Just before sunrise yesterday, I found myself on the trails at Circle B Reserve. The morning fell into the “simply stunning” category as the freshness of a morning chill was compounded by the clearest of blue skies and the awakening stirring of a host of little creatures.
This time of year opens up the “Reasons I live in Florida” book, right on page one. There is nowhere else on the planet that can produce a day quite like this one.
I have often felt revived by days like this in the past and this morning’s trail was one such moment. It awakened within me a feeling of encouragement again for this new year.
At the end of this post are some of the images from the awakening. I hope you enjoy!
What struck me though, even as I took the images was that no matter how good they turned out to be, they would never be enough to tell the story of the experience. There is so much that even the best cameras in the world cannot capture.
They totally miss out on the sounds and scents, we all know that. They also miss out on the feeling of the moment. The presence that we experience when we stand there bearing witness to something wonderful without being able to capture it.
I guess it is some sort of stimulus to the brain that creates a sense of exhilaration or contentment or just a “wow” that we experience.
I mean, how is any device expected to catch something like that?
And at that moment when we feel it, we think and hope that we will never forget about it. We rush to share it with whoever might listen and we try to record it in whatever way we can.
From a first kiss to a first loss and everything in between, our life is made up of such moments.
Our brain tries its hardest to create the memory but as we get older, we find that most memories become factual and less about the emotion. We try to remember what it meant, opening that special present under the tree when we were five or six. But most of us are lucky to even remember what that present was.
How can an old man ever attach the feeling of a five or six-year-old wide-eyed-innocent to a memory to make it real again? Truth is we can’t and so we create devices to try to capture the memory.
It might be something written down or photographed but no matter how verbally eloquent the writer or brilliant the photographer, the true moment is lost forever.
In olden days in Ireland, thousands of years ago, they relied on poet/storytellers called a seanchaÃ to recreate the memories of moments and facts.
These men of words would meet every year and retell their stories to each other, adding color and emphasis, inflection and facial expressions to retell something that happened so that it could be passed on from generation to generation.
And to a certain degree it worked as facts got passed on, albeit colored by the enthusiasm of the teller.
The written word and books brought an end to that aspect of memories and while to a certain degree it carried forward the factual aspect of the memory, it totally lost the sense and wonder of what a moment really meant or felt like.
Cameras do their best and of course we have all heard the old phrase “a picture is worth a thousand words” but what I have arrived at is really that a shared memory is worth a thousand pictures.
So at the end of the day, as we go through our lives journeying through our own string of moments, it seems to me that the best way for us to remember them is to actually share them.
Whether you are fortunate enough to have someone by your side as you experience them, or whether you gather your seanchai friends around a fire and trade stories, the real magic in memories is their sharing!
Have a wonderful week!