The Best Time To Experience The Present Moment Is Now

The Best Time To Experience The Present Moment Is Now

So there I was.

5:30 AM standing on Coast Guard Beach.

Eastham, Cape Cod. 

Here comes the sun, as the song says.

I’m drawn to sunrises, even if at times it’s a long drive to see one. I left my home a few minutes before 4:00 on this Sunday morning just to see the sun appear out of the depths of the Atlantic Ocean. Certainly, sunrises can be a metaphor for new beginnings and new light. I just happen to think they are simply really cool to witness.

This one didn’t disappoint. The sky’s subtle transition from dark to light revealed a spectacular array of colors and textures in the sky and along the shore. In the shallow water in front of me several seal pups swam parallel to the shore, unimpressed with the sights and sounds around them, the crashing of the ocean waves illuminated by the ever-changing angle of the sun.

With me, as always, was my camera, my trusted companion in capturing the fire and majesty of the births of many new days. But today the camera wasn’t the priority.

I’ve watched the sunrise on this and other beaches many times over the years. Each one it’s own unrepeatable magnificent creation. And with each one came my intention to perfectly capture it, camera in hand. At some point in my photographic journey, though, I realized that I had unintentionally become more concerned with preserving the moment than actually experiencing it. My egoic desire to own the moment prevented me from actually fully enjoying the moment.

Egoic, because I had made this about about me and my need to perfectly capture what was in front of me. Egoic, knowing I’d be disappointed if the images I captured didn’t meet my exacting standard.

It made me wonder about other moments in my life where I chose, consciously or unconsciously, to surrender the present moment in favor of attempting to relive it at a later time. How much of the present moment is lost when we need to immediately share that moment on Facebook and Instagram? What if instead of photographing our food we chose to first actually enjoy it instead?

The best time to experience the present moment is now. 

I still greatly enjoy the photographic side of a sunrise, ever working at refining my skills with the goal of faithfully capturing the beauty of what’s in front of me. But the priority is to now be more fully present to witness the spectacle and wonder of what’s unfolding in front of me. 

On the beach.

And in life.

Throwing Stones At God

Surrender has nothing to do with a white flag.

There is a place I get to every now and again. It’s not a place you just happen to go by, it’s much more of a destination. An on-purpose kind of a trip. This place has become a rather spiritual place for me, a church without walls, a place where I ask life’s deeper questions and hope to hear the answers contained within the voices of the crashing waves in front of me.

This beach is anything but pretty. Not very popular, actually. It will never be confused with the elegant beaches found nearby on Cape Cod, nor will it be placed in the same class as Horseneck Beach which sits just on the other side of Gooseberry Island. It feels Continue reading “Throwing Stones At God”

Paradigm Shift: Taking A Low Tide View of Your Life

Sometimes just looking at nothing a little differently turns the nothing into something.

I was standing on a Cape Cod beach just after sunset. Something I have done quite often, usually at this particular beach. What was different this time was that it was low tide. The same beach I had visited many times before now looked dramatically different. All that was earlier in the day covered with sea water now lay innocently exposed.

Tides are fascinating. A slight tilt of the Earth changes the view completely, revealing all that is there just under the surface. Rocks, sand bars, an entire ecosystem…all revealed to me because of a subtle tilting of the Earth. Amazing what exists just under the surface.

Standing there on the sand, I wondered what would I see if I was able to look just under the surface of my own life. What would I see if I could somehow experience a low tide view of me?

Continue reading “Paradigm Shift: Taking A Low Tide View of Your Life”