The Red Thread

The Red Thread

A Introspective Collection of Life Observations



    Posts : 87
    Join date : 2009-07-07
    Age : 63
    Location : 3 seconds to the Moon


    Post by Pegasus on Thu May 26, 2011 4:24 am

    Anyone who knows me knows that these days I have become a real shutterbug. It started this past Christmas when I received a new camera. Though at that time I didn’t know much about photography, somewhere along the line I decided to master the art. And of course, what better time to capture beauty than spring, when nature is at its absolute best?

    The first time I saw a cardinal out in my back yard, my heart skipped a beat. And the fact that he was red and easy to spot as well as photograph, sent me into a photographic frenzy. That led to getting up and out at odd hours (well, at least, odd hours for me) and hiding in bushes and peeking through my kitchen window to get as many shots as I could

    I was determined to capture with my camera as many animals as was possible and to make the animals get used to my presence. When at last, I saw a rabbit in my yard, I ran out to say hello. And he in turn, quickly ran away. Needless to say, I wasn’t too happy. After many days of stepping out into my yard and listening to….silence…I realized that this was not going to be as easy as I had thought.

    Why were all the animals running away from me? I asked myself this at least once a day for the next week. I was a nice person--gentle and kind--and an animal lover to boot. Was it the camera they were afraid of? Or was it just me?

    The more determined I became, the more success eluded me. But fortunately, flowers began to bloom and my interest was diverted elsewhere. I never realized how many flowers and plants there were in my area-- many in my own back yard or on the properties surrounding mine. Before long I was entranced in the study of light and shadow and a sea of color. And I actually learned the difference between honeysuckle and gardenias! That was a very big thing for a city girl, like me.

    Well, that was when I began to notice bugs and lizards and snakes. It really was a “jungle” out there. I now had to charge my camera every night and clear the memory card as often. I even found myself researching some of the critters I had seen, as I had no idea what they were called.

    Then came the day that changed everything. I was in my back yard sitting on the grass and photographing a leaf on the ground. But not just any leaf. This one was on its side, yellow and orange on the top and green on the bottom. Sunlight poured down upon it, illuminating the yellow side to the point of the appearance of it being on fire. It took my breath away.

    I was so engrossed in what I was doing, I didn’t realize that I was being watched. Then I heard a noise above to see that very same cardinal looking down at me. I simply froze while he hopped from branch to branch, his song ringing out to the four corners of the yard and beyond.

    A short while later a squirrel appeared above me as well, along with a chipmunk, who walked along the fence right in front of me. I was in photography heaven. And so began a new journey. Each day I would venture out at certain times, which I had learned through observation, were the times the animals liked to feed.

    Then came the day when I was photographing clouds and I heard a birdsong, to find a baby robin on the lawn right in front of me. I crouched down to get a better look at him and he jumped up and tried to perch on my camera. His wobbly legs could not hold on and he fell off, fluttering down to the ground, a little bit dazed. Fortunately it wasn’t far to go. I gently reached out my hand to help him right himself and he gave me a little “peep”. I tried to walk away but he followed me. This went on for awhile until eventually he realized I was not going to feed him.

    And then today, I simply went out to sit on my deck with a bowl of strawberries. While I sat there I cannot tell you how many birds perched on the railing to snack on the birdseed I had laid out for them. (One of my better plans) And they remained to finish eating while I sat there watching. And when they left, I found the rabbit lounging in the sun in the middle of my back yard.

    Very carefully, I walked down the deck steps and found a quiet spot in the corner, then sat myself down. The bunny timidly approached, then plopped himself down about ten feet away. He then watched as I slowly finished eating my strawberries, occasionally scratching his ear or wriggling his nose but nevertheless rooted to his “spot”.

    While I sat there I listened…listened to the cardinal, the thrasher, the finch and mockingbird all going about their business…listened to the wind rustling through the trees…listened to the crackling of dead leaves on the ground that told me a squirrel was nearby. And at that instant in time, I was completely attuned to the moment and one with my surroundings. And I felt complete serenity along with the joy of being alive. Eventually I got up and left my rabbit friend, shaking my head as I went back inside.

    There were many things I learned from this whole experience. I have always been a person who needed to fix things, fix relationships, make things fit. And as such, I felt the need to be in control. In this instance, I had set out to make the animals adapt to me. Instead, I wound up adapting to them.

    I became an observer, rather than a pursuer and in letting go of my ambitions, I got exactly what I had wanted all along. Sometimes, it is in the letting go that we find the answers we are looking for. And sometimes we just need to listen. For it is in the silence, that we learn what could not be seen or heard above the din of endless noise and chatter.

    I had never realized before just how intricate a world was in my own back yard. I was simply too busy making plans, molding my part of the world, making everything “fit”. There is a lot to be said for simply “being” instead of always “doing”.

    A friend and I recently discussed just that: The idea of “being” …And being in the present to simply savor each and every moment. Photography has taught me the joy of doing just that by opening my eyes to the world around me. Like studying the “I Spy” children’s books, I have now become aware of the hidden objects in my everyday life.

    And now having been opened to that whole new world, I have evolved. I am in the present, yesterday gone, tomorrow a hope and a glimmer. I am letting go of all expectation and simply observing and growing each and every day. My eyes are opened to possibility in all its forms. And that leads me to believe that perhaps the veil between this world and the spirit one really is not so obscure. All one needs are eyes that are willing to “see”.

    "I have a simple philosophy. Fill what's empty. Empty what's full. And scratch where it itches." ~Alice Roosevelt Longworth

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