Have you ever witnessed a moment that seems so sweet that you feel like it should be captured in a photograph? Watching children play, and seeing their pure joy is a frequent occurrence that leads to the thought that you wish you had a camera to catch the expression on their face. Especially if it has been a hard or challenging day or season in life. Seeing happiness makes us want to smile and join in on the fun.
Dan and I were walking the beach last night, and moving at a rather quick pace, since sunset was less than a half hour away when we started our walk. We passed other walkers, joggers, and people sitting or lounging on the sand, waiting to watch the sun set. We were strolling past a couple that looked to be in their late 20’s to early 30’s sitting on the beach. The wife leaned in to say something, the husband smiled, and they leaned together touching cheeks, smiling towards the sun.
It was such a sweet moment that I stopped walking, turned to them and said, “Where’s your camera? You two just look so sweet!” The wife reached into her pocket, set her phone to camera mode and handed it to me. I took a couple of quick photos of their faces shining in the sun, glowing with happiness, and handed back the phone.
I am not normally the type of person who randomly starts a conversation with strangers. Dan, yes. Me? Not so much. But I just couldn’t help thinking that this young couple would want that moment of sweetness and sunshine captured. Before you think that I am too much of a weirdo asking someone for their phone, keep in mind that tourist season has started in Florida. On sunny days, the beaches are full of visitors, enjoying the warmth, wonder, and beauty along the coast. It is not uncommon to have a couple or group ask a walker passing by to take their photo. And when I’ve seen a Mom or Grandma taking photos of their group, I’ve encouraged them to get in the photo and taken a few quick shots for them.
I recall my daughter telling me about when their little family was playing at a splash pad, and someone commented that they and Lila were having so much fun that their family needed to be captured in a photo. The stranger caught the huge smiles on their faces as they played together. It is a great photograph.
I love being able to capture a moment of happiness for someone, just like I’ve captured it in my mind. Hopefully, every time they look at the photos, they’ll remember the fun, the happiness, the joy, they were feeling at that moment.
Dan recently sent me a photo he took when we were visiting for Lila’s 2nd birthday. We had taken Lila to the park, and she is flying high on the swing, her hair flying up in the air as she achieves weightlessness.
I love seeing her enjoy a happy, carefree childhood, filled with love and laughter. It makes me smile every time I look at it, because it reminds me of how fun she is to play and interact with. And it reminds me of all the times I’ve been on a swing and enjoyed that same feeling of floating while up in the air.
I’m certainly not advocating for life to be lived with a phone or camera in front of your face all the time. There’s definitely something to be said about just savoring life, and capturing the beautiful moments in your minds’ eye. Life is rarely Instagram perfect, and involves a lot of “cropping out” the not so pretty stuff. But when we take the time to look around, look for the beautiful, joyous, happy, peaceful, spontaneously wonderful moments around us, we can capture memories to help sustain us during the not so perfect moments in life. And if we can capture those moments for others, why not risk being thought of as a weirdo when you ask someone for their phone? 🙂
By all means just enjoy the power-walk, breathing in the fresh air, listening to the sounds around you. But every once in a while you might want to stop and take a photo of the beautiful spaces, and faces, and wonders in life.