My preferred title for this post was “when did I stop taking the photos”. But I changed my mind because my moment of introspection and this write-up happened on a recent train journey from Wolverhampton/Birmingham to Edinburgh. On our trip to Birmingham, my daughter who loves taking photos kept showing me pictures of the landscape she had taken on her mobile phone. By the way, she takes really good pictures. So, it was easy to praise her efforts. However, my obligatory wonderment as she proudly showed me her work were interspersed with yawns and sighs of tiredness. The truth was I was exhausted and just wanted to catch up on some sleep on the train journey. My main worry was how to get the best sleeping position without a stiff neck at the same time. I worried little about the beauty my daughter was trying to capture.
On the journey back, she was at it again, taking shot after shot, trying different angles and as usual with some lovely results. She shared with me lots of photos of the sprawling countryside and wispy clouds. I saw that she had taken one solitary photo of me, head bowed, in deep sleep. It struck me at that moment that a couple of train journeys ago, my daughter was me, captivated with capturing the fleeting beauty of natures’ grandeur on display as we journeyed on the road or rail. While I still love observing nature, my rather indifferent attitude to my erstwhile favourite pastime on trips made me pause and reflect – it made me think about life and living.
I wondered whether we stop to take notice of the moment when we stop noticing the small things in life which give us joy when we are caught up in the busyness of living.
Life has been called a stage. It is also an adventure. The adventure in life is not always about the “big” moments. Many little moments are lost in the momentum of daily living.
As I penned my thoughts darkness shrouded the clouds. The rest of the journey to Edinburgh sails smoothly in a cabin infused with artificial light and silent commuters. Even my daughter had stopped taking pictures. For her, I suppose there is no fun in documenting the nightly canopy. She’s preoccupied with creating a plasticine figure.
I still love to take photographs of my fleeting glimpse of the moods of the firmament. I hope to take more daylight photos during future journeys through beautiful countryside. I do not want to be overwhelmed to the extent that I would stop taking notice of the beauty around – the joys in the little moments.
There will be other journeys. But on that train back to Edinburgh, I still took a photo. At that moment, the scenery was not the main reason I took the photo. The photo symbolised an affirmation to myself that I paused to look at what was right there within my sights. It’s just a little moment in time – in life. There is always work that needs to be done. But, could or would you pause today to enjoy something you consider as life’s little gift?