I know this is a rather strange photo above. It is me looking through a set of windchimes in my yard. I had a thought while I was framing it. These snapshots are absentminded that I take almost daily. They are random. But sometimes they teach you something you just need to know. This shot, once I had it in the camera frame, said, “When you’re looking at something in life, note what’s in the background. Because that is part of the story. In essence, it is also part of the answer you are seeking.”
Last night I stood in the darkness at my front gate, arms folded over it, and stared up at the full moon through the pine trees overhead. And the thought occurred to me: “You are in the full moon of your life.”
And so I am. I am 51 years old. This was ripe with meaning for me.
I have been dealing with chest pain and asthma for a good month. When you find it hard and painful to take a deep breath, you all of a sudden realize that those easy and painfree breaths you take day in and day out are everything. I don’t know if this was coincidental or not. But last night, after that thought, I began to relax. And I realized that I’d been holding my body tight as a stretched rubber band for who knows how long now. Anticipating events that may or may not happen. And that’s just not really living to the fullest.
I’ve been perched on the edge of my seat, awaiting what might come with dread and anxiety. And forgot all about the moment.
I have been doing stretching exercises for my back twice per day for over eleven years now. To help with the pain. And this keeps my body relaxed, and less prone to injury.
I thought, maybe that’s what I need to do with my mind. Make myself stop, breathe in deeply, be fully in the moment, and enjoy it. Yes, what may or may not come to pass in this relationship may not be affected by this. But I will be taking back control of my life. My mental health. My emotional survival.
You hurry along, and miss the snapshots that can be beautiful in their simplicity because you try to get the whole visual in perspective. You want to show viewers what you see. But by focusing in on the smallest of details, you find something you never even noticed before.
And quite frankly, it’s all in the way you frame the shot. It’s all in the way you live in the moment. Because all we really have is the journey. And at the end of that journey, if we haven’t enjoyed the everyday ride, then we have missed the entire event.
I tell everyone else to “stop and smell the roses.” But I haven’t been doing it myself. I’ve been looking past today and what’s in the camera frame right now, and worrying and pissing it all away on what may happen tomorrow.
I truly am glad to be the age I am. I’m not embarrassed to tell how old I am, and I’m not going to do a thing about those wrinkles becoming more evident every day. Because with age comes a certain wisdom. A slowing down. And all the quotes you gather over the years; you realize that those people were just trying to tell you: “hey, this is what you’ll learn, as I have.”
I leave you today with sage words from Anna Eleanor Roosevelt:
“Life was meant to be lived, and curiousity must be kept alive. One must never, for whatever reason, turn his back on life.”