Today we are going back to the Rhine River Valley in Germany, to the town of Bacharach. This image has been in my file waiting to be shared for ages, and today it won’t leave my head. Isn’t it a beautiful scene? So “German,” with the timber-frame house. So “Rhine River Valley,” with the grape vines growing on the hillside behind. So summery, with the sun, the green vines, and the flowers. This house is the Altes Haus, one of the oldest timber-frame houses in existence, built in 1368.
Take a moment to look below at the original image. It’s just ho-hum. A little overexposed in the sky and the composition doesn’t do anything for me. It’s amazing what cropping can do. Reducing the extraneous information improved the image. I don’t normally crop my images this dramatically, going from vertical to horizontal, but look at the difference!
This morning I’ve been considering what “cropping” I need to do in my life, so it should be no surprise to me that this image comes to mind. Where am I filling my time with extraneous things? Am I spending my energy in places that aren’t moving me in my chosen direction? It is easy to get into a cycle of do-do-do. To join activities because they sound fun without ever considering everything else that you have going on. Ignoring the time and energy loss that being overwhelmed can create. Even if you don’t follow through on the activities, the mere guilt or remorse of having joined and not taken action can drain us.
Today I ask you to consider, is there something that you need to crop from your life? What would make your personal “composition” better, just by trimming a little extra away? Like a photo, where you have no guilt whatsoever about removing extraneous information, just decide and let it go. Focus on the part that makes the image, your life, a healthy and complete whole.