The Vacation (by Wendell Berry)
Once there was a man who filmed his vacation.
He went flying down the river in his boat
with his video camera to his eye, making
a moving picture of the moving river
upon which his sleek boat moved swiftly
toward the end of his vacation. He showed
his vacation to his camera, which pictured it,
preserving it forever: the river, the trees,
the sky, the light, the bow of his rushing boat
behind which he stood with his camera
preserving his vacation even as he was having it
so that after he had had it he would still
have it. It would be there. With a flick
of a switch, there it would be. But he
would not be in it. He would never be in it.
Sometimes I lose the moment by trying to capture the moment with a photo. I just want to somehow capture the moment – the joy, the contentment I feel, by taking a picture so that I can remember it. But isn’t there even a better way? How about just taking a picture in my mind, just being in the moment, savoring it, enjoying it, even without worrying about capturing it. Because I’m capturing it, by living it, by soaking in it, by truly seeing, hearing, feeling and sensing it. By waking up, seeing the beauty and the mystery and the gift in it and being grateful for this present moment. And by doing so, I have captured it. I have captured it by living it. By living it fully in the moment. One of the secrets of life is to be in our lives. I love that phrase, “be in it.”
A prayer: O God change me and help me to be in it. To be in my life at all times in all ways. Not preoccupied with capturing the moment but in living the moment. Living it fully in the moment with thanksgiving and gratitude and awareness giving thanks to the Father of Lights for the moment and in the moment from whom all good gifts come. To know that the moment I want to capture is sacred, holy and never in that way to happen again. To note that, to be in it, to feel it, to know it, and to relax into it.
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights…” James 1:27