My wife (Gail) and I went out for a walk this morning on a trail very near our home. It was such a nice cool morning, we just had to escape from our daily routine to enjoy the outdoors for a little while. I call these walks my “sanity walks.”
I have been SO busy lately, leading a variety of destination photography workshops and local classes. I totally enjoy these experiences and the wonderful photographers I have met along the way, but this was our personal venture into the nearby forest to simply walk, with no agenda other than to enjoy the journey.
I didn’t bring any sort of “fancy” camera. I just had my iPhone 12 (which arguably IS a “fancy” camera in its own way). I used my iPhone just to capture images of a few things that caught my eye along the trail.
Sometimes if you go hiking for exercise, the objective is to get the exercise done. It’s about pace and time and heart rate. Pushing those objectives aside, there are times where the venture might be a richer experience if we focus on the journey rather than the destination.
Take more time to just pause and look around. Take in your surroundings with all of your senses. Feel the cool air. Pick up a fallen leaf. Smell the scent of the cedar trees still damp from this week’s rains. Listen to the birds and the rushing water at a nearby waterfall.
Look in all directions, not just where you’re going, but also where you’ve been. A trail can look totally different if you simply turn around. You might even see something beautiful you missed along the way.
Sometimes just stop for the sake of stopping. Rest. Give thanks for this miracle of life on this amazing planet floating through space. Give thanks for your ability to walk and see and hear and feel and enjoy the trail. Give thanks to be alive. Never take ANY of this for granted, or you’ll miss the beauty of it ALL.
Walking with a deeper sense of gratitude, you might just see things you would have otherwise passed on by without giving it a second thought.
We only have so many days on this Earth. Enjoy the journey.
P.S. I invite you to join us on some of our future photo workshops!
P.P.S. If you’d ever like to go hiking with us, let me know! We could organize a future hike for anyone interested.