Hidden Beauty

Hidden Beauty

Hidden Beauty © 2013 Bo Mackison

Knowledge was inherent in all things. The world was a library and its books were the stones, leaves, grass, brooks . . . we learned to do what only the students of nature ever learn, and that was to feel beauty. ~ Luther Standing Bear

I recently read a post on Facebook, someone asked the question, “What do you do when you feel down? How do you once again find your happy?”

There were lots of suggestions, and many great ones for restoring balance to your mood: watch old movies, dance, practice yoga, listen to oldies music, garden, journal, hug a friend, meditate, reflect, create, read a good book, watch a comedy, slip into a hot bath,  cry, play with children, let it be, unplug.

Several people replied with answers similar to what I probably would have said — take a walk, get out in nature.

I add another step to going for a walk and immersing myself in my world, something that I’ve found to be my mood brightener. When walking in nature or perhaps just in the neighborhood, I concentrate on finding beauty. Not necessarily beauty that is easily seen, but beauty in  everyday sorts of things, in the unexpected places. A wabi-sabi sort of beauty.

The photograph of the yucca stalk above, tipped over, browned, gradually decaying, wasn’t an obvious choice for noticing beauty in nature. But as I walked by this yucca, my attention was captured by the patterns of overlapping leaves, some still upright, a few turned down, falling back to the earth. Then I looked even closer and noticed the textures, the fibrous strands, the mottled marks. And finally I was captivated by the amazing colors in the shadows – the turquoise blues and eggplant purples in contrast to the wheat golds and rusty oranges.

I love the challenge of finding beauty in the least obvious of places, in the tiny details. It always gives me a surge of pleasure.


Bo Mackison is a photographer and owner of Seeded Earth Studio LLC. She is exploring creative photography and emotion in a  series called Desert Lines – a combination of visual lines and written lines.

About Bo Mackison

I'm a photographer, book-artist, traveler, naturalist, and creator of the Contemplative Creatives Journey, An Online Workshop and Community and Desert Wisdom Cards and Workshops. Though often not well known, I find the desert a welcoming place - a healing space. Its mysteries and gifts transformed me several years ago. Since that first encounter, I return again and again to fill my well in what most people think of as a desolate region. I'd love to share my desert discoveries and wisdom with you. Please subscribe to receive my five part mini email course The Gifts of the Desert. It's my gift to you.


  1. The image is absolutely beautiful Bo. I’m loving this desert series.

    I know what you mean about the looking too – it’s one of the reasons I love macro photography – you lose yourself in the concentration, and then every so often see something that just reveals the world in a different way, textured and gorgeous.

  2. Aaaah..but that’s where the magic comes in. It’s those walks in nature where we find the beauty..and ourselves. Love this fading textured image!

  3. To be able to look further into a subject and see more is our gift, I have been besotted by the miracle of noticing…. only another capturer understands!

    • Bo Mackison says:

      The slow practice of noticing is a special gift we’ve been entrusted with. The gift asks that we share with others…

  4. I enjoyed this edition of your always interesting blog. 🙂

  5. Absolutely gobsmacked by this image. I, too, love the details of nature, especially when I’m feeling blue. Sunshine and water always perk me up. That, and reading your blog. XO

  6. Beautiful image. Love the lines and composition and colors. Beautifully captured. Well seen!

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