Trusting my Gut |

Trusting my Gut

I woke up today like I do any other weekday: about thirty minutes before the alarm and annoyed I couldn’t keep sleeping. But sleep is fleeting for me, so I tossed off the covers and dressed in the dark. The morning was like all others. I brushed my teeth, let the dogs outside, filled their food bowls and started making coffee for Handan, Barish and me. Barish was just waking up and heading into the shower. When the coffees were made, I assembled Handan’s lunch and then headed over to my computer for a bit before waking her at 6:00. Barish left at 6:15 to catch the bus to Glastonbury High School, and Handan sat on the sofa with her laptop reviewing yesterday’s blog activity, checking emails and looking at the new posts on our Facebook Group – Just Do it Yourself. At 6:45, I planted the bug in her ear that it was time to leave for work, knowing that she would need another 5-10 minutes before I could herd her out of the house and into the car.

I drive Handan to work and pick her up every day. That’s about 1 1/2 – 2 hours a day shuttling her to and from work, including the time I wait for her in the afternoon. During those drives, I see a lot of interesting things. For the past year or so – ever since I’ve gotten more serious about photography – I’ve been telling myself that I should carry my camera in the car. I’ve seen sunrise full moons that dispel all thought and induce perfect fleeting tranquility. I’ve seen sunrises that robbed the palettes of the Old Masters. I’ve seen autumn splendor so perfect that it defies reason and belief. But I have no photos of any of it. Since this summer, I’ve nearly tossed the camera in the car so many times, but I know myself too well. I’m lazy, and getting a good photo would require pulling over, finding a place to take the pictures, etc etc etc. Every time the thought popped into my head this summer, the lazy slob in my brain rolled off of his imaginary sofa just long enough to beat down the motivated little explorer with a foot-long Italian grinder (also known as a sub, hero, wedge or sandwich, depending on where you live) before returning to his cushioned roost.

This morning I was in the garage and getting in the car when the thought struck again. But this time, I didn’t ignore it or beat it back into submission. This time, I turned around, went back into the house, collected my camera from the tripod, grabbed my wide-angle lens and a camera bag and headed back to the car. Handan looked at the camera bag and then up at me.

“In case I see something interesting to take a picture of.” I said in answer to her unspoken question.

The sky had shed its darkest cloak, but a thick fog obscured what the waning darkness could no longer hide. It wasn’t looking like I’d be using my camera today. As we drove down the hill towards the Connecticut River, the fog gave way to partly cloudy skies. Still, I wasn’t hopeful I’d see anything interesting today.

I dropped Handan off in the southern end of Hartford, then headed back home. As I climbed back up the hill towards our house, I saw that the lingering fog and clouds were doing some wonderful things with the early morning light, but just as I was thinking about a photo opportunity, the fog closed back in, and my world was once again dull, flat light. But just as I approached the top of the hill, and just before I was to turn into my neighborhood, I found myself at the top of the fog bank – the point where fog and sky meet. The sun shone through the fog and clouds as a bright disk the size of a full moon. The landscape was bathed in ethereal light. I could work with this!

Instead of turning left into my neighborhood, I crested the hill and turned right down another street, where I hoped I might find something worthy of a few shutter clicks. I passed a peach farm on my left and stopped at the intersection. Across the road from the peach farm was a horse farm. And there was the sun, struggling to chew through the morning fog and spill its rays across the field of horses.

I turned left and pulled over. I fumbled though my bag and attached the wide-angle lens, walked through the dew-soaked grass to the pasture fence and raised the camera to my eye.

This is what I captured. (Click on photos to enlarge.)

Trusting my Gut | Intuition | Horse Farm | Horses | Sunrise | Foggy Morning | Horses | Trust your feelings |
Trusting my Gut | Intuition | Horse Farm | Horses | Sunrise | Foggy Morning | Horses | Trust your feelings |

If I hadn’t listened to my gut this morning, I would have missed these beautiful shots. God knows how many other shots I’d already missed this year! It got me thinking about intuition and gut feelings and how they are so often right on the money. Though I should know better by now, I still sometimes quash that inner voice and let either my own laziness or fear sway my decisions. Other times, I let other people’s opinions trample my intuition, and that always turns out for the worse. Just recently, Handan and I painted my office. I wanted a light-ish gray trending towards warm. When we got to the Benjamin Moore store, the paint saleslady was crowing about some color that was “all the rage right now – everyone is buying it!” It was nice and all, but it was a cool gray, and I wanted warm. But she kept yammering on about it, and the worm she planted in my ear gnawed its way into my brain and eventually corrupted my thoughts. We ended up buying the paint that she wanted. After the first coat, I hated it. I couldn’t stand looking at it. We had to go out again (to Home Depot this time – call me what you want, but I prefer Behr Marquee over Benjamin Moore’s top-of-the-line any day) so I could have the paint I wanted in the first place. I picked a new color, Handan and I threw it on the walls, and I loved it.

I can go on and on, but I’d rather read some stories from you. Do you have examples of intuition paying off or ignored gut feelings leading to disaster? Please share in the comments!

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  1. Years ago our daughter and son in law came to supper and we always play a few card games . They started to get ready to go home about 9:30 pm and it was about a 20 mile drive to their home.

    A really sick feeling came over me and I just felt so very strange. As they gathered their stuff to depart the feeling got worse.
    I told them something was wrong I didn’t know what but I knew they shouldn’t leave..

    Thankfully they stayed.. I don’t know if something would have happened or not. But when they agreed to spend the night the feeling left..

    I call it God speaking and I’m glad I listened.

    1. Wow, Rita, I’m glad you made them stay! Handan feels like you do, that it is God speaking to her. She always follows those feelings. Thank you for writing!

  2. i am pretty much a gut follower and am so opinionated that no one can talk me out of it lol, and those pics are freaking awesome but why does that horse have a bag over her head?

    1. It’s not a bag. It is a fly mask to keep the bugs out of it’s eyes. I have a horse that is very prone to eye infections because she will rub her face on the trees to scratch and irritate her eyes in the summer months if I do not put a fly mask on her.

    2. Thanks, Chris! As Michelle says, it’s a fly mask. The bag is a very fine mesh, and though it doesn’t seem like it from the picture, the horse can see through it. When I started taking pictures, that horse was far away, as you can see in the first pic, but as I stood at the fence, he walked right up to me.

  3. SOOO glad you listened to your gut, it will never, ever lie to you. Beautiful shots and so right on. Thank you!

    1. Hi Christina, thank you so much! It’s great to see you again, and your timing couldn’t be better. Just yesterday morning, about 12 hours before your comment, Handan said to me, “I haven’t seen Christina from Florida for a while. I hope she’s okay.” I asked her if she wanted me to write to you to check in 😀 You must have picked up on her concern, lol! She worries about you guys!

  4. Very glad you listened! Beautiful shots! And I agree, there is that “other guy” who argues with the gut. I’ve learned the gut really is the better one to listen to. It literally saved my life in one example I recall. A drunk, waiting to make a left, decided to make his break when oncoming traffic was almost in the intersection. I just knew he was going to try so I had my foot off the gas already. The van on the other side of me was not able to avoid being broadsided. I am also glad I stopped and gave a statement. I was called to be a court witness but he apparently pled a deal and I didn’t have to testify. I hope it wasn’t too light, he put a 15 year old kid in the hospital with a head injury.

  5. Beautiful shots! I’m so glad you got those photos…Handan got to see the georgeous sunrise…and us too, of course. 🙂 What a beautiful area to live in..peach farms, horse farms….

  6. Those photos are just beautiful. Please do share more. I am only a stone throw away from you guys here in RI.

      1. Anxious to hear the results. ? I grew up in New London,and Waterford. The ocean is in my dna now,and finally here in Oregon I am only 2 hours at the most from the Oregon coast! And we have gorgeous fall color ,such as I remember in Connecticut!

        1. Hi Bernice – Oh yes, the Oregon coast is incredible! I visited a few times when I lived in San Francisco. I love the northwestern coastline!

  7. The horse is saying – psst! Got any apples?


    Love the photos! However, I wanted to click on the first to make it larger (so it could be my screen saver) but it will not enlarge. Anyway you can send it to me? (for personal use only)

    Vernon CT

  8. Hi Greg, Your photos are just gorgeous! I am in your neck of the woods every week from Waterford to tend to my father in Manchester and I love driving down 83 in the fall. It’s usually in the afternoon, so I can only imagine what it looks like in the morning with the sun just coming up. I bet you could get some really good shots at the golf courses too. Keep listening to your gut, it’s usually right!

    1. Hi Jennifer, we’re just off of rt 94 near Hebron. Absolutely beautiful in the fall! I love all the farms once you crest the top of the hill!

  9. Beautiful pictures!! One afternoon as the sun was setting my best friend and I saw a gorgeous sunset. I had my little digital camera in my purse so we pulled over on the road & i got the most beautiful pictures of the sunset. I too get those gut feelings at times so I try to listen too!! Keep up the good work. It’s enjoyed down here in Southeast Texas!!!

    1. Thank you so much, Linda! Yeah, you never know when you’ll catch that perfect shot! Cheers to Southeast Texas from chilly New England! 🙂

  10. Breathtaking shots.You definitely have “the eye”. Me – not so much, but my son has your touch and many of his photos are handing on my walls. I do have a question about the horse, though I’m sure it’s just an angle thing, but he looks frightfully thin, and as I said, I’m hoping it was the angle.

    1. Thank you, Barb! I’m no horse expert, so I’m not sure what their body shape is, but all the horses were eating grass the whole time I was there.