Saturday, September 8, 2007

The Spirit Blows

Anyone who has ever tried to photograph flowers or plants in their natural setting knows how much patience you need: to walk slowly and discover the small beauties at your feet--to adjust lenses and tripod to get the right angle and the best background and the perfect light--and mostly, to wait for the air to be still. Those who have never tried this are probably really surprised; after all, how often do we remark on a hot day, "If only there were a small breeze...." But stare at the fragile petals of a delicate flower through a closeup lens, and you'll be amazed at how long you'll have to wait before the wind really does stop blowing. Most days, the wind never stops at all, and I have to time the shutter release to catch the flower at that still point when it changes directions, or else hope that a faster shutter speed (at the expense of losing depth-of-field detail) can freeze the flower in its motion. Compromises....

It's still amazing to me how constantly the wind blows, and I usually don't even notice. I guess it's the same with the Spirit, the "wind" that moved across the waters, the "breath" that animated life, the energy that continues to drive the universe. It's not something we're aware of, unless we pay attention--and then we can't miss it, because it's everywhere.

Paying attention is difficult, because we have no time or even inclination to do this. We're impatient, rushing through the day without even looking around. But just stop for a moment: feel the breeze brush across your skin and through your hair, and feel the Spirit blowing through your soul.

Isn't that refreshing?