Last night, I met a young friend and we headed downtown Tampa to shoot around the lights on Riverwalk .

The gods set out their stall against us, firstly with rain that threatened to wash away our efforts and then with the illumination system apparently stuck on a single color. Now, don’t get me wrong … green is a nice color, but photographing someone under a constant glare of green is only a good idea when they are The Hulk or Kermit the frog.

I had build my plans around varying blues, violets, golds, and reds. But as in that well-known musing from Robert Burns “the best laid plans of mice and men…” and so too did mine go awry.

The rain gave the camera a bit of a soaking and a wet lens and dodgy focus electronics do not necessarily lend to a happy ending to most stories.

But she and I soldiered on and had a fun night despite the gods best efforts.

I can only include one of the images here, because the rest are really hers to use, not mine.

But I like this one. Hope you do too.

We brought the crystal sphere with us to see if it would inspire some creativity and give new purpose to our images.

In truth, it was a challenging past couple of weeks, in the main. Losing MJ threw a damper across my purpose in life and it took a while for me to adjust.

There are moments in all our lives when we derail slightly and life seems to come a little unglued.

The gloss of life seems to disappear and is replaced by a dull pall that distances us from the joys of living.

Over this same period, I had a couple of new kittens stray onto the property, one of who was severely injured and I shed more than a few tears on how cruel life can be to those who don’t deserve such a fate.

But, on each front, I just tucked in my shoulders and tried to push ahead.

These are the defining moments in our lives and not falling down with the weight of them, can be every bit as important as learning to fly when times are good.

Sometimes life follows its own swing and like a pendulum finds its way back to an upward swing. And as long as we are still alive, we get to enjoy the ride.

Other times you have to find an inspiration. Something or someone that causes an inflection in the direction your life is taking.

I was fortunate to find mine this weekend … a casual lunch turning into a new path for my life to follow. I thought I was just having lunch; didn’t realize I was actually at a crossroads in life.

And such is the way … life throws an opportunity your way at the least expected moment.

If you are lying on your back and moaning about the unfairness of it all, you are very likely to miss it. But if you stay on your feet, you might just be able to grab a hold of it and see where it takes you.

Finding inspiration in another is a genuine treasure. You end up drawing strength and purpose from without, when within came up empty.

There is no greater truth than the “no man is an island” and it is important to recognize when you alone are unable to come up with the answers to life’s challenging questions.

So, I guess the moral to today’s thought is to seek inspiration where you can find it. It may be under a nest of leaves and cobwebs in your own yard, or from the helpful hand of your friend. Or, it may just be sitting across the table from you at the Olive Garden.