Christi, a Ruralite reader from the Oregon Coast, found herself stuck in Phoenix during the early days of the pandemic as a new gloom cast its shadow over the land.

“I occupied my time by going on long walks,” the retired educator shares. One day she was standing on a freeway overpass, she recalls, “when I saw dark clouds one way and the bright sun the other way.”

At that very moment, an epiphany occurred. She snapped a photo with her iPhone and made a post for family and friends on Facebook and Instagram. She titled it: “Looking for the good on my walks.”

“From that day forward, it reinforced that there is good if you just look, even in a pandemic,” she says. “I figured this was something I would do for a little while and then move on.”

Turns out, her upbeat posts took on a life of their own. It doesn’t hurt that Christi is a capable photographer who splits her time between the desert and ocean, providing ample opportunities for inviting photos. Friends have even shared their own pictures on hikes as they look for the good.

“People told me that they looked forward to my posts to cheer them up,” says Christi, who counts her blessings in life. “They like the positive messages.”

Positivity, it turns out, is contagious.