RSS Feed

Garden Photography: Pepper Lane

Pepper Lane

Pepper Lane: Our Back Yard

I live in my head too much, and often have a tendency to talk and write in a theoretical way about the freedom and responsibility of the secular existentialist.  My wife—so far ahead of me as an evolved human—reminds me of this at times.  She tells me if one accepts that emphasis on the present is a logical conclusion of secular existentialism, then it is worth talking about what that means for a person practically—not simply theoretically.

Engaging the “now” has become somewhat of a cottage industry for self-help writers and readers alike.  Some of the writing might give the impression that being in the now means simply meditating in the present in a condition of bliss.  Yet this is not practical for those who must do, as opposed to just think– as a part of their existence.

Life is not something that we engage in after work is done, after we eat, after we clean the house, or after we weed the garden.  Everything we do every day is life itself…not an appendix, or a preface.  For me–and I understand there are many good choices available—living in the now means being aware of what I am doing, i.e., being present, with what is at times considered the mundane “stuff” of life.

What must I do to live?  I must have the courage to get out of bed each morning, brush, shower, go to work, go home, eat, shop, clean, and a host of other “little” things.  Yet I can be present and find joy even in these things if I choose.

If my wife and son are, as I say, the most important focus of my life, then I can demonstrate that in each moment I am with them by being present and engaged.   I can choose not to maximize my earning potential provided that material needs are being met, so that I can spend more time with them.

I spend about a third of my day at work.  I can make that work meaningful even if I don’t enjoy everything about my job if I am in the present, and seeking to maximize what is meaningful for me in each moment.  For me, that means relationships.  I can choose to be present in each professional relationship, in each interaction I have with colleagues and students.

I spend even more time at home.  I can allow my house and yard to be the expression of the joy and love of my family.  Together, we can allow our house to be a place that is an expression of what life means to us.  My wife is an artist, and her art is everywhere inside and outside the house.

Every day, we eat.  Instead of alienating myself from the source of our food, I can embrace it, along with the joy that preparing it can bring.  We have our “kitchen-window garden,” as seen above, and each plant is raised with love and care.  We have a variety of peppers, eggplant, tomatoes, and others.  My wife and I tend them together, sometimes quietly, sometimes with animated conversation.  The ritual of watering is usually done in silence.

My wife is an incredible cook, and in her rests hundreds of years of oral tradition with cooking.  She was born and raised in Mumbai, and although no recipes are written, she has a mental file of thousands of recipes and home remedies.  I had no idea I loved vegetable so much until I tasted her cooking.  It is little wonder that India is so full of vegetarians, and the USA so few.  Knowing how to cook vegetables is key.  I love being the “chef’s helper” during the evening, cutting the vegetables we grew in our very own garden.  Eating together is the final sacred act of loving each other, caring for our bodies, and enjoying the connection with our little garden.

There is so much more.  My life is so full.  If there are things I must do, then I can find joy in them, and thus usher myself unreservedly into the present.

About gnatseyeview

Love Being, and photographing others Being.

51 responses »

  1. Very positive, very motivating. Treasure it while you have it and you will have it forever.

  2. I found this very Buddhist, but without the mysticism; thanks for the momentary oasis of calm.

  3. Very peaceful, very ordered, a study in composed (as opposed to composted) thought.

    Every second is precious, living in the now means making the most of each and every one, and taking joy from doing so.

    Namaste ~ Anupadin

  4. Your wife is a very wise woman, and your backyard is delightful! : )

  5. I truly like the sentence where you say that everything we do is living, no preface. I find myself living inside my head, often imagining what life could be like if…. Your words are very much motivating to enjoy everybit of our day to day activities.

    • Thanks for the encouragement. I do the “living in my head” thing far too much. I’m fortunate to have a partner who reminds me to not only observe life, but to participate.

  6. I enjoyed reading this…and appreciate the courage it took to share the intimate details of your life and “inner workings”……Thank You!

  7. Very nice and thoughtful! Reminds me of John Lennon : “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans” from his “Beautiful boy” song.

  8. Thanks for stopping by my site to see my photos – and thanks for the reminder about ‘living in the now’
    . I have been troubled for the last few days about ‘getting to a better place’ once I have sorted all the mundane issues surrounding my pending divorce – I cannot fathom how I am going to get from A to Z ?!
    I am going to now try very hard to focus on (and ENJOY ! ) the rest of the alphabet !!!

  9. One of the characters in my series is a real truth seeker–a blundering one–and he’s my favorite! Your writing inspires me to make Buck Crenshaw think more. Thanks!

  10. thefoodiefarmer

    Thank you for visiting my blog, I’m so glad you did! I thoroughly enjoyed reading this post and I’m excited to read more!

  11. Thanks for sharing this wonderful post. It’s importand that we enjoy and appreciate the moments we live.

    Thank you for visiting my blog today. I appreciate the time you took to stop by. May your day be filled with joy and peace.

  12. Very nice post and picture. In honor of the gnat, I thought you might enjoy this little photo of mine (I don’t really know if it is a gnat but it is really little):

  13. very beautiful and motivating dear 🙂 thank you so much for sharing it with us
    I have recently realized the joy in food to be honest being 29 that sounds late but this is when I have started finding joy in simple things like food, laugh, a stroll so I think I can relate to what you have written here…its very nice

  14. You have a lovely garden. I really want one and hope to grow some veggies when I move soon. We should all grown our own food 🙂

  15. I love your comments about finding joy in the things that we must do and showing your love of your home. This was very beautiful.

  16. Very much liked what you have said here on today’s posting. So true, so very true. Jack

  17. I certainly enjoyed reading this and being reminded of all the choices I get to make in a day. Thanks for your well articulated thoughts.

  18. Lovely garden. What a little treasure.

  19. theartofdigitalimages

    I am a practionerof Zen Buddhism… Awareness of the present is a fundamental teaching of the Buddha…and is a very difficult path…

    BUT right here and right now is our reality… i

  20. You have a wonderful philosophy, and a lovely way of expressing it.

  21. A practical way to live. And such a neat and tidy vege patch.

  22. Thank you for visiting my site.

    I found your post on ‘being mindful’ and living in the now very inspiring and – hopefully – useful.

  23. Very well saId. Dr. Wayne Dyer, one of those self-help gurus you hinted at, couldn’t have said it any better. And thanks for dropping by and liking my latest post on my f-stop fantasy blog. 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


fashion photography

Ron Mayhew

Fine Art Photographer

Lifting Shadows

(and other adventures)

The Americans

Inspired by the photography of Robert Frank

A Lifestyle Blog About Fashion, Food, Life and Exercise.

Life through my eyes with a Hint of Fabulousity

The Genealogy of Style

All the epigones find their own way

Mark Kertesz Photography

“Seeing is not enough; you have to feel what you photograph” – Andre Kertesz


Explore. create. Inspire ...


International Photographers Alliance, IPA


Tulio Silva


Tales from Tinseltown...recording them now...I'll let you know when it's story time.

alan frost photography

in monochrome with occasional colour lapses

The Human Gallery

Photography for the Soul

MBS Photography by Mike Boycourt

Freelance Photographer in Richmond, Virginia


Maryland Portrait and Wedding Photographers




Oluwaphemmy is a freelance photographer fondly called "OLUYA" by friends meaning "PHOTOGRAPHER" ..specializing in portraiture, and commercial photography. He started as a hobby from Secondary school because of his love for pictures, just to keep memories alive a few years ago, shooting strangers in the streets of Abuja every weekends... I just love my Camera ... it gives me the opportunity to CAPTURE and FREEZE HAPPY MOMENT

Light 360

High photography magazine

London Photography Blog - Fashion Photography - Beauty Photography - Portrait Photography - Boudoir Photography - Music Photography - Travel Photography - Documentary Photography - Actors Headshots

Paul Militaru

Photography Portfolio

Uncouth Reflections

... and no shortage of opinions

So Many Photos So Little Time

Pushkar Raj Sharma +91.9873905165 ( )

Massimo Conti Factory

Photography // Advertising // Marketing


My Visual Diary

The Fortunate Artist

Appreciating everyday through creativity

After the Final Curtain

"People buy tickets to theatres, not movies." -- Marcus Loew

Dan Shehan

Fine Art Photographer


Photography. Life.

Transient Eye

Documentary, Street and Travel Photography

Jacklyn Kaye Photography

Family Lifestyle Photographer

The Solipsist

in rural Paris, Iowa, and Wordpress

Singing In The Lifeboats

"Life's a shipwreck, but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats" - Voltaire

Just a girl with a camera and too much time to spend on photoshop

Revolution Blues

Another Green World


New York Fashion and Portrait Photographer


fashion. emotion. natural light

Richard Tommy Campion - Photographer

Ordinary, extraordinary & unusual images in my life.

Pitoyo Susanto's DaiLy Photo

...take photographs is a means of understanding and freeing oneself.

%d bloggers like this: