Slow Down to See

When do you slow down enough to really see?

After a recent snow storm, I went out into the woods near my house with my camera. A regular practice for me when I purchased my first fancy camera many years ago, I've gotten lazy and good at being "too busy" lately. I need to remind myself that it's time well spent.

Surrounded by white fluffy snow soaked in sunshine and a calm quiet, I instantly went into a mindful, flow state that allowed me to see the shapes, patterns, and beauty with new eyes. Characteristics of a flow state include complete absorption in an activity and losing a sense of time. As I walked the trail back out of the woods, I saw trees that I thought maybe I had taken a picture of already, but wasn't sure until I loaded them onto my computer. It felt like I had been in the woods for maybe a half hour, but it ended up being two.

In this image, one might just see a broken tree limb and snow. I see the profile of a creature of some kind maybe a horse with a white mane or a bird with a white layer of feathers. Whether perched to protect or attack, I'll leave that up to you to decide based on what you see.

Our mindset affects how we interpret the world around us. Do we see something not going as planned as a "failure" or an opportunity for growth? Do we view the snow storm as an inconvenience throwing off our plans for the day or an opportunity to slow down and play? It's your choice. What do you see?

[Note: I thought it appropriate to pair a Thoreau quote with an image from my own walk in the woods. It turns out that I had lots of Thoreau quotes and images from that walk that I like so this will be the start of a series. Keep an eye on in the coming weeks for more.]