Cleansing the palate

There were a couple of shoot opportunities that came and went this weekend before my Saturday morning even started.

But they were both people-related and given the wild success of last weekend’s black-light shoot, I really struggled with getting too excited about either.

Don’t get me wrong, both involved people that I really like and the topics of the shoots would have provided me with fun and enjoyment. But I am glad that they didn’t happen, because I needed something different in order to restore equilibrium and normalize my senses again.

So, I looked at the mid-morning moment that I found myself in today and decided to head off to Hollis Gardens. The skies above me were a rich blue and the temperature was in the low seventies, so it was perfect for a little wander.

There were others there; a couple of quinceaneras and a wedding group so I was far from being a lone photographer in situ. Yet, I was the only photographer lost in among the flowers. To the others, they were merely backdrops for their events.

Me, I wandered in among the blooms, savoring each color and breathing in each scent. It was amazing.

I had seen most if not all these types of flowers here before, but for the life of me I couldn’t tell you the name of even one of them. Over the years, my brain has been quite decent at remembering names of birds and creatures, but for some reason, flowers won’t stick there.

I hope that doesn’t matter to you, because it mattered not at all to me. I didn’t need to know what they were called in order to enjoy them. In fact, I think that is one of the wonderful things about flowers … you don’t need to know where they originate from, what their favorite environment is, or how they vary from clime to clime … you only need to see them and breathe in their glory. At least, that’s enough for me.

I hope you enjoy the smattering of colors at the end of this blog.

Driving home is when I first began revisiting my decision process in my head. Normally Hollis Gardens has been my go-to place when the weather has been grey or rainy. The presence of sunshine or blue skies is not a requirement in enjoying the place.

But this time, my decision had nothing to do with the weather. It only had to do with the saturation level that was in my head and my internal need to reset the clock, restore the balance, and yes, cleanse the palate.

I needed a break from the intensity of feeling from my prior success … something that was not just different, but calming.

Flowers were it today. And it worked.

Oftentimes in life we get so busy chasing and doing, that we get caught up in the intensity of each moment. This is particularly true if we are experiencing successes and the rush that they bring.

We can go through a cycle where each success is taken on board as something that was earned, due, and frankly expected.

When we are running in such a vein, we elevate our mind to a level where successes become the norm and can even get to a level where we don’t fully appreciate them. We might even take them for granted.

This type of conditioning not only sets us up for the obvious “fall” when success doesn’t come, but even without the fall, we are reducing our success-benefit. We shorten the thrill. We mute the joy.

So we don’t enjoy each success for all it is worth.

In a way it is similar to the shell shock that was first seen in World War One, as trench-emboldened soldiers lost sight of what normal really was and daily bombardments and such became the new normal.

So, in good times (and bad) it is important for us to be able to step back from whatever is happening about us. We need to get off the ride and sip a relaxing cup of tea.

In doping so, we restore some of the perspective in our lives and we appreciate what is happening more, once our tea-break is over.

This is why life can’t be all about work, no matter how demanding work is. It can’t all be about partying, no matter how many friends you have. It can’t be all about playing the slots, no matter how much you are winning.

You have to step back occasionally and take a rest from work, forego the party for a good book, or leave the casino and sip a Starbucks while people-watching.

It really isn’t important what you do, only that you don’t keep doing the same thing.

Our journey through life needs to be savored. It doesn’t all need to be wonderful adventures. Sometimes it can just be stepping away from the race and catching your breath. (Perhaps even among the flowers)

… just a thought.