When the fiddle had stopped singing Laura called out softly, “What are days of auld lang syne, Pa?”
“They are the days of a long time ago, Laura,” Pa said. “Go to sleep, now.”
Laura lay awake a little while, listening to Pa’s fiddle softly playing and to the lonely sound of the wind in the Big Woods. She looked at Pa sitting on the bench by the hearth, the firelight gleaming on his brown hair and beard and glistening on the honey-brown fiddle. She looked at Ma, gently rocking and knitting.
She thought to herself, “This is now.”
She was glad that the cozy house, and Pa and Ma and the firelight and the music, were now. They could not be forgotten, she thought, because now is now. It can never be a long time ago.
– Little House in the Big Woods, Laura Ingalls Wilder
It can take a lot of work to keep our minds in the present. We’re looking forward to the weekend, thinking about what we have to get done today, worried about what lies in the future. We’re reminiscing about the past, viewing it through rose-coloured glasses or feeling regret for what we wish we did or didn’t do. But life was meant to be lived now. Learning from the past and preparing from the future, yes, but lived now. To notice the breeze on your skin and the colour of the leaves and those initials carved into the sidewalk in 1977. To see the beauty in the world and share those experiences with other people.
I visit Instagram just for Daniel Norris because he sees the world in a unique way, with imagination and kindness and fresh eyes. When we get older and busy we tend to pass by the most beautiful things every day because we’re busy and stressed and we’ve seen it before. The extraordinary becomes ordinary. It reminds me of Matthew 18:3: Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. You don’t have to be young to see the world through a different lens. Recently Daniel went to Niagara Falls for the first time and wrote about his experience taking pictures:
I really made a point to get the shot I was looking for & then put the camera down & enjoy the setting. I do that every time I’m out shooting. I’ve been inspired to shoot in a photo journalistic type of way. So, I’ll get a shot then write about it. In order to be able to write about it, I have to actually experience it rather than just snapping off a couple shutters & moving on. – It makes me think of this one time, months ago, I had just gotten out of the surf. I was laying in the sand beside my bus when these 2 girls rolled up beside me. They had their blankets, Starbucks, beach gear – they had it all. They set up shop & immediately started posing for photos of one another with their iPhones using the Starbucks & blankets as props. One kinda skipped through the water using the blanket as a cape as the other snapped a few shots. They approved of the photos, packed their things & left. I kid you not they were there for 5-7 minutes tops. I laughed to myself. Enjoy the outdoors people. Instagram is a wonderful way to share experiences, but if those experiences are as much as clicking the camera button then what’s it all worth? Just a thought. – Daniel Norris
This is now. It can never be a long time ago. Now may turn into great memories, but right now you’re living it. Don’t miss out on the chance to enjoy the experience and the day that you’ve been given. Maybe it doesn’t feel like a picture-worthy day, but all of it is part of your story, and no one else can play your part.
Game Plan: Don’t miss out on taking everything from the moment that you can. Get outside and take a walk, noticing the sounds and the sights and the smells. Don’t miss the chance to feel this moment, whatever it brings.
Photo source: Daniel Norris