Saturday, September 24, 2011

Take Time to Stop and... Take a Picture!

Sunset’s brilliant colors distracted me early yesterday evening while driving past a field on Rt. 510. Stunning reds, pinks, yellows, blues, and purples caught my attention, particularly because the sunsets at my home are somewhat marred by the presence of houses and power lines crossing the horizon. Only a few cows heading homeward at day’s end blocked the rays, and I drove in a rather distracted fashion as I enjoyed the view.
Out of milk, water, dog food, and other essentials, I was anxious to get to the store, and I squelched my impulse to pull over and take a photo. I noted the camera sitting on the seat next to me and asked myself, “Why do I carry my camera everywhere I go if I’m not going to stop and take pictures?” I drove into the first available parking lot, turned around, and pulled over onto the west side of Rt. 510 so I would have the best-possible angle. The best-best-possible angle would have involved getting out of the car, but tall grass possibly hiding snakes and fire ants from my flip-flop-shod feet meant I took photos from the car window.
I’m happy I stopped and took the pictures, if only because I paused to do something I enjoy. Sometimes, I avoid taking photos because I want to stay in the moment, to simply be where I am. Other times, I want to capture a moment. Later, as I reflect and remember as I view photos, I am grateful I saved a piece of life, that I have tangible form of a memory.
I drove past this rock on Longley Road in Groton, Massachusetts, hundreds of times. When I knew it would be at least a year before I saw it again, I stopped and took the picture.

Pictures can show us places we love that we are leaving...

And pictures can show us places we love to which we are returning...

Pictures can capture a bit of humor when we find nature's creatures in odd places and man-made creatures in odd places...

Life in the twenty-first century means cameras are ubiquitous, in phones, in cars, in computers, on traffic lights, in places we are unaware of their presence, and that’s not always a good thing. However, saving a piece of life, to share, to reflect, to laugh, to ponder, to remember... is life-affirming and life-enriching. Most of us have a camera. Why not stop and take that picture?

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