Breaching Whales, Dancing Dolphins


Egg Laying Sea Turtles

Recently we enjoyed a vacation away in Mexico, which we used to do annually but like all, COVID-19 put a two year halt to those plans.  The hotels in the area were crammed with similar individuals who missed the sunshine, the all inclusive food and drinks, the music and mystery of Mexico and its citizens.  At this particular hotel we stayed at there was an infinity pool and swim up bar on the top floor, which allowed for breath-taking views of the ocean. 

This one particular morning the whales were putting on a spectacular show, breaching and swimming about and even though we were far and away their activity was easily visible. When I gave a shout out to those guests around me, although they nodded to the fact that they had heard what I said, the pool, and their easy access to alcohol was a much bigger draw and well able to hold their attention or even consideration of getting out of the pool to see this moment.

About a year ago a friend of mine, Lorna Steuer who spent the majority of her time with her husband at their Keats Island, BC  cottage, posted a picture on her Facebook page of a breaching whale that could be clearly seen from their place. I messaged her and said what a great picture she had taken to which she responded that she did not take it  that a visiting friend had. She went on to say that she stopped taking photographs as she would rather enjoy and be in the moment then attempt to capture the moment!  Those 12 words exploded within me and launched me on a path of exploration and questioning why I take any picture. Is it to capture the moment? Have I actually  captured the moment? When I look back at those pictures do I feel the original awe of the moment? All of this having nothing to do with my ability or inability to take a picture that would be good enough to capture any moment. My Partner is a far better photographer than I am anyway.

I have concluded for me, that when I attempt to capture “the moment”, not only do I not capture the moment, I am so focused on taking the picture, that I have come to believe I end up stepping out of the wonder and awe of the moment, sacrificing the opportunity afforded to me by what is in front of me. Then post it on social media, like all of  us do,  to prove life happens for us. 

Have I become too distracted to fully enjoy the natural attractions? I have read much of late about ‘mindfulness’, mindful walking, mindful meditation when it comes to living in the moment, but maybe the challenge is that my mind is so full, preoccupied with obtaining the best picture that I cannot capture never mind be in the moment leaving me with a bunch of “oh yeah, I remember that from our trip to Mexico” pictures or the meal with our friends. For me it has become a matter of making a choice between taking a picture and being in the moment, mind empty of everything but that which has grabbed the focus of my attention. 

The most important thing is what I am doing at the moment. The most important person(s) is the one sitting across from me. I bring to that moment not my camera, but my vulnerability, my curiosity and my gratitude to be invited to share in this moment. A moment in time that will most likely never be repeated. 

I have even come to the point in this new journey where it's actually a positive thing when we have been out with friends, after which someone says that we forgot to take a picture. Perhaps what that means is that everyone around that table was “in the moment!”

I am certainly not advocating to never take a meaningful moment photograph. I am just putting the challenge out there that before you grab that phone and click to ask yourself, “What would be more memorable and meaningful, taking the perfect picture or basking in this moment in time that will pass all to soon  but in the end the image is eternally etched upon my memory and the voluptuousness of the moment has left my 5 natural senses completely satisfied.

We have this moment to hold in our hands

And to touch as it slips

Through our fingers like sand

Yesterday's gone

And tomorrow may never come

But we have this moment today

Wm. Gaither

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