Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Fleetingness of Time

It's hard for me to believe that spring has flown by so quickly. Seems like just yesterday that we were shoveling snow, and now so many of the spring flowers have already bloomed and faded. Their splendid beauty is truly fleeting.

But so is time, and so is life. It's not that I've been noting how quickly time flies (sometimes it really drags), but I've been asking myself daily--sometimes hourly--how I want to spend my time, how I want to spend my life. As far as I know, I get only one chance at this. So what am I going to do with the few precious hours granted to me today? What am I going to do with my once-in-a-lifetime?

When I took this photo of daffodils beneath a pine tree, I set out very early for the park so as to be there at dawn. Since it was April in Missouri, it was still cold--and waiting for the sun to rise, squatting close to the ground, I was really shivering! But the beauty of that first light as it struck the yellow flowers and glimmered off the green pine needles was breathtaking. I can say unequivocally that that morning, I spent my time well. If that was my once-in-a-lifetime daffodils-in-the-dawn experience, then it was worth the loss of sleep and all the shivering.

Can I say the same about the way I spend every moment? Certainly not, though there have been many similar, sometimes unexpected experiences connected to photographing nature. Am I getting better at choosing how to spend my time? Maybe yes, maybe no, but at least I am more and more aware of the question. But awareness--or maybe I should call it "awakeness"--is just the beginning.

Perhaps this is not so spiritual as what I've written before, but I do believe that the way I spend my life, and the decisions I make about what to do with my time definitely have a spiritual component. Am I choosing to connect with the Divine? Do my choices bring me closer to the Spirit? I think I need to be awakened to these possibilities.
So what am I going to do with the rest of my day?