Every day, God gives us, as well as the sun, a moment when it is possible to change anything that is causing us unhappiness. The magic moment is the moment when a "yes" or a "no" can change our whole existence. Every day, we try to pretend that we do not see that moment, that it does not exist, that today is the same as yesterday and that tomorrow will be the same too. However, anyone who pays close attention to his day will discover the magic moment. It might be hidden in the instant that we put the key in the door in the morning, in the moment of silence after supper, in the thousand and one things that appear to us to be the same. This moment exists, a moment in which all the strength of stars flows through us and allows us to perform miracles."
-Paulo Coelho, By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept
This has been a very busy week. As summer draws to a close, this week is like the finale of a fireworks display. I've visited many beautiful places: Ithaca, a 5.5 hour cruise on Lake George, sunrises on the river - and we're not done yet. There is still major work going on in my classroom, so I'm still going strong with summer!
I arrived at Ithaca Falls early this week on a gorgeous, sunny, blue sky day. As usual, there were several people around also admiring and soaking up the energy of this thunderous, powerful place. I set up my gear and took a few shots.
Someone had balanced rocks in several places throughout the gorge, and I focused on shots of the falls with rock structures in the foreground. The title in my mind was fabulous: "Ithaca Falls Rocks!" (It does!) And I liked the element of balance, especially right in front of a very powerful waterfall.
And then, all of a sudden, I realized I was completely alone! All of a sudden, there were no people to try to work around or wait until they moved along. I had complete creative freedom!
I was alone for between five and ten minutes and was exhilarated. It was a perfect weather day - quite hot, but the gorge and the breeze from the falls offered relief from the heat. The chances of finding myself alone in this popular spot on this particular afternoon were slim. I considered it a gift.
And then I noticed shadows moving behind me signaling that people were arriving. I did a quick review of the images I'd captured and noticed that one of my settings had been off the whole time, and the photos weren't as sharply focused as I would have liked.
Quickly, I adjusted my settings and tried to snap a few more shots before people stepped into my frame. Lots of people. Within a few minutes, there were between 50 and 100 people milling about. But I still managed to capture some satisfying images in the end.
And the lesson I learned is that sometimes the universe, God, fate, or whatever you want to call it, gives you a gift. And when that happens, you have to be ready! Are your settings right? I don't mean just technical settings on a camera, but variables such as state of mind, awareness, skills, etc.
Every moment offers new and different possibilities. You have to be alert and ready, or they might pass by unnoticed, leaving you convinced that nothing amazing ever happened.
Circumstances and conditions are constantly shifting, as the mist on the river this morning during sunrise.
Yesterday's sunrise was so beautiful.
I tried for a similar shot this morning, but it just wasn't the same. That's not where the magic was this morning.
Sometimes the magic happens when you turn around and look in another direction.
Perhaps until now you have had your back turned to the best available opportunity because you were looking for it elsewhere. Maybe because that's where you found it before.
You can expand your awareness of the moment and see it from a different angle that adds a whole new dimension.
|In the foreground: timber remnants from the old wharf|
The interplay between external and internal shifts is, in my opinion, a great reason to keep hope alive. You just never know when the sun is going to burst through at exactly the right angle, changing everything.
Squat down. Turn around. Move to a different spot. (Even just a few yards could make a huge difference, in terms of either better scenery or gaining access to locked areas of your mind, much the same as when you walk into a different room and all of a sudden remember what you were looking for.) Come back in a few minutes. Just sit and be and notice. Something else might catch your attention.
These are all ways to be in the right place at the right time and find yourself part of something wonderful that is arising.
I call it "engaging the magic." Other variations: Engaging the moment. Engaging life.
Show up. Be receptive. Be yourself. Speak your truth. Let your energy flow freely into the world.
That is how the magic happens!
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