) while this gorgeous, slightly-grumpy little star was strapped into her carseat. ◆

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Maternity Mini Shoot: Dreamy Sunset Winter-melt

When family becomes friend,
when visits become stays,
when tears become hugs,
when memories become stories,
when sunsets become backdrops,

Roots of trust grow tough enough for any Winter’s scowl,
& love Springs constant, unfreezing through the cold ◆

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Seven lines, seven images. ^_^ These photos were taken in that Indiana sunset light that always captures me. Maternity shoots are a delight; so much beauty!  Dear A., you are going to be a wonderful mommy. You were made for it ❤ All words & photos by me, K Grace Collins.

Winter Portrait Mini Shoot: Wind-Dancing White Gold

Our boots punched through the crust of snow as we fought the winter wind to enter this field behind her childhood home. The cold stung our faces & the snow crept in between our hems & socks, shocking our ankles to numbness. But I knew it was all going to be worth it when I saw how the wind was dancing in her hair, turning it to a white-gold veil of fine lace strands,  drifting over her European-sky-blue eyes. Goodness! Lady C. is always so easy to shoot. In processing, I found that black & white emphasized that best. Enjoy!bw-claire-1-of-1bw-claire-1-of-8bw-claire-2-of-8bw-claire-3-of-8bw-claire-4-of-8bw-claire-5-of-8bw-claire-6-of-8bw-claire-7-of-8bw-claire-8-of-8

beneath her feet

Brick by brick she built up a tower of doubt & suspicion
Crowned herself with aspen fronds & mounted the stair
Looking down at the ancient ground, she said,
“Thou wilt not hold me; I must live here”

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Earth, too polite to say, “Hiding there, I hold you still…”,
whispered promises instead
“There is a scent you have known since the day of your birth…
The hills still carry the Breath of the One who stays”

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“But I know not this scent & I am too young
for promises predating the dust of my body,
intolerably infant for vows older than the sky…
Your goodness looks on everyone, how do you see me?”

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“You were born small to take part in this grandeur,
your body’s dust is holy for within dwells the Breath.
Why do you tether yourself with fear to your tower,
to this soil you’ll always be bound…

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“Come through richly folded hills of velvet crimson sunset,
quiet fields of graceful glory growing
Even through the deep, hushed lands of weeping
under your feet a steady path will be found

WM (1 of 7).jpg“Freedom awaits, if you would set your feet on the ground…”

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A note on these words’ germination: While hearing Audrey Assad’s song “Good to me” for the first time several weeks ago, the earthy savor of “Your goodness” was so tangible to me. It was only later that I realized there was a conversation taking place, concerning the effect of fear on our perception of the endurance & vastness of His Goodness. All photos & words by me.

The Most Obliging Butterflies

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Flying excited loops, distracted landings, erratic circles, 

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they say, “The flowers

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drenched in sun

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are the sweetest.”

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They tell us, 

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“Follow me!”

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“Come, scruffy robin, from the shadows!”

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“The earth is gold and though we are here but for a moment, we know it is worth savoring.”

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“Look and see! Do you know the freedom in the Gift? How wide, how deep, how far?”

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“The breeze knows it, the grasses know it.”

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“We know it. Our wings flirt with the sun, sipping earth’s dew.

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We land as jewels bestowed, undeserved. Do not refuse what you could never earn.”

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“Let us teach you

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how to say goodbye

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to this golden summer light

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and summer creations so frail.”

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“Caught, visible, for a season,

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time for rest is coming now.”

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“There is no need to hoard! You may gather all you can, yet there will always be more.”

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“We, the secrets in the light, 

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want you to know: it’s all for you.”

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“Our colors, which we are glad to give, will become your memories.”

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“Receive freely in surrender for the next season will bring more of the Gift,

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even if all the summers of time were fit into this day.” 

 These photos were taken with an experimental Lensbaby lens and its movable optic attachment. All the blur / tilt-shift-y-ness you see on my blog is from this lens!

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Everyday Antalya

Morning

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Turkish sky tapestry, threaded with sunrise colors, is woven over

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early visitors to a chilled Mediterranean,

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mountains and minarets,

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rock giants and cliffs,

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as night shadow turns with the earth, to sun.

Afternoon

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Day is welcome,

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and nearby, a local produce market debuts apples, melons, and walnuts pristine.

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Vibrancy blurs by the tram window,

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a sweet delivery has been made,

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and friends meet to chat by the sea. 

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Street cats are fed as community pets,

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and, the president is visiting tomorrow! Flags out!

Evening

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Flowers feel no shame in casting their scent generously over all

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who find rest from the sun’s heat

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and in watching it disappear languidly; permission to relax

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while trails left on the water glimmer like paths to the past.

All photos and words by K Grace Collins 2016, All Rights Reserved.

Scottish cattle, Sudanese friends, American farm

A second Giving of Thanks, spent on Whippletree Farm. When friends meet family, many things are shared–food, stories, and laughter. The circle of the table, and of each heart and prayer, grows a little larger… ◆

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A stunned cardinal found

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while sheep and goat wait

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for feeding hands,

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provision they never see except when given

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Shelter hides,

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with shadows soft,

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all who come and go. All are both travelers and hosts of culture

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Here, a whiskered meeting,

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a pine-needle carpet for running in rain boots,

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and a basket cradling onions fresh from earth, quietly exude peace.

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Camera-to-camera conversations, click click in the kitchen

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and outside, calming pines tower and sigh.

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My uncle leads all the herd, to catch two

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An observer must watch from a distance that won’t startle; cattle know only their owner’s presence 

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The red cow is the smartest, most clever, and most gentle

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A young Belted Galloway watches me

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One penned,

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caught,

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and into the trailer…

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while the other strong bull who throws fences evades capture for the second year in a row.

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Penelope in the pines

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A commissioned art phrase, “Blessed to be a blessing,” inspired by God’s interaction with Abraham in Genesis 12, and His gift of rain.  ◆

 

Cathedral’s Heart

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soundless, light descends to declare

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otherworldly love of detail

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the northern pine woods frame and breathe the heart of a cathedral

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manifold vertical lines

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seek to bind

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earth and heaven, man and God

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tall airy weightless pines

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remind me

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who calls you toward heaven

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and created this space

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wide enough to fit our chaos

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offering us to the Father of lights

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we dwell here afflicted by shadows

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sharp fear, dimming confusion, the waiting of change

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yet there is a stillness

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older than the trees

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who endures

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and whose seeing Heart casts no shadow.

The Vibrant Hum of Light and Design-Made-Pattern

A Language spoken-sung, breathed; inhaled and exhaled from the undistractedly patterned lives of tiny creatures ◆ A Song I could not quite hear, though with it the path was soaked through as the generous July sun ◆ A minute, teeming drop of nature clinging to its original purpose, glowing with Life; a remnant ◆ A wanderer trying to understand and being swept into its current, having forgotten something the flowers and bees still remember…

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Templates borne and realized in living, nobly and without shame.

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Work and purpose lived, beauty and design’s intent: intertwined.

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The hum of light and nature’s feasting unseen.

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The dignity in a hummingbird-being’s secret rest.

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The uncanny and safe-making unity of flying birds. || Away. The dual flock, I.

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|| Gather. The dual flock, II.

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|| Still. The dual flock, III.

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Setting and pattern echo the Garden. The communion of nature and light, and we its fallen royals…

Creator King, reteach us the Song, sow still its seed. Speak to us the language of Your Kingdom, that we may hesitantly pronounce words and phrases now… And sing freely and fluently in Fullness. Restore all with Your Breath of Life. Overlook not Your lost and ruined Image-bearers, who have forgotten and ignored much Good. We root ourselves in Your faithfulness. AMEN.

Captured 7.24.15.

All photographs and words by Kelly Grace Collins, all rights reserved.