Life is never truly still.
Slight movements surround us, always. There are interruptions to our meditations, sounds and distractions. Breath means movement.
While practicing using my neutral density filter, I left my camera focused on the pool for a few minutes to go help my son clean the car. I had just tripped the shutter on a 30-second exposure when he called for me.
My daughter, thinking she’d be funny, attempted to capture a selfie on my camera while I was gone.
The stillness of the shot captured her movement in front of the camera, a faint purple haze in front of the pool.
When I was choosing a photo for this entry, my initial thought was to use this first image, as I felt it showed stillness well:
However, it occurred to me that the challenge of being still is to accept the constant movement surrounding us. Instead of ruining the image, my daughter inadvertently created a metaphor.
Nothing – not even stillness – is perfect. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
September is here. And with it, new activities, schedules, homework, packing lunches, and hectic mornings. In a small attempt to take the quiet moments of summer with me, I have compiled a list of things I have learned about appreciating the small details. With any luck, I will remember a few in the midst of rushing the kids from one commitment to the next. Here’s what I came up with:
Ten Ways to Enjoy the Little Things
1. Look for small details. There is beauty everywhere. The daisy poking through the sidewalk, the peeling paint on a door, the reflection of light in the teapot.
2. Close your eyes. Listen to every sound.
3. Pick up your pen. Write about everything, including the dust on the bookshelf and the dishes in the sink. There is a story there.
4. Go out with your camera. It helps to focus and be in the moment.
5. Be still. Stop rushing and notice the surroundings.
6. Go for a walk. Breathe deeply. Look and listen.
7. Read poetry. It celebrates the little things.
8. See the world through a child’s eyes. Everything is delightful to a toddler discovering the world.
9. Get up earlier than everyone else in the house. Listen to the quiet. Watch the sun come up. Savour the taste of coffee.
10. Turn off the computer, the tablets, the phones. What have you been missing?