A Tiny Cloud Called Hope

Last week, I left home early to experience sunrise. With my camera slung around my neck, a song spontaneously rose to my lips as I walked near the I-5 corridor.

The morning unwrapped her sleeping shroud throwing back layers of featherbedding that clung to the lazy Snohomish River. I stood enthralled, singing, and commanding my soul to arise and bless the Light. I wondered if perhaps I was changing the atmosphere with sound as I stood in a vacant lot singing and watching the fog. I imagined that some tearful traveler on the freeway might catch the shift and emerge on the sunny side of Monday. My soul soared on the wings of song. Lifting my camera, I made a multitude of stabs to capture the essence of this unveiling; each one came up empty.

When the sun burst above the Cascade Range nearly blinding me, I turned to go. Guess I won’t be capturing anything that makes my soul sing today, I thought.

Fifteen minutes later—Surprise! Surprise! The photographic moment I had been awaiting was not past, but in my present.

Near my car, I caught a grand window over the valley. I framed a photo, clicked the shutter, and caught my breath as I studied the digital display. Eagerly I rushed home to my computer where I sat entranced in the healing honey of this peaceful moment.

Then I noticed the obscure. One tiny cloud clung tenaciously along the rim of the horizon. In Lightroom, I splashed it with a hint of apricot rouge. The more I gazed at this frame, the more my eyes surrendered to the obscure cloud.

It reminded me of an old story about the Prophet Elijah and the promised rain. After three years of drought. Elijah kept warning King Ahab, “It’s going to rain.” The servant saw no skyward evidence. Elijah kept sending him to look one more time. Finally, he returned with news about a cloud the size of a man’s hand. And yes, Elijah’s tiny cloud became the vanguard for a whole host of heavily laden thunderheads. Run, Ahab, Run!

Let me simply say that my photographic quest is to isolate moments that will bring spiritual, emotional and physical healing honey through the One who identified himself as “Light.” Photography is painting with light. This Light came to flood us with flourishing life today just as it did 2000 years ago.

So my dream is that you will settle back and lose yourself in this tiny blush in the far eastern sky. Let go of the fog of your uncertainty. Release it to empty with the river into the welcoming bay. Let it float out to sea. Focus on the single cloud that promises the life-giving rain. Focus on the Light.snohomish valley

By the way, if you notice a shift spiritually, emotionally or physically, I’d love to know. That will satisfy my soul with a tiny cloud called hope.

Marlee Huber ~ For Your Flourishing Life!

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About Your Flourishing Life

As a child, Marlee Huber loved to ramble through gardens sampling juicy berries and delighting in the heady fragrance of roses. As an adult, she thrills at maintaining a country garden in the foothills of the Washington Cascades. Something happened in 2012 that changed everything for Marlee. She followed the love of her life as he bicycled across the continent from their home in the NW to his brother's home in the Virginia. Ninety days later she came home and has never been the same. After photographing the backroads and hamlets across America--all on auto, she came home and took an online photography course, read dozens of books on technique and vision and stepped out into a new career. Her passion is coaching young people to discover their brilliance. She calls it Life-Themes Coaching and during one nearly half-day session, she unpacks what makes you brilliant and one of a kind. Then she matches the discoveries with a photography session where she tells the story of your life with her camera. In her personal life, she is a wife, mother, and grandmother delighting in her flourishing family!
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4 Responses to A Tiny Cloud Called Hope

  1. SofiaDylan says:

    wow Marlee

    This picture is amazing! I love going out early in the morning taking pictures, when everything is so serene..

  2. mayasage says:

    When I saw this photo I felt such peace. When I tapped on it and gazed at it’s enlargement, it seemed more like a beautiful painting. I had commented on a friend’s fb picture of an Arizona sunrise, what an amazing artist God is.
    I love the story you referenced about Elijah and Ahab, and how that one tiny cloud is filled with such promise! I love the clarity of those mountains and the foggy subtlety of the foreground.
    You remind me that a few years ago I encouraged my daughter to “go into photography” and she blurted back “YOU go into photography if you want!” Rather than accepting that as a gift, I felt hurt. Recently I heard the still small voice say “why don’t you start taking pictures?”
    Thank you for this moment of sharing. I came to your site to thank you for the Declaration of God’s favor which has been such a gift, and received this gem! I feel like I’d love to work in the garden with you and share stories! I appreciate what you shared about your dad!
    God bless you, sister, and thank you!

    • Thank you for your lovely comment which I take as an answer to prayer. I, too, suggested years ago that my daughter go into photography and she took some college level courses but then moved over into graphic arts. So much later, I picked up the camera endeavoring to learn how to get off auto and make some real pictures. It has been a marvelous journey.

      What I am discovering is that I can see so much clearer now. Cloud shapes and subtle colors are no longer wasted on me. My writing style is improving. What I am seeing in the natural is helping me write more soulfully. My intention is that while focusing on seeing in the physical realm I will see better into the spiritual realm.

      My prayer is that my photography will bring healing to people–body, soul, and spirit. That being said, I would heartily recommend you pick up your camera and ask Your Father to help you see what others miss in their busy-ness. Capture the emotions, the stories, and the opportunity to lighten another’s load. Capture the subtleties of light and the stillness of the water before the sun comes up. You’ll learn to read nature so much better. You’ll know when to watch for amazing sunsets and sunrises. You’ll find yourself on beaches and look-outs when the artistry of God is so amazing that you almost forget to pick up your camera.

      I was just reading about the ancient Celtic hermits today. From Esther de Waal’s book The Celtic Way of Prayer, p. 96 “They saw the world through eyes washed miraculously clear by continual spiritual exercise; they saw with ‘rinsed eyes’…They saw with such clarity because the seeing came out of their contemplative vision. And their writing reflects this, with its distinctive freshness and immediacy, its attention to detail…. it is imaginative, vitally felt and expressed with emotional insight so that it can still today produce a shock of delight in the reader.”

      With good photography, there is much contemplation. You can’t make great frames on the run. You pause, you position your tripod, you check around the edge of the frame for distractions, and then you wait for perfect light. It might be a five minute window and you might wait five minutes or five hours. You know what you want; you wait; you contemplate. In the process, your eyes quicken to the task of seeing what you formerly didn’t even know was there to see.

      I had better stop. I am writing a book!

      Thank you so much! What you described is exactly my prayer for my photography! Blessings on you! Oh–so glad you enjoyed the 1,001 Words on Favor! They were simply Holy Spirit downloaded. Every time I read them, I am thrilled to my toes at who my God is and how He looks on me!

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