A Perfect Morning
A few weeks ago, I decided to get up a little early so I could venture out in search of a perfect sunrise. I had no way of knowing if it would happen, but I hoped that some ancient and deep connection with nature would allow intuition to guide me to where I needed to be. OK, fine. I know that’s silly, but who hasn’t had those types of thoughts? I happen to like the idea that there are things beyond our comprehension.
Following a short, ten minute drive from home, I pulled into the parking lot of a nearby neighborhood park. I was searching the area for a nice image as I extended the legs of my tripod and attached my camera. The sky had barely begun to lighten, which gave me the perfect opportunity to improve my low light photography skills.
The lights along the tree covered pathway threw a soft light on the ground, which I thought would make a nice picture. As much as I was excited about getting out early and having the world to myself, I admit to feeling very exasperated by the constant need to put on my glasses to read the camera’s menu, then taking them off to look through the viewfinder. For every time I repeated the movement, my frustration grew. Once you lose your perfect vision, you realize how incredibly fortunate you were to have it in the first place.
Trying to hold on to a sense of serenity, which seemed to quickly be trickling out of my grasp, I noticed a slight orange glow above the tree line. I repositioned the camera and got a few pictures, but it wasn’t really working. It was still a little too dark, there was a distracting object in the middle of the pond, and it just seemed like I had too much water to make a nice image.
Moving the tripod around a little, I still wasn't happy about the set-up, but I began to notice subtle rays of light appearing in the sky. Knowing I wouldn’t have much time, I searched around and found a better location. Then it happened. It wasn’t the golden sunrise I had envisioned, but the light suddenly separated into many beams of light, reaching far into the sky. The shooting light was amplified by its reflection in the pond. It was one of those beautiful moments in life when you feel like you’re standing in the center of the universe.
After seeing the pictures from that morning, I had an idea that I could write a little blog post on the importance of the little things in life. The really big moments are wonderful, but they tend to be few and far between. The small moments are all around us, and all we really need to do to enlarge our happiness and sense of gratitude, is to pay more attention to them.
As I sit here writing this, two weeks to the day since I took those pictures, the Houston area is in the middle of a catastrophe caused by yet another hurricane. Knowing that many houses in that neighborhood have been flooded, I can only assume the little pond I stood next to while watching that beautiful sunrise now looks very different. Sometimes, changed circumstances cause us to see the so-called small moments in a different light. May I remember this lesson.