Today, I went to the waterfront. Alone. Armed with my coffee, my camera, and a good book, I set out for a peaceful couple of hours. As I neared the water, something wasn’t quite right. There were people there! Hordes of people. As I slowly drove along the road to my secret parking spot, I felt disappointment (with a side of mild resentment). Here I was ready for a peaceful visit to my coveted water only to find I had to share it.
I parked my car, gathered all my necessities and headed toward my spot, hoping that no one was there. I hoped I could find a bench overlooking the waterbreak and the rocky shore. Being that my spot was on the fringes of the path, I was able to snag it.
As I sat there nursing my coffee and half-reading my book, I started to pay more attention to my surroundings. The father throwing rocks into the lake with his daughter. The older couple parking their bicycles while chatting about the latest happenings of a TV show. The woman walking her dog along the waves, it occasionally jumping in and splashing her. I noticed the robin tentatively approaching me in search of a worm. The many sailboats on the horizon and the motorboats sailing past them. I wanted to be on a boat. Any boat.
I soaked it in, shaking my initial territorial reaction and its accompanying resentment. I closed my book, chugged my almost-cold coffee, and pulled out my camera. I don’t fancy myself a photographer. I like taking pictures, but truth be told, I have no clue what I’m doing. Nonetheless, I set out on a quest to capture the moments. There is something about having a camera on hand that makes me more aware of the little things. The things I usually take for granted. The beauty in the mundane.
A brave bird.
The view from my bench
The texture of the bark of a tree many years my senior.
As people whizzed past me on their bicycles, inline skates, scooters, and sneakers, I couldn’t help thinking that they were missing out. That if only they’d stop for a minute, they’d see – and maybe, just maybe, appreciate the world around them. They had other things on their minds, I’m sure. Places to go, times to beat, heart rates to raise.
When I stop. When I look. When I listen, everything becomes so much clearer. The moments seem to last longer. It is apparent to me that I need to do this more often. I need to check out of my head and truly observe. Truly be aware. And, truly appreciate the world in which I live.
How do you connect to the world around you? How do you capture moments?
More moments, captured. sarahcasm’s Flickr