…for spring’s warm promise of summer’s laughter
Every Thursday I make my way through the country back roads to and from Marquette University. In the morning, my focus is on arriving on time and my senses are only mildly aware of light and beauty and the present. In the evening, there is an internal race that hums within to pace me as I take each curve homeward. I am tired. I miss the love that waits. Blinders in place, I bypass every stroke of color that nature has painted on the palette before me.
This Thursday was no different. Multi-tasking, I was checking the clock to calculate my arrival home while on the phone with my office discussing business and maintaining my usual undetectable five miles over the speed limit pace. Heading south on County P, I approached a quiet town that compels me to check my speed and slow my life down to 30 mph. This part of my drive is one of my favorites if only for it’s brief three blocks. On my right is a small but beautiful lake and tonight….well tonight the lake was spectacular. The sun was setting and the world took on a reddish golden hue. And I knew I had to stop. I had to put everything on hold for just awhile so that I could live in this moment. I needed to stop my feverish driving, put off the work related conversation for another time, allow myself to take this in. So, I found a driveway that was used to drop boats into the water and pulled in. I grabbed my camera and fumbled for my polarizing filter. Turning off the car, I stepped out into a world that I was unfamiliar with. The world of spontaneous moments. The world of appreciation of beauty. The world of now. I had for that moment, no one to answer to. I had for that moment all of the time in the world. I could focus. I could change my internal f-stop and allow the light to enter. Two men on a boat in the water had already made that choice to be in the moment. They quietly fished in the cold evening bathed in golden light as the sun kissed them good night. They didn’t speak. It didn’t seem necessary to speak in this beauty…as if speaking would break the spell. I took a number of photographs that I knew, even without looking were going to be beautiful. Not for the quality of the shot but for the quality of the moment. It was a big change for me to apply the brakes to my life even for a few minutes. To pull off of the highway of demands and stress and obligations and stand quietly in the dripping sunset and shoot memories of that moment …of that experience. And the only sound I heard was the promise I made to myself to stop along the road of life more often.
Yesterday evening was a gift to me. I had an opportunity to once again make music with my friends. Once upon a time, a long time ago in the land of coffee houses and bell bottomed pants and patchouli oil, I had calloused finger tips and a voice that longed to be heard.
We came together again, three of us, to blend our voices and wiggle the stiffness out of our unpracticed fingers. We strummed, we picked, we sang and mostly, we laughed. If I squinted my senses really hard, I could almost smell patchouli wafting through the notes. My heart continues to sing today…