Peripheral Vision

So, last night was supposed to be spent with Jax and her little ladies on a trail, checking out some night creatures and such. But when we got there the skies above, which had been darkening, began to let loose the heavens.

Torrential rains and loud thunder claps with sharp and cutting lightning.

It all got a bit too scary for the two young ladies, so we called it a night before we had even set foot one on the trail. In truth, we sat there in the car for about fifteen minutes hoping it would pass, but it became obvious that even if it did move on, it was saturating the ground we hoped to be searching along.

So, I found myself back on the road heading home all too early. It wasn’t a failure. No time with Jax could ever be. But we agreed that a tactical retreat was the best move and we promised to return before school restarts.

As I was driving up route 39, the stormy skies were continuing to light up and the thought occurred to me that I should really try to catch some of the lightning.

The problem was that it is a narrow road heavily lined with trees and there really wasn’t a view of the sky that would have worked for me. For six miles it was going to be like that but I resolved to stop when the road hit route 60. I was pretty sure that the road opened up at that stage and all I needed was the rain to stop and the lightning to keep working its magic.

And I was right. There was a small parking lot right at the light where the Auto Zone is. So, I quickly parked and jumped out with the camera, slapped it on the tripod and stood there hopefully.

For the first few minutes, I thought I was too late. There was nothing happening and the skies just stayed dark.

But then for just about five or ten minutes, the skies gave a last hurrah and treated me to some flashes as the storm faded off to the distant west.

I wasn’t sure if I had captured anything and so the drive home was filled with anticipation.

I had only actually taken about fifteen shots, I found out as I went to load them onto the laptop when I sat impatiently back on the sofa.

The moment of truth was with me as I flipped through them and while some were nice, one made me stop and hold my breath. I have attached them at the end of this blog and the last one is thus far my favorite shot of the year.

In this blog I have included it in a cropped view because I suspect most people will view it by phone. The full one is destined for my calendar. But either way, there is so much right about this shot … I was just so happy.

I hope you enjoy.

The joy was still with me when I woke up this morning and I was delighted that I chose to give it a try. To make that stop. Even though the storm looked like it had run its course.

There was every possibility that my stop would yield nothing and on another day, it well might have.

But the whole notion of peripheral vision came into my mind and how no matter where we are heading or what we are aiming for, it is always right to keep half an eye on peripheral possibilities.

Not all the wins in life come from things we aim for. Sometimes they come from something incidental we just allowed to happen.

“Allowed to happen” by being open to the possibility.

And that is really the point of todays blog.

Life should indeed have a course, a plan … a direction that we are following and hopefully one that takes us on the journey we are hoping for.

But a truly successful journey involves leaving the blinkers off and taking in what is happening either side of us. Maybe occasionally even stopping and tasting a little something that is unplanned.

Being singularly focused can produce a certain type of success and some people choose that. They go for wealth or power, career or vocation. And these people often grab the headlines in apparent achievement.

But a life that is totally focused is very likely to be black and white, where success is callously measured and failure every bit as damning as success is rewarding.

No, the correct approach involves allowing a peripheral vision to add the colors of possibilities to our life tapestry.

How could I have known how the camera could enrich my life story, if I hadn’t picked one up twenty years ago. My education is electrical engineering. My expertise was in fiber optics. Yet, my camera opened up many worlds to my soul and broadened my understanding of life and the enjoyment of a less-focused journey.

And that is true for all of us. By allowing ourselves the latitude of slight diversion, we could discover a better path to our journey than the one we had planned.

Our journey is not an interstate designed to carry us to the end as fast and efficiently as possible. It is made up of many side roads and cross-roads. Each one with a view to the side that we are fools not to take in.

In the olden days of horse and carts, they would put blinkers onto the poor horses so that they could only see straight ahead and therefore not be distracted. They still do put blinkers on these poor animals in some situations, although I would strongly argue that it is cruel and inhumane to restrict the vision of any poor creature.

But who in their own mind would willingly go through their one life with blinkers? Yes they would see their own path and destination, but they would miss out on the real color of the one life that they are going to pass through.

I guess what I am trying to say here is that we have peripheral vision for a reason and it involves more than just our eyes.

… just a thought.