For centuries, writers, bards, and philosophers have asked: Should the destination (or end goal) be our most important focus, or, should we pay attention to the trip itself and what we see and learn along the way? This lesson has been a hard one for me. I am inclined by nature to focus on the end goal. I thrive in an academic atmosphere where our progress is linear and marked by assessments. Because I’m so goal-oriented, I get impatient when the end result seems to advance and retreat. This often happens when I’m working on fiction. I often have my sights fixed on the distant horizon (writing those final, glorious words–the end). In my rush to reach my destination, I don’t pay attention to what is around me, right here, right now. Photography has helped me focus on the present moment. As I lift the camera to my eye, I am taking the time to notice the simple joys and sights that surround us. It makes me slow down and appreciate the hidden gems that we find “on the way.”
These shots were taken on the journey. In the first shot, we were walking across the Brooklyn Bridge to Manhattan.
We may run, walk, stumble, drive, or fly, but let us never lost sight of the reason for the journey, or miss a chance to see a rainbow on the way.–Unknown Source.
The second shot was taken recently on The High Line in Manhattan. In the photo you can see people walking along the beautiful walkway built on old railroad tracks that once brought goods into and out of the manufacturing centers in lower Manhattan. It has now become a wonderful scenic walkway, landscaped with beautiful flowers and artistic works. You can also see my husband and father-in-law deep in conversation in the foreground as they traverse the path. (To read more about The High Line, take a look at this post by my blogging pal, Jackie Cangro.)
We are so often caught up in our destination that we forget to appreciate the journey, especially the goodness of the people we meet on the way. Appreciation is a wonderful feeling, don’t overlook it.–Unknown Source
What type of person are you? Are you focused on the end result or on the journey? If you’re a goal-oriented type of person, have you taught yourself to slow down and appreciate the present moment? If so, how?
Enjoy this new week, everyone! I hope you have a lovely dose of warm weather and sunshine wherever you live.