While my intention last night was to shoot lightning, there wasn’t any. And so, I had to settle for a crappy ol’ sunset.

OK, it wasn’t really crappy but I was annoyed at myself because the previous night when there was lightning, I completely screwed up my shoot and so this was supposed to be my make-up session.

But sometimes (oftentimes actually) things don’t necessarily go according to plan and so I found myself all set up for a lightning shoot, down at Picnic Island, without a storm cloud to aim for.

In truth, it was still a lovely hour or two and I am so glad that I made the trip. The sky gave me some lovely yellows and golden to play with and the little smattering of people on the water gave me some accessories to my shots.

So, all in all, I shouldn’t complain. Oh wait, I do have one complaint. Right at the end when the sun was doing its most evocative transition below the horizon, Miki Mosquito and all his family, as well as the Noseeums from next door came out and decided to attack me. They were relentless.

That any of those final shots came out in focus is testament to the fast shutter speed and not my steady hands, because I was being dive-bombed and hurting in a stressful way.

Anyway, I do hope you enjoy the collection at the end of the blog … they show the whole transition through colors quite well and while there aren’t really any reds on show, it was still worth capturing.

So, I drove away quite happy with the evening, all told, and as I was driving home I began to think about how being alone and being lonely are very different things.

I’ve mostly been alone in life for the past few months and while there are times that translated to loneliness, last night wasn’t one of them.

Being alone, meant that I had to add some energy to the momentum needed to get in the car and drive to Picnic Island. When it is just you, it is always easier to talk yourself out of doing something.

And being alone meant that other than through this particular means, I wasn’t able to share the awe of the evening with someone. There is no doubt that when I have had someone with me at times like this, the company enhances the colors, the freshness of the air, and the general feeling of a wonderful moment.

But that doesn’t mean that the moment loses everything when you are alone.

Learning to appreciate your own company is a valuable skill and allows you to savor moments for what they are. There is no pining for anyone to be with you and your own enjoyment becomes a strong enough flavor to create happiness.

I find that when you focus on whatever the event is (a sunset, a book, a movie) then experiencing it alone is still enjoyable. It’s like drinking a milk-shake without the whipped cream on top … the flavor is still the same and it is still your own taste that decides whether you enjoy it or not.

Some people convince themselves that they need somebody always and that their happiness depends on others. But in truth, our happiness comes from within.

People in this mode often bounce from one bad relationship to another because they can’t stand being alone and they equate it to loneliness that begets sadness.

But I don’t believe in that approach to life.

I think you have to love yourself. Not as much as the dotard does, obviously, but enough so that when you are alone that you can still breathe, still enjoy, still smile. You don’t have to be a narcissist to enjoy your own company.

When we convince ourselves otherwise, we do ourselves a real disservice and it can lead us in so many wrong directions.

I suspect at the end of the day on our deathbed, if we look back over our lives, the one person we were with most throughout it all, is ourselves. If we didn’t love ourselves, then we managed to live a life with someone we didn’t love. What kind of life would that be?

… just a thought!