I was feeling kind of morose and sad this morning. My favourite remedy for this mood is to head to the beach. It’s certainly not a cure all but it’s a wonderful, peaceful place to just be and to reflect.
Before I left, I picked out a book to donate to the Beach Lending Library and I selected some bookmarks I had made from my photos to hand out and leave in the Library. When I got to the beach, almost the first thing I saw was a beautiful heron, walking along the shore. Behind it, far out, was a ship. My first thought was damn it, where’s my camera! I was feeling sorry for myself for missing what could have been awesome shots. I took a picture with my phone (which obviously didn’t turn out, and that’s ok – see below).
I left the book and a bookmark in the Library and decided to walk along the boardwalk a little more, still regretting that I didn’t have my camera. I saw an elderly man with a huge pair of binoculars looking out to sea. He had a little dog with a crocheted coat, sitting at his feet. He saw me looking at his binoculars and he asked if I wanted to take a look. I thanked him and watched the ship for a bit. He said it was the Coast Guard. I told him he had a cute dog, to which he replied ‘yeah, he’s my baby’. He beamed when he explained that a neighbour lady had crocheted the coat and he thought the dog was very proud of it – now he runs up to people as if to say ‘see my new coat’. We had a chuckle and I handed him one of my bookmarks that said ‘a true friend leaves paw prints on your heart’. He said ‘wow, you made this?’; then he touched his heart and said ‘yes, that’s right, paw prints’. I thanked him again and walked on.
It occurred to me that as much as I was upset about not having my camera, perhaps in the past I’ve missed some opportunities like this, because I was so ‘focused’ (pardon the pun) on getting the shot. It really was wonderful to watch the heron, with just my eyes, walking gracefully down the shore. I’ve had many conversations with lovely strangers when I did have my camera, but I could have had more.
It was a nice life lesson for me today – find the balance between your hobby and the moment. From now on, when I don’t have my camera, I’ll try to just be appreciative of what I’m seeing, only with my eyes. And, when I do have my camera, I’m going to put it down sometimes to see what I may be missing.
Our local paper randomly select people on the street to ask them their opinion on current topics. Last week they chose the dear man and his dog that I had given a bookmark to and he had kindly shared his binoculars with me. Was so nice to see them again. The dog’s name is Benny!