It’s a Mystery!

Recently, I sat in my friend’s beautifully appointed living room while she made a buying decision.  She was ready to add some fine art to her home. She wanted one of my landscapes to hang above her mantle.

She pulled up and connected her laptop to this huge flat screen TV. You know, like the one at your house. From the choices, she selected a photo gallery and clicked the almost invisible ‘slide show’ button on the top right. Suddenly the tiny thumbnails burst forth filling the room with grand landscapes and intimate close-ups, bold color and decisive compositions. It was like we were right there—back on that icy mountain, standing before that rushing waterfall, taking in all that moist greenery.

Misty falls

Her house is eye candy, this room especially—cozy, warm, inviting. My eyes traveled from the sofa to the arm chairs, from the lamp on the side table to the basket holding a soft green Aran Island quilt. Each piece had been chosen with care. I found her landscape-selection process both humbling and daunting. I was trying to imagine my landscape resting on her mantle. Would she choose a photo from our recent trip to Ireland, where we had become fast friends? Or would she select a Northwest scene for her Alabama home?

I’ll keep you guessing.

Just let me say, I would never have thought to do this, but she did. What a brilliant way to make a choice. Look at the options in your own room—with your colors, with your light, with the ambience you are crafting. Make it big! Ease into the scene before your eyes from the comfort of the room where it will hold a commanding presence.

The photos slid past in four second intervals. One after another.

Suddenly, a distinctively NW image played across the flat screen. I remember the evening well. Swirling fog greeted our group of Washington State photographers as we attempted to show our Southern California friend our mountain paradise. We would drive up the mountain, even if it wasn’t visible. Maybe just maybe, we would get a peek. After our picnic lunch by Glacier Creek,  we grabbed coats and headed up Highway 542 arriving in a swirl of fog and light mist.


Peering out from beneath my hooded raincoat and an old umbrella, I put a silly grin on my face and aimed my camera in the general direction of Mt. Baker. Nothing. After a few large gestures flailing our arms toward the general direction of where on a clear day one might ooh- and ahh- over Mt. Shuksan or Mt Baker, we grabbed cover in our car. Disappointed we started down the narrow mountain road. Fog swirled. It was probably just as well our guests could not see the sheer drop off at the edge of the road. No heart failure. Please! Coming around a hairpin turn someone jabbed their finger towards a teasing promise of blue overhead. Easing into a pull off, we stopped, grabbed our cameras and caught a couple shots before the fog absorbed the whole scene in a combative shade of gray.

This was that photo.

I love this photo. I love its mystery. I love trying to trace the road up the rocky face of the cliff. I love guiding my eye along the highway. Even though I have traveled this road countless times, I tremble when peering in the general direction of that sheer drop off. I love the swirling clouds, the fog, and the almost heart-shaped bit of blue sky dancing overhead.

My friend stopped the slide show. This was it.

She had chosen her landscape. Apparently the mystery of that moment got her as well. A 24” by 36” canvas landscape is on its way to her southern home. 

What a way to make a choice! What a selection to add some mystery to her mantle. Remember this–every room needs a little mystery.

In the spirit of mystery pop on over to my website. Open up the Photo Gallery and select the one called “Land and Sea.” Can you find the landscape that she chose for her lovely sitting room? Would it work in your room? Leave me a comment. Let me know your favorite.


Thanks to Donna Edman for the photo of the drenched photographer. She did make it down the mountain without mishap. Go check out her stunning and surprising photography at

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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3 Responses to It’s a Mystery!

  1. The photo I think she chose gives me goosebumps, an upward surge of my heart, and a tingle behind my nose and eyes. Even as acrophobic as I am, there’s joyful expectation of hope in that photo. The photo with the bit of blue sky peeking through the sun-glowing clouds and the road disappearing around the bend. Makes me want to say, “I’m coming, Lord!” As to my favorite, it’s almost an impossible task, my friend! But I am partial to driftwood scenes, so for now I’ll say the photo of the driftwood on the beach with the foamy surf curling quietly around it speaks best to me.

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