It was a last-minute decision yesterday that took me to Marsh Rabbit Trail at Circle B.
I had originally planned a restful day with nothing on my agenda but once I saw the way the day was shaping up with a gorgeous blue-sky day unfolding, I felt guilty at letting it just pass me by. I needed to do something constructive and a few hours in one of my favorite places in the world would help me build towards the week ahead.
There is a lot of shit happening (good and bad) and I wanted to equip my soul with the weapons to tackle whatever the week throws at me.
The images I took along the trail became a real challenge as I focused more on the small birds this time, rather than their bigger cousins. And shooting little guys that move at the speed of sound through bushes and trees, will quickly dismantle any notions of being a good photographer that you might have.
Their movement is so fast and so hap-hazard that trying to focus and catch what is going on is a huge hit and miss effort.
It is much easier to get a clear shot of a larger bird, perched model-like on a branch. But this was a very real challenge as their position on the food chain makes them susceptible to attack at any moment and so they move accordingly.
Plus they just love to mess around and have fun. They seem to enjoy themselves much more than the bigger birds, whose vocabulary probably does not include the word “fun” at all.
I did end up with some neat shots of gnatcatchers, warblers, and others and have added them at the bottom of this blog. They include a really good capture of a moment where a spider bade farewell to life and became part of the greater circle. I hope you enjoy!
It was in the car driving home (as if often the case) that I began to muse over the thought for this blog. You see, I like to revisit what I have just shot or what my encounters entailed, in a bid to justify having gone somewhere.
Often times it is a major sunrise moment, or a near-miss with an alligator, or some particularly good shots of an Ospry with his catch.
This time though it was many encounters with these little guys that left the impression on me of having had a great time. There was no single big event and even with the many encounters, I didn’t know if my shots had captured anything worth sharing. You push the shutter-release and maybe see a quick snapshot of what you got in the viewfinder. But truth is until you pull it up onto the big screen at home, you really don’t know if you got anything worth capturing or even if it is in focus.
So my feel-good feeling was coming from something else. It was coming from the joy of watching these little guys flit in and around the bushes and trees. It came from fighting against my own inadequacies in trying to shoot them. And not least of all, it came from breathing in beautiful air under a blue-sky canopy that reminds me of how precious a place, Florida is.
Much of our life is marked by major happenings. These can be good or bad and they create an assortment of memories that we weave into the tapestry of our life story.
If we are fortunate, these happenings are noteworthy to where we can share the joy or seek comfort with those around us.
But the vast majority of our life is spent in small moments. Moments that we barely share with anyone and that from day to day might not even form a memory.
These are the little things that provide the parchment upon which the bigger moments are written.
These are the things that create the general feeling of contentment or dissatisfaction that underpins our mental state from the moment we wake until we close our eyes to sleep.
It might be a sore back or stiff joints on a negative side, to a good energy or feeling of well-being on the positive.
While we don’t talk about or share these with most people in our circle, they provide the general mood that we are in at any given moment in time and as such, we should seek to acknowledge them to ourselves.
For example, if you have been dealing with some lower back pain all day and lie down in bed at night to go to sleep, console yourself that there has been a root cause behind your general low feeling of the day.
Conversely (and this is the more important point) if you are feeling content of peaceful as you close your eyes, remind yourself that this was a day without pain, where things generally went well, or where you were quite productive.
It is really important to acknowledge the good days in our lives. And that acknowledgement is more important when the good days were built by many little things rather than a big win.
“Why?” I hear you ask.
Well, it is simple really. The bigger moments will have caused a memory to be built and on reflection you will likely be able to find it again at year’s end. But little things that occupied smaller moments won’t have generated a memory and therefore could be lost in time, without acknowledgement.
Looking back on a particular period of time, they could therefore be lost in time and allow the perception that last year was a bad one, even when most days were actually quite good.
… just a thought!