The Song of My Soul

Thoughts On Paper

A blog about life in the Midwest, inspirational writing and photography, being a writer, and creativity.

How to Slow Time & Find Beauty Here and Now
Do we truly stumble so blind that we must be affronted with blinding magnificence for our blurry soul-sight to recognize grandeur? The very same surging magnificence that cascades our every day here. Who has time or eyes to notice?
— Ann Voskamp

I feel it everyday, watching the sunset: time slipping away from me.

When there aren't enough hours in a day to do what really matters, when all you want is to crash into a bed of fluffy pillows and warm blankets because that's what the work day really does to you. When all life does is take, take, take, there's just one thing I've lost:

I've missed out on all the beautiful things. 

But really it's just this:

I've not been looking for all the beautiful things.

I haven't taken the time, out of the rush, out of the traffic, out of all the chances I'm offered, to sit and see the snow drifting like grace all around me. 

That's when time gets away from me and all of the sudden I'm looking at the sunset and wondering how I missed the sunrise.


I keep looking at myself and watching the elderly lady with her cane struggle down the step. I keep looking at myself and then watching the hard-crusted, anxious mind of the old man who's been forgotten so many times and broken himself so many times he's tired of it, he's lived so long he's forgotten how to see the good.

And I keep telling myself, "Time. Time. I just need time."

How do you even? When all you want to do is throw your hands into the air and yell, "Would you just hang on one minute already?"

Before I know it, I'll have kids and a house and this precious desire for love and beauty will get all mixed up with hungry man, hungry kids, messy house. 

Before I know it, I'll be too tired to live, my bones will ache, and I'll be wishing for the days to slip by faster. 

Before I know it, I'll be . . . gone.

I don't want to be gone and missed the point of living.


I want to have witnessed a blizzard on my prairie and to have actually noticed it. To have seen the wild, raging danger of it, but to have seen the blessed beauty of it, too.

I want to have witnessed the smiles of my co-workers and to have actually seen how their smiles manifest themselves so uniquely to them, wrapped them in their own kind of beauty.

I want to have witnessed the fresh cow's cream slip down the side of an old jar that used to house honey and have actually watched in awe how it makes galaxies in my coffee in the mornings. 

I don't want to have missed anything this world can offer.

I want to have a fulfilled life, to know I didn't waste a moment chasing an illusion of beauty that you have to go far and search hard for.

I don't want to have taken for granted the beauty and the hope and the grace and the joy of my life. Right here. Right now.

So this is what I do:


It started unconsciously at first. I didn't know it was a search for beauty. It was really just me and a camera, wandering.

But I started taking note. Noticing more. The light. The dirty dishes. The mud on the floor. The mess and tangle of headphones and yarn. The scattered look of a lived-in house. The howl of wind.

And in those moments of noticing . . . time slowed, the tick of the clock lost in the click of the shutter.

One day, I sat at the kitchen table, I don't even remember when, but I took pictures of everything I could see, every perspective I could get from that one single place. From a fixed point. From one look at life. My life.

And I finally understood that this is how you slow time.

That this is how you find beauty and grandeur right now.


You don't have to travel far to breathe in wonder. You don't have to cross things off a bucket list to have fulfilled your life.

Wonder is really just here. And you can reach out and touch it.

A life fulfilled is just in the moment. And you can capture it.

Around me, ahead of me, beside me, above me.

Every little thing.

And when you learn to see things from one place, you can learn to see your life from one place.


And that perspective becomes enough. Because He is enough. Because He has given us eternity.

And time slows and there is time for beauty.

Beauty where you don't expect it.

And there are gifts where you never thought possible. 

Love, Kayla
Kayla Updike Comment