Sometimes on a hike, I'll see a scene that is a beautiful combination of light, texture, movement and grace. By the time I'm able to set my camera and compose, the moment is gone. It's not that the new scene isn't beautiful, but only that it's changed from the moment before.
Every scene is a moment in a current of moments. Nothing is ever fixed and stationary, and everything is in a state of becoming. Just when I see the scene as it is, it changes. I am only able to capture the moment after the last one, and before the next.
I captured one second in a scene to see the flow of the moment. This was on September 1st, 2013, at 11:12am, in Bothe-Napa Valley State Park. Each picture represents 1/40th of a second. I took 5 shots of the same scene in just over a second. In each moment there was a whisper of a breeze, a sparkle of light, a movement of shadow and color.
Can you see the differences so far? There are changes happening both seen and unseen. Little beetles march under piles of decaying leaves. The light illuminates cracks in the textures. The breeze lifts and drops. The living leaves reach and stretch to capture energy, while the old leaves hang on to enjoy their last moments of elevation, before they surrender, drop and become part of a deeper cycle.
And so it is with our thoughts, and every moment in our lives. Each moment is a unique and special creative gift. Every thought that passes through us is a moment that will change. In every experience, we can capture the special moments by being consciously aware of them. That awareness develops from observation, and observation takes practice and patience.
The next time an uncomfortable thought passes through you, or an experience overwhelms you, nature can remind you that it's just a moment. It may be a moment made up of confusing breezes, harsh light and streams of doubt. But it's ever shifting and flowing, and it will pass. New moments, bright beauty and healing insights also flow in the currents.
The scene below is a GIF of the 5 images above. It represents one second in the forest, but is made up of an infinite number of ever changing and perfect moments.