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  • Writer's pictureJosiah Travis

Introducing Holly Keyser

As we enter into the new year I am finally getting around to doing something that has been in my imagination since last fall. I let the fullness of life prevent me from making it happen until now, but from the time I started thinking about a blog where I might share beauty that I see in the world--I was also thinking about friends of mine who might contribute too. I have friends who see beauty, create beauty, and have brought wonderful beauty into my life. I thought, "Maybe we can do this together. Maybe they'll contribute to this little project I've started." Amazingly, as I reached out to these friends they were excited to contribute. I hope that you'll enjoy seeing the would through their eyes as much as I do.

This week I'm excited to be introducing you to my friend Holly today. Holly and I were students at Ashland Theological Seminary together until she graduated last spring. During that time my wife Laura and I came to consider Holly and her husband John to be some of our dearest friends. We have journeyed though joys and sorrows and have found in each other the sort of friends who give us the feeling of "home." We are so blessed by them!

As I mentioned before, it was a dream of mine even before launching this website for it to be a space where I could share the beautiful work of others and for it to be a space where others might consistently share the beauty that they see in the world. From the start, Holly was on that short list of names. As a gifted writer and observer of the world, I know she will be an incredible blessing to you as she shares her own reflections on the world she sees.

Holly and her husband John are adventurers and travelers. They spent their first month of marriage traveling all over the United States so they could explore some of the most beautiful places our nation has to offer. John and Holly's latest adventure took them backpacking through the Swiss Alps!

Yet, Holly doesn't need to travel to exotic places to find beauty. One of the things I love most about her is that she can just as easily marvel over a small flower in a nearby meadow as she can marvel over the Swiss Alps.

Holly is known for taking looonnng sloooooww walks through nature "meeting" every single flower, bush, leaf, bug, and animal along the way. She has a capacity for experiencing child-like wonder that seems to come naturally. Holly stops to see and wonder over things that many others would pass right by. And even as this seems to come naturally to Holly, I know that her ability to see is something that she has intentionally cultivated. She practices seeing; she practices being present in beautiful moments; and she practices finding the presence of God in experiences of life where beauty is hard to find.

I took these photos of Holly at a recent wedding that Laura and I got to attend with her and her husband John. I think they turned out amazing. (It helps that it is pretty much impossible to take a bad picture of Holly). I wish we had been able to take some photos in Holly's more natural habitat (picture a field full of wildflowers), but as it turns out Holly's joy shines through wherever she is. Stay tuned for an upcoming post from Holly and make sure you take the time to tell her if it blesses you.


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