I was in Pullman yesterday, visiting Emily. Had a wonderful visit, albeit far too short! As I reviewed my pictures from this trip, I realized something. My attempts at photography reinforce some everyday life lessons.
Lesson #1: Quality comes in the context of quantity.
My camera is set for multiple frames per second, primarily because I take pictures at of my crew at various athletic events (and I never remember to reset it!). When I downloaded the pictures from my trip off the camera, I realized that only when I had taken multiple shots of the same thing did I truly capture what I had hoped to. Never was the first shot the one I liked best, and if I had only taken one, I wouldn’t have the ones I love. Quality comes from quantity. Just like in parenting—quality time with my children comes out of the quantity of time I spend. I can have an ‘agenda’ for my time with them, but it rarely goes the way I want, and the best gems and most teachable moments are not ‘plan-able.’ So it should be in all our relationships: quantity begets quality. How else do we get to know others well except by spending time—lots of it—with them? That lesson leads easily to the second one.
Lesson #2: Sometimes you have to get out of your comfort zone and into positions that feel awkward.
There was a picture I REALLY wanted to get this time. It’s a cemetery, with a grain elevator and the gorgeous rolling hills of the Palouse in the background. I found the road to the cemetery, but actually getting the shot I envisioned meant I had to get out of the car and walk a ways. That wasn’t a problem…it was more that it felt awkward to be walking around the area near the cemetery in plain view of several roads with my camera. And for the best picture, I probably needed to lay down in the grass! Ugh. So I didn’t take the picture. Now I regret that. I should have! Just like life—sometimes building relationships means doing things that take us outside our comfort zone. Typically, that’s not a bad thing. Being stretched means growth, and growth is GOOD! If I’m willing to step outside my comfort zone, I won’t regret missed opportunities.
Lesson #3: The best pictures come when you’re not going 70 miles an hour!
Life is lived too fast these days. Most of us agree on that. I found, on this trip, that there were many occasions that I REALLY wanted a picture of this vista or that view, yet by the time I found a place to pull over, it was gone. That’s the risk of going 70 miles an hour—you miss out on things. Life works that way too. How often do we find ourselves too busy for a cup of coffee with a friend? How often do we lament the lack of time for relationships? And yet…how much of what we fill our lives with is truly necessary? Wouldn’t we all be better off living at least part of each day at a walking pace? I told Jim that the next time I head to Pullman, I’m going exploring on a Vespa with my camera! A red Vespa. Seriously. :) It’s hard to capture the beauty that is there if you are moving so fast. My sister has one, and maybe…just maybe…I’ll pack it in the Suburban and head east next spring. Doesn’t that sound like fun??
I did take pictures this time. They didn’t turn out as well as I had hoped. But I learned some things about photography and about life. I’ll take it. And I’ll leave you with these pictures, taken at Dusty, WA. Population? 10. Sounds like a lot slower pace to me. :)
(And yes, the sky really looked like that!)