The Good Ache: a Photographic Reflection

 Overlooking the Saanich Inlet on Vancouver Island, August 2007
Aches and pains.
Yes, I’ve got a few.
Part of the aging process, or so they tell me.
Knees that creak,
heels that are tender,
hips that remind me they’re there, working away.
And heartache?
Yes, I’ve known a bit here and there,
some of it permanent.
You never stop missing those you love.
But there is another ache that I live with,
day in and day out,
from sun up right through my dream life.
And that ache is a wonderful thing.
An ache buried deep within me
at the hand of my Creator –
an ache for…
Yes – beauty.
and I’ve kept thinking about it ever since.
Turning a corner and finding…
a sunset,
a sunrise,
a cooing baby,
a soaring mountain range,
a field of wildflowers,
a couple in love,
the coltish antics of middle-schoolers,
leaping across a lawn,
the creative genius of a fine artist,
a musician,
a sculptor,
anything and everything
that makes that chord inside ring and resound.
Anything and everything that sings to that yearning,
that yearning for every single reflection I can find
of the beauty of God.
Some words in response to Lisa-Jo’s prompt for 5-minute Friday this week. 
And that prompt is “ache.”
This written reflection was done in 5 minutes – 
links, photos and captions added later.
Join the party over at The Gypsy Mama and check out how others have responded. 

(And then you can scroll through a few samples of heart-thrumming beauty recorded by my camera over the last few years – and this is just a small sample. They range from scenic vistas to charming children, to delicious food to ancient cathedrals.) 

Puget Sound, WA, August 2007

Four gangly boys and their games.

Butchart Gardens, August 2007
Two-year-olds that same summer.
 Whidbey Island views, 2007
Cathedral views, various places – stained glass on old stone; organ pipes and chandeliers; trussed ceilings lit by natural light.

Human structures, remarkable engineering and reflections.
All of these from a river cruise in Europe, 2009

And of course, a variety of Hawaiian views – from Maui and Kauai – places and people who are dear, dear, dear to me. (And a couple of creatures plus a whimsy driven color combo that knocked me flat one day at lunch.)
This last picture is similar to others I’ve posted in this space – one of them in the post noted above – and it is one of about FIFTY I shot of the most remarkable sunset I’ve just about ever seen. And that’s saying something – I’m in my 7th decade, I live in a coastal town, I’ve traveled to HI about every other year since 1980. And this one was an absolute corker.

Get a personal letter from Diana twice a month

Sign up for *More Wondering. . . * a monthly personal letter from Diana to you, available only to email subscribers. As thanks, receive a copy of Diana's new ebook,30 Ways of Aging Gracefully.

powered by TinyLetter

To receive blog posts in your inbox, sign up below.


  1. I am feeling the deep love in these words and images. Beauty, for sure. Thank you, Diana. May the good ache bring comfort.

  2. Diana Trautwein says

    Thank you, Laura. It’s funny how a yearning (and a finding, at least in small moments) can ache like that, isn’t it?

  3. So many beautiful images, Diana! “The earth is the Lord’s and the fulness thereof!” I see his love reflected in creation everywhere, and yearn to capture it either with my camera or my memory. I never quite can, but it makes my heart swell with joy and appreciation for God’s gifts.

  4. Diana, I am in absolute awe of these photos – my goodness, you get around lady! So now I need to know…what kind of camera do you use? {have I asked you this before?} Love, love that little girl in pink at the beach (swooning over the chubby legs!).

  5. Diana Trautwein says

    I know that urge to capture – and you’re right, we can never quite get it. But I thank God for cameras and picture-memories – they help a lot!

  6. Diana Trautwein says

    Yes – we’ve been blessed with a lot of travel in our lives. But then, we’ve always made it a pretty huge priority. Probably because we spent most of the first two years of our married life living 14,000 miles from home! The little girl in the pink outfit is our youngest granddaughter, one year ago. She is now a much bigger, very verbal but still adorable 2-year-old. And the chubby legs are just about gone. I use a (digital) Canon D20 with the lens it came with – a 17-85 and an older, non-digital zoom, 75-300. I know NOTHING about aperture/ISO and use the pre-programmed settings for almost everything. I have a good eye but am lousy technically. I gave my original Canon (film) to our oldest grandson when he was about 13 and he has gone on to become a superb photographer and is now studying film-making at Chapman University. He knows everything about everything technical and literally makes my head spin with his expertise. But I do take credit for it all, of course! After all, I gave him his start. :>) (I have to say – it is a joyful experience to see your kids and/or grandkids surpass you with their knowledge/compassion/wit/what have you.  ALL my kids have done so and now the next generation is starting!)

  7. There is a certain kind of beauty that touches us so deeply that we nearly ache. Or maybe we actually do ache, I’m not sure. These words and photos bring me close to that very thing. They are gift.

  8. pastordt says

    For me it is an actual ache, felt at gut level and moving up to my throat out of which often escapes a cry of awe or praise or both. Sometimes they are the same thing. Thanks for coming by, Cheryl, and for your kind words.