This photo is one many people would ignore. An accidental picture probably taken while adjusting camera settings or the inadvertant push of a button.
Except this picture was intentionally taken and makes me think.
Who left those footprints? Where were they going? What thoughts weighed heavy on their mind as they walked the beach?
To me, this picture is a thought provoker. As I stare at it, ideas and scenarios rush through my brain. A lonely woman, walking the shore line and wondering if she will ever find the love she so desperately needs. A widower, mourning his long-dead wife and preparing to finally spread her ashes in the place she loved the best as a final act of healing. What if they met?
What about a teenager? Forced on vacation with his parents - equally resentful and pleased to be at the beach. He walks as a way to escape what he percieves as smothering, his anger not as focused now as it had been when he left. What if he finds something? A small treasure that has the power to change his life - even if he doesn't know how. What would the treasure be? A Genie bottle? An oddly shaped stone that connects him with another time and place?
I could go on. And on. But I won't. That little glimpse into my brain is probably already too much.
As writers, we find inspiration in odd places. The abandoned car alongside the highway, the lonely old barn, the dead cat in the middle of the road...really just about any thing or any place can spark a story idea, a scene idea or give us what we needed to tie up the plot. Sometimes, we have to force ourselves to remember to take time to look around, to get out in the world and experience even the mundane.
If you're a writer, you have been reminded.
If you're not, you now have experienced a small sample of the inner workings of my brain - as scary as it may be to you. I'm not saying all writers think like me, but I know for a fact many do. Be kind to us.