Life-saving Moments

As weeks go, this one won’t have won many awards in the Ronan family. Negative energy abounded, bad news broke, and demoralization seemed to be “modus operandi” for most of us.

So when the chance to do a sunset shoot came along last night, I jumped at the opportunity. The babies had been fed, work completed, and responsibilities all ticked off. Even the heavy threatening clouds above couldn’t dissuade us and we cavalierly jumped into the car and headed off for Picnic Island.

My dear friend Kelsi is visiting at the moment and she is as adventurous as her name is unique. So risking witnessing only a downpour rather than a sunset, she hopped in the car with a “ready when you are, Neville” and off we went.

It was about an hour of drive and the dark horizon with torrential rain happening in every view, played second fiddle to the wonderful music and the great conversation.

Tennyson’s “Charge of the Light Brigade” very much sprang to mind as lightning to the left and thunder to the right made the journey feel very much like a fools charge.

But we didn’t care. Our optimism in catching something outshone the dark skies and even if we didn’t what was the worst that could happen … being stuck in the car for a couple of hours with a lovely young lady? I can live with that one.

As we reached the beach at Picnic Island, the heavy rains seemed largely to be on the opposite side of the bay and they gave a lovely perspective to the horizon as they fell from the cloud cover to the shores beneath.

While the cloud cover did in fact mostly stay there as the sun fell, fortune would have it that there was one section of the sky that lit up beautifully as the sun fell to earth.

I managed to get a few shots showing its better moments and have attached them at the end of the blog for you to enjoy. I hope you do.

We certainly did. There were several moments where there was no click of shutter and we just watched what was happening in front of us while breathing in the evening beauty.

So, it was really first thing this morning when I awoke and began to process the thought in this blog. It dawned on me that I had had a restful sleep for the first time this week and my mind wasn’t haunted to awakening by incessantly negative thoughts.

All the week’s prior issues had been bathed in the warm colors of a friend’s company and an invigorating sunset.

There is little doubt in my mind that without both, my sleep would have continued to be disrupted and so in every sense of the phrase, last night was certainly a life-saving moment.

Life saving can be literal inasmuch as our physical life is endangered and then rescued, but more importantly the life we want to live can be threatened by negativity and therefore equally needs saving.

In the past couple of hundred years, life-saving medicines and surgeries along with foods and living practices, have extended the lives of humans to where we now routinely live twenty years longer than our grandparents.

Yet, in many ways we have taken much of the quality from our life in the process. Family meals are almost a thing of the past (at least in the sense that they used to be) and productivity pressures from an increased workload have added untold stresses to our suddenly longer lives.

Little things such as bonding with nature, family time, relaxation and reading time, have arguably been replaced with fast-food-entertainment and the farming-out of family time to third parties (such as TV, video games, internet).

We have become the proverbial rat in the rat race as we rush from wakening to sleep trying to be as productive as possible.

Kelsi quickly pointed out to me earlier today, that while we try to maximize every living minute, cats manage to rest and sleep on average 16 hours per day.

Meanwhile, I truthfully believe that one day, humans will invent an alternative to sleep and the “Open 24 hours a day” sign will apply to more than just Walmart.

So is sleep and rest the enemy? I don’t think so.

I think this is part of the system of balance that keeps a quality of life in consideration and not just a quantity as a goal.

For life to have real quality, we need to offer more than simply productivity. Multi-tasking is not necessarily a positive development, even though our brains can typically handle it.

No, quality of life is largely about doing things in our life that we enjoy with people (or creatures) that we love. Like last night for me with Kelsi. Photography, sunset, beach, and the company of a special friend. At the end of my week, it was most definitely life-saving.

I hope your weekend affords you the chance to step away from the rat race a little and find your life, share it with someone special, and breathe it deep into your soul.

Just a thought …