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Blow on the embers of life to make them glow

Sunrise on Pawley's Island1

Every morning we awake and go through the motions of what will be our legacy for the day…until the sun sets and the colorful lights fade, and the moments allotted us for that period once again pass along into eternity.

What we accomplish and who we touch and what we say; these all play together to create other tomorrows for us and for those with whom we have interacted. These contact moments are the lifeless lumps of clay that we give away for others to work with and mold them to create their own life stories. Once hardened in the kiln of memories, and glazed with the colors of love, these timeless moments can be packed away and treasured for as long as we continue to care for them.

Through their power, even in the dark of the coldest night, they give us the opportunity to feel comfort from the warmth of growing friendship and kindred spirits.

So as you travel your life’s journey, always carry the knowledge that you are special. By mere existence, you have the chance to touch another life and spark an ember of warmth that will continue to glow and spread a spirit of joy; always connected. You are now destined to continue to do great things. You are a comforter, a servant, perhaps a caregiver to many, a leader of some…but most importantly…always capable of being a friend.

©Bradford Chase

♦Photo Tip♦ A tripod or a place to brace your camera is essential for early morning or late evening shots. The slower shutter speed will highlight any movement and blur it. For water shots, this can be just the soft focus you are looking for, but for the surrounding area, you want it to be tack sharp with a steady camera.

No Warning Label on Life. Head’s Up and Look Around

The sky is clear and the sun is shining. Weather experts tell me there is a chance of rain, but I just can’t see that happening today.

As the day progresses, white cotton-soft clouds start to appear on the horizon. Floating high above the horizon, effortlessly dancing in sea-blue sky.  More clouds, yes, but a storm coming? I don’t see how it could be possible.

The clouds start to band together in rough and tumble groups. Fluffy white pillows of moisture begin to push together into light grey gatherings. The blue sky is now the minority here, giving up to the darkened coverings.

The wind is picking up. Rumor has it that the weather could get a little rough, but I just don’t see it. From my perspective things don’t look that bad.

I can’t see the sky anymore. The once white-grey clouds are all grey now and getting darker. On the horizon, it looks like there may be some rain starting. We could use a little rain, and a shower will make the greenery happy.

Folks are saying that a thunderstorm is in the future, but I just don’t see it happening. This rain looks gentle. The wind isn’t that bad. I’m sure it will pass.

Things are getting darker now. The sun is nowhere to be found. I think I heard a little thunder in the distance and the gentle rain on the horizon is now much closer. It looks like it’s coming down a bit harder too. There was something on the radio about a storm warning, but I just don’t see it getting that much worse. I close my eyes and begin to feel the wet rain falling on my skin. This feels nice. Why would anyone be worried about a little rain?

It only takes a few moments for the horizon to suddenly disappear. The sky is black. The wind is howling. The needled rain hurts as it pelts exposed skin. It doesn’t feel so nice any more. A flash of blinding light appears with a deafening crack. Scared is relative. Frightened beyond belief is more appropriate. Where did this storm come from? Why didn’t anyone warn me that things would be this bad? I’m wet. I’m cold. I’m stranded out here, exposed and alone. Why me? I can’t possibly survive!

Mountain Storm

I hear a voice through the raging storm, and follow the sound to the shelter of a poorly lit enclave. Still cold, still wet, but no longer exposed to the elements. The fear starts to subside. A fellow traveler who was caught in the same surprise storm I was emerges from the darkness.

Interesting; his view of the storm is different. He says he knew of the storm approaching well before it arrived. He says it was predicted and ample warning was broadcast to all. The sudden changes that happened around him weren’t a surprise to him. Huh. I wonder how I missed that?

Could it be that I have become I am a member of that not-so-elite group? Have I joined the folks with the narrowing world view? Am I so focused on myself that I just ignore the world around me until being forced to pay attention, and even then still missing the big picture because I’m so wrapped up in just what happens in my own little world space? No wonder life is not as exciting and full of wonderment as I remembered it in the past!

I think I might try harder to give more notice to my surroundings and be mindful of things other than just myself. It is so true that a happy life cannot be lived fully in a vacuum. Care to join me?

 

♦Photo Tip♦ Sometimes cloudy days are the best type of day to go out and take pictures. No harsh shadows. The clouds will act like a giant diffusion filter and cast a soft light on subjects giving them a more even tone.  The rain doesn’t have to be the enemy either; we just have to be careful about wet cameras and lenses. I use a cheap disposable shower cap to cover the camera on drizzly days-the kind you might find in a hotel room. It will cover the camera without covering the front of the lens. A soft lens cloth to intermittently clean the drops from the front keeps the pictures crisp.

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