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  • Diane L. Dunton

Capturing Curiosity


The rays of early morning sunshine had just emerged over the rooftop of our lakeside home. “Do you see the light in that tree,” I asked my husband as we sipped our morning coffee from the deck.

“What light?” he asked.

I pointed to a stand of tall pines. “See where the sun is hitting something and it is creating a bright light? Come sit by me and take a look.”

“Oh, I see it now,” he said. “That’s pine sap dripping and collecting on the tree bark.”

It’s difficult to predict the way light falls, but I knew this moment would be transitory as the sun continued to move higher in the late summer sky. Wanting to capture the striking image, I ran inside and grabbed what could be described as my third hand, as my camera is never far from me. The shutter clicking rapidly, I managed to shoot the arresting image just before the light shifted.

Pausing, noticing, acting and reflecting is what I call “capturing curiosity.” I am curious about what I see, hear, and experience. I am curious about potentials. And so I carve out space in my life to pause and take notice of people and surroundings. I act—often by simply asking questions—and then reflect on the meaning of what I’m hearing or experiencing. Sometimes, as was the case on this particular morning by the lake, I capture my curiosity through the lens of my camera.

Whenever I work with new clients, my curiosity prompts me to ask many questions. Through the answers they provide, they paint the stories of their lives. I want to understand what has brought them to my door. I want to understand what they want for their personal lives and professional careers. What are they curious about themselves? What questions do they want to find answers to as they seek new paths in life?

In a first of its kind study on curiosity conducted by the University of Buffalo, researchers concluded that there is a direct relationship between an individual’s curiosity and the degree to which they experience happiness and personal growth. One may wonder why a study would be necessary to conclude what seems obvious, that seekers are more likely to find answers to what they are seeking, but think about it. Children naturally exhibit high levels of curiosity about the world. The same blanket statement cannot be made about adults. Yet sustaining the natural curiosity we are born with throughout life is imperative in order to continue to grow. We need to foster and encourage our own curiosity.

What inspires curiosity in you?

Disclosure: In my eagerness to get the shot, I unwittingly moved ever so slightly. The resulting image was a bit blurry and didn't capture the brilliance I'd hoped to convey of sun-on-sap. The excellent photo used here was taken by TechPhotoGal and used under CC License BY 2.0.

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