Today on my early walk it was foggy and cool. As I headed to the harbor, I saw a man with a camera coming toward me with his head down, holding his camera close. Most people in this small town will say hello as they approach, but he said nothing, did not acknowledge me. After we passed, I thought about the man and imagined that he must be insecure or sad, because he didn’t look at me or offer a greeting.
Further on, as I crossed the bridge, I saw another, older man standing, smiling at me, also with a camera. As I got closer, he pointed to a tree branch and told me how he had heard a commotion from birds and looked to see what caused the disturbance. There was an eagle, perched high on the pine branch, looking regal with golden crest. It was still there as he talked. What a sight! The man was so pleased he beamed. I also grinned at this beauty and the man’s obvious joy. We chatted briefly.
As I continued on my way, I realized the first man may have spotted the bird also, or another scene in the mist. He may have been pleased at the experience, or his shot, and deep in thought as we passed, not noticing me at all. It is easy to make judgements of people and situations when we don’t know the whole story. And when do we know the complete story?
My life is full of moments just like this, when what I observe at first glance has more to do with me than in what is really going on. They say “Wake up! Your life is passing by while you doze!” and it is up to me to respond: to stop, be present, and take in more of the picture in all its beauty.