The Long and Winding Road: Lens-Artists Challenge 100

Light at end of tunnel, Great Smoky Mountains

Each morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most.


With a congratulatory nod to the women who began the Lens-Artists Challenge and are now celebrating the 100th prompt, let us say “thank you” for influencing us to think creatively and artistically . This week, Tina of Travels and Trifles selected the theme of The Long and Winding Road, offering her concerns about the recent pandemic as well as police brutality and resulting protests surrounding the death of George Floyd.

Another road — the road to recovery for our nation — is also long and winding, perhaps even indefinite and treacherous as well. And we’re sharing some of what we discussed with each other as we drove through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and a section of the Blue Ridge Parkway this past week.

The freshness of a summer’s day in a drive through the Great Smoky Mountains

The road to recovery may follow established paths . . . but probably not. There will be dark, shadowy times as we try to sort out how to deal with issues both personal and public. And, as you would expect, there are objects, barriers, even objections in the way.

A shadowy path in the forest at the outskirts of the Cades Cove Loop

At times, it may seem that our paths are going nowhere. After all, we can only see so far into the future. Even though a pathway can be enticing and intriguing, we may find that new information will bring us to a different understanding than the one we thought we could ever have.

A dirt path runs through a valley in Cades Cove, Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Sometimes we need a different perspective. When we become too close to an issue or a problem, we don’t always see the big picture. We also may not see how a cause can affect another person, adversely even. But by stepping back, we can point to where we want to go and why we can see at a distance (rather than up close) just what lies ahead for each of us.

Seeing the future by stopping along a drive through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Both of us agree: we enjoy the company of people, and we respect those who have gone before us. It’s just that sometimes there’s a jam, a slowness, a time when we want to push forward or move around. That feeling, for us, is healthy: we like movement. But it also means we must respect the pace of others and exercise patience as we (in our homes, churches, neighborhoods, and cities) work to solve problems together.

A long, slow line of cars weaves through Cades Cove in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

It also means that we love watching people help others, especially when the hills of life become too steep to climb. And we know that we can and should do more.

A dad helps his daughter pedal up a steep incline in Cades Cove. (Apologies for shaky picture taken while driving!)

After all, it’s looking at something in a new way that can make all the difference. What may be gray clouds to some might be an interesting scenario to others — a scene, perhaps, offering shadowy formations, interesting colors, or features formerly hidden. We must look past our initial impressions as we search for solutions and the beauty within our souls.

Shadows on the mountains formed by clouds overhead — Blue Ridge Parkway at Mile High Overlook

There truly is light at the end of every tunnel, if only we look up.

A tunnel on the Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina

No doubt, our nation will take that road to recovery as we open our doors after the pandemic, as we seek each other’s company in safe ways, and as we deal with problems brought on by long-standing racist feelings.

We’ll get there, curves and all.

The future depends on what we do in the present.

Mahatma Gandhi

We’re joining you on the long and winding road,

Rusha & Bert

19 thoughts on “The Long and Winding Road: Lens-Artists Challenge 100

  1. pattimoed

    A beautiful post, Rusha and inspiring words. I am hopeful that we’ll find that light at the end of the tunnel. So many scientists are working hard on a solution. I just hope our politicians follow their lead. Take care and stay well!

  2. kzmcb

    A beautiful piece of prose, with lovely photos and plenty of food for thought. All the world is watching your country but many have similar issues to deal with and resolve.

    1. Oh, the Places We See

      It was fun holding my iPhone up to the windshield just to see what would take. And I like the outcome! You chose a good theme this week, one that can be interpreted in many ways. Your thoughtfulness in explaining each part set the tone for many of us. But, oh, your pictures. You are quite good, and even if you included no words, I could just look at your photography. Thanks for being a blogger.

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