Last Sunday, Oct. 27, I began my day with realizing the following:

Inspiration surrounds us in all things; we merely need to realize the beauty in what we already see.

The experiences we have, and the way in which we perceive and receive them, are entirely up to us. Sometimes, all we need to do is shift our perspective in the slightest of ways, and we are rewarded with unimaginable gifts.

It is hard, though. Too often, we are on auto-pilot, going through the day so fast that we hardly take the time to even process all that we see and experience.

Late in the afternoon on that same Sunday, my son and I took a walk around Deer Park in Carroll County. It was our first visit, and we were surprised with the number of playing fields, a fair-sized pond, and preserved lands along a meandering trail.

The park was, in many ways, similar to Sandy Mount Park, which is about 4 miles east of Deer Park: multiple fields, the paved trail that winds around the perimeter of the park, but much less wildlife and natural surroundings. In fact, at Sandy Mount, BGE has removed many of the trees that once served as a barrier to the noise, pollution, and visible traffic along Westminster Pike.

Very sad.

Anyway, in our walk around Deer Park, I took a few pictures. The sun was setting, and I wanted to take advantage of the light low to the horizon. My mind was pretty open to what I might find.

I never expected, though, to realize the truth so quickly in my early-morning words.

Two sets of photos showed me all I needed to experience the power of changing my perspective, just a little, and seeing the beauty that had been around me the entire time.

DSC_0473In this first photo of milkweeds, which I took at 5:33:09 p.m., I was pleased with how the focus of the plant contrasted the natural backdrop. The light hitting the pods from the right really added a nice dimension to an otherwise colorless image.

As we continued our walk, I was aware that the sun was setting over a barn in the background, and I was focused on getting that just right. As I was walking by to get more angles of the barn, I glanced back at the milkweeds in a remarkable light. Immediately, instead of seeing brown milkweed pods illuminated softly by a peripheral light,  I saw angels dancing in an explosion of fire, of energy, and I had to find a way to capture it. I underexposed the image by a few F stops, and got this next picture at 5:34:02, exactly 53 seconds after I had taken the first photo. DSC_0475

I could not believe the difference between the two images. All I needed to do was shift my perspective, by mere inches in this case, and I found myself enriched beyond measure with an image that seemed almost heavenly.

We continued our walk around the trail. I took a few more photos, and then we reached the pond.

When we first saw it, I was happy with the early fall canopy of matted oranges, greens, and browns that were in the background. I thought the bench added a nice touch, suggesting that we all need to take a break every now and then and enjoy the colors of the season.

Just in that thought, I had believed that I had already changed my perspective. I felt as if I had received the reward so easily, with very little effort.

I must be more mindful, now. More aware. Appreciating the moment is providing me many rewards along this path…

I took a few pictures of the pond and the bench. The time was 5:46:35 p.m.

DSC_0485Very nice, I thought.

I continued my walk along the edge of the pond and, when I reached the other side, I turned around to call my son.

I saw a different kind of sun, though, one that was now descending just along the top of the barn’s roof.

I was immediately struck by its beauty. This was not the same pond that I had just photographed minutes ago.

How could this be? It was as if I were experiencing two entirely different worlds, simply by walking to the other side of the water.

At 5:51:11 p.m., just 4 minutes and 36 seconds after I had taken the first photo of the pond, I took another shot. sunset deer park

I changed my perspective, and the experience changed my life.

I do my best to really seize the moment. I was raised on the mantra of Carpe Diem, or seize the day. I don’t know any other way to live my life.

But this. This experience in a short walk around a man-made park — a walk that lasted no more than 30 minutes, confirmed my words from early that morning:

Inspiration surrounds us in all things; we merely need to realize the beauty in what we already see.

Change your perspective, change your life. Not a bad way to seize this moment, now and for always, now and in all ways.

 

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