Yesterday, while writing in my Journal, I heard from within, ‘get your camera and go somewhere to capture today’s sunset.’ I heard the idea, thought how nice that would be, and kept on writing; quiet time like this was rare and I didn’t want to waste a minute of it.
Fifteen minutes later, I heard it again, and remembered that this year I am going to act on Inspiration when it whispers; I looked at the time and put down my pen – it was 4:45pm, I’d better hurry.
As I hurriedly dressed for the cold outside, I planned where I would go to capture beautiful scenery as well as the setting sun; it seldom takes time for my mind to assert control, wrestling guidance away from Inspiration.
Pulling out of the driveway, I noted the sun was already preparing its descent, I would not make it to my planned location on time.
‘Go to the lake down the road, you can park at the Church and walk from there,’ I heard whispered from within. I got out of the car as soon as I’d parked for the sun was setting and I worried that I would miss it.
As I fretted that I’d chosen the wrong location, that I wasn’t tall enough to see the sun setting behind objects on the horizon (can you imagine??) and that I was going to fail on my first ‘spontaneous mission’ – Mindfulness tapped my shoulder.
‘Get out of your own way, this could be about more than just the sunset.’
I turned around and walked down to the lake. As I passed my car, I recalled the many times I had parked here when my daughters were babies. They are 18 months apart in age and several times each week we would go on an afternoon adventure. Sometimes I would take them to parks or libraries that required a bit of a drive – and I would bring my Journal in case they both drifted into sleep on the way back home. When this happened, I would pull into this church parking lot, look out toward the lake and write in my Journal while my daughters slept. One or the other would generally awaken within 20 minutes of dozing off, and that was okay.
Walking with my camera, I remembered when we would pack snacks in a lunch bag and ride our bikes to this lake. We’d sit on the grass, eat our ‘picnic’ and throw bread crusts to the ducks. (You could do that back then, later we all learned that this was not good for the ducks.)
I looked up and gasped, this tree seemed rooted in something that was lighting it up from the inside. I recalled what inspired this trip in the first place, and marvelled at the source that lights us too, when we remember to plug in.
The beauty all around me humbled me. My attempts to orchestrate the ‘sunset mission’ felt silly. Had I continued, look at all I’d have missed.
This stepping back in time, remembering moments that filled my heart while also bringing such purpose to my life rippled quietly through me as I admired the lake’s water colour wonder.
All the significant, insignificant
stuff of my life.”
Time moves on and we drift from moment to moment, decade to decade, role to role. And in all of it, there can be found Beauty and Wonder and Awe.
As I drove home, I felt so grateful – for all I could put words to, and for all that defies description. And as I captured the sunset above, I gave thanks for my capacity to
Hold what lightens and softens my life, ever so briefly at the end of the day.”