The December 2012 issue contained the story of two men setting out to document all 39 species of birds of paradise. It took 9 years, 18 expeditions, and 39,000 photographs, but they did it. Pictured here is a greater bird of paradise performing a courtship display on a treetop on Wokam Island, south of New Guinea.

Paradise Found

The December 2012 issue contained the story of two men setting out to document all 39 species of birds of paradise. It took 9 years, 18 expeditions, and 39,000 photographs, but they did it. Pictured here is a greater bird of paradise performing a courtship display on a treetop on Wokam Island, south of New Guinea.
Photograph by Tim Laman, Nat Geo Image Collection

31 serene photos from the Nat Geo archives that will bring you peace of mind

And just like that, 2022 is here. It can feel as though time is passing by at a speed faster than we can keep up with, and I know many are already feeling exhausted at the start of this new year. But as I have said to many others, and to myself: just take a deep breath and take it one day at a time.

By slowing down, you have time to recognize moments of sweet harmony or appreciate the strength in recovery. You can also take a second to celebrate some milestones that you might have missed. So, as I returned to the National Geographic archives for this month’s selection, I searched for images with three words in mind: rest, recovery, and reflection.

Starting off the month with a fresh and bright start is Tim Laman’s image of a greater bird of paradise in golden lighting performing a courtship display on a treetop on Wokam Island, south of New Guinea.

Nat Geo explorer Ami Vitale’s image of Hungarians relaxing in the waters of the Széchenyi baths in Budapest reminds us to let go of the tensions that we may not have realized were building up.

Annie Griffith’s photograph of men diving into a swimming hole at the top of Victoria Falls in Zambia seems like a cold shock to the system, but also prompts us to pause, then confidently dive head-first into this new year.

As we continue into this year, my hope is that we all embrace the slower moments—and find some time to rest.

Heather Kim is the editor for Photo of the Day. Melody Rowell writes and researches the captions.

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