Stolen Moments

Yesterday evening as a special getaway treat, I decided to head down to Ballast Pointe in Tampa to see if I could get some decent lightning shots. The weather channel seemed to indicate that there might be some late afternoon activity but they were wrong and all I got from the high winds on the pier was a bunch of dust on my lens.

Plan B saw me heading back to the car and driving off to Westshore to watch the sun go down at Picnic Island. It’s a city-run park with a modest, but west-facing, beach and there are rarely many people there.

I managed to get a few decent shots of some palm trees, sea-grape bushes and some lovely little yellow flowers growing wild among the dunes. But what really caught my attention was a young couple struggling onto the beach with a couple of paddle-boards and various bits and pieces. When they reached the water’s edge, I spotted a little service dog that was with them and noticed that the guy had one of those boots on … the kind that you use if you have a broken leg or foot.

I watched his struggle and even offered to help but was politely declined. He and his partner pushed off out into the bay and the dog jumped aboard as they paddled slowly along the shoreline, about a hundred yards off shore. Later when I saw them return, the sun was close to setting and I waited until they got in line with the sun to get the images below that I did.

As I drove away, I did so, pleased with the images that Plan B had produced but more importantly in admiration of the way he overcame the limitations that his injury placed on him and got on with what was important to him.

We have all encountered people (sometimes even ourselves) who allow life to be derailed by injuries and illnesses. It’s easy to find a reason not to do something and when presented with something iron-clad like an injury, many of us recede to the comfort of a sofa or bed and let life pass us by.

There are those that milk their injury turning it into a prolonged crutch that not only affects what they can do, but also their mood and general outlook.

But then there are those who seem to take such things in their stride and they pull on their big-girl panties and just get on with it!

It’s not about bravado, but about establishing what is important in your life and how committed you are to doing it. For this young couple, they clearly established the importance of sharing a sunset on their paddle-boards with Tommy (lovely name for a lovely little dog) and they weren’t going to be put off by a broken foot.

As I turned to walk away from the final shot, I heard his gentle laugh and her words of love as they leaned in and shared a kiss. And I delighted in their moment that will live in their memories long after the foot is fixed.

Life is full of moments. I’ve said this before. And it behooves us to make sure that we live and cherish as many of them as we can. Reasons to not do something will always exist but in the end they are little more than moment-thieves.

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