I took over 70 pictures on our hike to Crabtree Falls the other day. This was one of the most beautiful and enchanting hikes I have ever done. The forest and its peaceful hums create such an awareness of your surroundings, there is no room for thought. These feelings of peace mixed with waves of happiness and serenity are why we are here. The joy on my children's faces as I watched them discover caves, rock, and falls, only confirmed our resolve.
I could have taken more pictures if my battery had not run out. Even as I stood clicking away, trying to capture these beautiful moments, I knew that the same images on the screen would never evoke the same visceral response it did the moment the picture was taken. Memories, yes, even the fondness for the memory, but not the same beautiful intensity of actually being there.
It was for this reason, in the past, that I hardly ever used a camera. Birthdays and holidays were the only days that received this special attention, and that was even more out of a sense of duty than desire. But something has changed, despite my awareness of its lack. Maybe it is something about getting older. Maybe it is something about wanting to recapture old longings for childhood memories or emotions. Maybe it is my growing ability to stay in the present moment and perhaps, the actual act of taking a picture is what signifies the moment, not the picture itself. Regardless of the reasons, shooting these images has only intensified my experiences and for that, I am grateful.