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MI Eye on the Thumb Collection by Sheryl L Sutter


As with any new journey in life, there are always bumps along the way that can cause one to take pause and rethink their position; refocusing their efforts in a different direction than originally anticipated. A fork in the road always signifies that decisions need to be made.

In the spring of 2016, I would run into that proverbial “fork in the road”; having to decide if the stressful path I had been on for the last decade of my life was worth the risk to my health, let alone my sanity. I knew I had a choice to make, otherwise there would eventually be no choices. One can only allow the stress in life to get so far before the body starts rebelling. This would be a time where I would learn to understand the difference between living life and experiencing it.

The journey I chose to embark on was a journey of the soul. A journey that required focus and strengthened my ability to be and stay “in the moment.” The vision; to capture the beauty of the thumb area of my home state of Michigan. This is a rural area with an abundance of old farms, antiquated barns and wildlife that are vast part of this vibrant areas’ everyday life; far removed from the urban concrete jungles of our larger metropolitan cities.

I had before me, a unique opportunity to “kill two birds with one stone,” so to speak, based on another business I had recently started that involved doing on-site inspections. I was, and still am, an inspector and always have my workhorse of a camera with me. Every time I would go out to do my daily grind, I would go by some of the most breathtakingly beautiful scenes; reminiscent of a time long gone when life did not seem so complicated. It was an opportunity to not run my life based on a clock and allow myself to focus on what was truly going on around me. A time to gain perspective.

That does not mean that I did not have deadlines and other appointments to keep; not at all. What it meant was that I was able to not be so concerned about that aspect of my job. Each day I left the house I had a route in hand and knew that these were the “must do’s” of the day. I never put a time limit on how long it would take me, outside of any possible appointments, allowing myself to pull off the road and capture a moment in time without feeling pressured or guilty. The time it took for that moment to be captured was fleeting; but the rendering of that small twinkling in time will, hopefully, guarantee that these antiquated beauties will be remembered and cherished for many years to come.

That old tattered red barn that fell to the ground last year will always have life in my collection. That one focused moment will stand as a memorial to her resilience and a testament to her stolidity through the ages, as the landscapes changed around her.

We all need different viewpoints in our lives, that allow us to think outside of our own personal bubble that we get lost in. We can find ourselves caught up in our belief systems to a point that we allow ourselves to negate the reasons behind other’s perceptions of the world. Keeping a home, raising children, paying bills, putting up with the unlimited biases in the world and keeping sanity through it all is no easy feat. Sometimes we need to separate ourselves from all the noise to gain perspective as to what is profoundly important in our own individual lives so that we can appreciate the perception of others. Sometimes we need to go on a journey.

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