“Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see a shadow”. –  Helen Keller

Lately I’ve been a lot of looking up. Craning my neck to look up to the sky and watch the clouds move or capture the illustrious hues of a summer sunset in Minnesota. For me, looking up has always been something that inspires me in a metaphorical kind of way. I often think about my favorite Helen Keller quote and of all the obstacles she had to overcome in life to achieve her dreams. I am reminded to look up more often instead of looking down or even worse, away.

Sunset Lake Calhoun, Minneapolis MN

I have been spending a lot more time this summer chasing the sunset. Perhaps getting a new puppy has inspired me to get out even more than I normally do (which is a lot as I love being outside). Yet little did I know how important it was to find peace and beauty each and every day by watching the sunset. Even if I only am there for a few brief moments to look up and capture the spectacular dance of changing colors and light, it has an extraordinary impact on me. I feel lighter footed when I leave and more connected to our planet and the comings and goings of each day. Furthermore, I finally feel at peace. 

“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart”. –  Helen Keller

Sunset on Lake Harriet, Minneapolis MN

With so much sadness, grief, fear and intolerance in the world today these moments spent at the lake watching the sun set reassures me that life will go on and somehow things will be ok. It is a way for me to find peace and leave behind the tragic headlines and sorrow that are hard to escape every time I pass a newsstand, a TV or turn on my computer.

“Until the great mass of the people shall be filled with the sense of responsibility for each other’s welfare, social justice can never be attained”. –  Helen Keller

Sunset on Lake Harriet, Minneapolis MN

Sometimes I wonder how I will ever raise my children to live in a world of so much violence and hate. How to tell them that they shouldn’t fear going to school or the movies or a night club or a peaceful protest. That they shouldn’t ever fear who they are or what they believe in. That they should stand up for what is wrong and what is right. It is an overwhelming feeling to know how much there is to overcome. Yet this is nothing compared to my friends who are different than me because of the color of their skin, their religious beliefs or their sexual identity.

“We may have found a cure for most evils; but we have found no remedy for the worst of them all, the apathy of human beings”. –  Helen Keller

Sunset on Lake Harriet, Minneapolis MN

I’ve got my work cut out for me as a parent. I just have to remember to not feel so powerless and helpless about the current state of affairs. I know I’m only one person but hopefully using my voice in a silent protest will make a difference even if it is small. It is better than saying nothing at all.

“It is a terrible thing to see and have no vision”. –  Helen Keller


As I remember all the senseless deaths our country has tragically faced and the awful rise of intolerance, I will try my best to fight and keep my face to the sky. If I look away, nothing will change.

This post was inspired by the Weekly Photo Challenge; Look Up and is dedicated to all senseless losses which sadly are too many to name. 



  1. Puppppppppppppppppy. Looks like my bestia from behind. <3 Never possible to stay gloomy for long with a new life like that. No matter what reality might be.

  2. What a beautiful and inspiring post Nicole. You have echoed my sentiments exactly. Helen Keller was such a wise woman, her words are so apt for today’s harsh world. Take care and keep inspiring your children by the way you live. I have no doubt they’ll grow up to be wonderful human beings doing good things in the world.

    1. Oh thanks Miriam! I felt a little bit like my post was a rant but I just get so frustrated by all that goes on. I remember reading a lot about how the gun laws changed in Australia and how there has been very little violence since then. I just don’t understand it here Miriam.

      1. It wasn’t a rant and you have every right to express yourself. I think I’d feel the same way if I lived over there. I must admit I’ve never understood the very liberal gun laws in America. There’s still violence in Australia too but it’s not nearly as prevalent.

  3. I haven’t been able to find the words, but you’ve said it all beautifully. Thank you.

  4. You are an excellent parent Nicole, so just keep on facing the sun. It’s the best you can do. Some beautiful photographs here. I especially like the third and last ones.

    1. Thanks Janet! I’ve been spending a lot of time capturing the sunset for Instagram. It has inspired me to get down there every night for which I am so grateful.

  5. Your photos are exquisite.

    It’s difficult to stay hopeful with all the terrible things that are going on, but they are the things that get reported. Most of the good things that happen every day don’t. So this imbalance can make things seem really hopeless.

    1. Very true! That is half the reason I started my blog five years ago. I felt tired of reading so much sadness and knew there were some amazing stories out there that were never shared. That is why I include my social good pieces and interviews on non profits who are doing some incredible things. Thanks for the comment! 😊

  6. Such an inspiring post. Nicole. Your sunset Images are truly beautiful, and the Helen Keller quotes, always so relevant. It’s very challenging bringing up children in today’s uncertain world, but with your excellent core values and example, I’m sure you’re doing a great job. xx

  7. Nicole these are inspirational quotes and photos in a time of such horror. As Sylvia said above with your role modeling your children will be great. Your kind and generous heart, caring for others around the world this is what they will be showered with.

  8. This is a wonderful post Nicole and expresses the sentiment of so many of us. You are such a wonderful role model who will guide your children through all the turmoil in the world today.

    1. Oh thanks LuAnn. I try. It is hard but I do think teaching children respect, kindness and tolerance is a critical first step. Sadly many children learn hatred and racism from their parents and the cycle continues.

      1. That is so true. It seems this political campaign cycle is shining a light on some of the abhorrent human behavior. I find it very troubling.

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