This title and post was made hours before sunset—hours before this photograph was even made. Only I did not know it at the time. Out for a spot of exercise this afternoon between meetings I had finished a light jog and was breaking things down with a cool down walk before getting back to work. With ear buds in and downshifting from jogging to walking I cued up the Introduction to Walking on Headspace. For the past two months I’ve been hitting the app everyday for a daily dose of meditation, and I was curious to hear whatever coaching Andy had when it came to mindful walking. It was much of the usual soft spoken steady support I’ve grown to know, encouraging listeners to bring themselves into the body—to bring their thoughts to the here and now. Comforted I listened. Relaxed I walked.
As the short session wound down and I approached the end of my walk, Andy hit me with a resonate nugget. In dropping an anecdote about staying present to notice the world around you as you trod upon familiar ground, he noted that when you are present and move through focused on the moment the things around you that you see everyday are never twice the same. Through awareness you can walk down the same street, corridor, alleyway, or field of green, and if your present with yourself the moment will never appear a copy. To the observer each time will prove to be unique.
As if the clouds suddenly parted a chord of resonance was struck, finely tuned to my experience with sunset photography. The simple truth that even as I revisit the same locations over and over again, the light will be different, the clouds will be different, the color will be different, the season will be different—I will be different. Photography has brought me into the body and into the present, to the one place life happens—free of the past and unburdened by the future.
In the interest of full disclosure: This is not a paid or obliged endorsement of Headspace. I’m just really impressed by what it’s short meditative exercises have brought me these past few months. Now if you’ll excuse me it’s time for my evening session.
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