"If you need to stop, we can," said my ultra patient husband when he saw me pull my camera from my purse and try to capture the moment through a bug-specked windshield.
We turned off on an unfamiliar road just south of McPherson. I hopped out of the car and started snapping away. Then I noticed a sign: "Pavement Ends." I traversed the steep ditch and snapped a few more pictures, this time including the sign in the shot.
And I thought about how fitting it was that we'd turned off onto that road that very night.
Earlier in the day, I'd attended a 20th anniversary brunch at Kansas State University's Staley School of Leadership Studies. This summer, Jill sent me a link to an opportunity connected to the anniversary celebration. The Staley School invited alumni, friends, faculty and staff to submit photographs to be displayed in the building.
For the new artwork, photographers could submit up to five images to be considered by a panel which included professional artists, faculty and former students. For each image, the photographer was to submit an artist statement about how the image could reflect leadership.
I looked through my photos, wrote artist statements and polled my family. paring the 11 photos I'd pulled down to five. Late in October, I was notified that one of my photos had been selected.
|My parents and Randy joined me at the Staley School reception.|
As we walked through the building and looked at the photographs, there were images from around the world. One featured a colorfully-dressed woman in Haiti. A captivating image of a baby baboon had already been included in a display at the Smithsonian Institution after being recognized as one of the best photos in National Geographic. Another showed an elephant family ... and it wasn't taken in a zoo. It was taken in the elephants' natural habitat.
There is beauty everywhere. It's in city skylines, but it's also found on an early morning walk on a dewy morning down a dirt road in Kansas. It's just a matter of opening our eyes to the wonder.
In a few years, my photos and others that were just installed will be auctioned off as a fundraiser. This inaugural auction raised nearly $10,000 for programs at the Staley School.
And that is beautiful, too.
For more about the Staley School of Leadership Studies, click here.
I have photos hanging in K-State's College of Business Administration. Read about that here.