My Year By Design

The journey to living by design.

This post contains no photos…

…for a very good reason; I didn’t take any photos to go with it. I often use photographs I’ve taken to illustrate my blog posts but I want to write about a time when I didn’t have my camera.

Over the holidays, Nick and I visited my parents’ home outside of Peterborough. My parents own 13 acres of property, including one small pond that merges with a marsh. One of my favourite things to do in winter is to walk on the ice into the marsh, through all the trees and brush. On a beautiful morning, I took Nick out for a walk on the ice.

We were both fascinated by everything frozen in the ice. Unlike a skating rink, our ice is uneven, pitted, with branches, trees and marsh grass poking out of it. Our ice is frosted over in most areas but spotted with small round sections where by some trick of temperature the ice is perfectly clear. We marveled at air bubbles trapped below the surface. I imagined that stale Fall air floating to the surface during the melt and mixing with the fresh Spring air.

That was when I was gripped by the urge to take a photo. I remember thinking this would be a great blog post. I reached into my pocket and groped at nothing. After the briefest flash of panic, I remembered I had left my phone in the house to charge. No trouble. I would just enjoy my walk without recording it. This was easier thought than achieved.

As Nick and I picked our way through the marsh, we pointed out more and more things I wanted to photograph. Here was a section of ice so clear, we could see the fall leaves trapped below it. There was an abandoned bird’s nest my father could no doubt identify if I only had my camera! I was surprised how many times I reached for my camera even though I kept telling myself that this was the perfect time to be in the moment and ignore distractions. Little by little, I observed and released my need to photograph my walk. It was true that I had this urge for a positive reason, namely wanting to share the beauty of my experiences with you. However, it was more important in that moment that I be kind to myself and focus on being mindful.

By the end of the walk, I had managed to quiet my monkey mind and I was just observing the world around me and enjoying myself. The sun looked so magical glittering on the ice and the air was fresh and full of chickadee calls. Nick and I walked back to my parents’ house hand in hand, quietly reflecting on all the things we had observed.

So that was my latest experience of living in the moment. I would like to have more of these moments in my day-to-day. Would this post have been more impactful if I had managed to snap some pictures? Probably, but that destroys the point of living in the moment.




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