The original of this post wasn’t tied to any particular picture, so here’s a “Choose Your Own Adventure” version with different photos and commentary.
A few dawns ago I looked through the trees and saw a beautiful full moon hanging on the horizon. My first thought was that it would make a great photo. My second thought was that I would never have time to get my camera and the shot before the moon set, so I walked to where I could get a clear view and watched the moon slowly slide below the hills.
I suppose this should teach me to keep my camera at the ready because I never know when a great shot may present itself. I guess I could have squeezed out several decent shots of the setting moon with my phone and enhanced them with careful editing, but I rarely have my phone with me when I’m hanging the hummingbird feeders at dawn. I would have been scurrying about, hoping I made it before the moon got too low.
I prefer to draw another lesson from my undocumented interchange with the moon. My life is better if I relax and immerse myself in what comes my way. I don’t need a picture of it to know I lived it. I can also guarantee that the moon will set again and I’ll have another chance if I want a photo.
Socrates said that the unexamined life is not worth living. I sometimes wonder if we are trying to document our lives so much that we are missing out on fully living. Socrates was silent on selfie sticks and photos of your quinoa and kale salad, but if the unexamined life is not worth living would he think the unlived life is worth examining?
Here’s a guy that might benefit from a little more life examination, not to mention examination of the life of his buddy. The fox with his tail to the camera watched the other fox walk past the inverted flower pots to enter the cat-feeding station, eat his fill, and then leave. So what did our hero do?
He tried to jam himself through the fence mesh. You can’t see it in any of the photos, but his left ear is mostly missing. It’s reasonable to assume this wasn’t the first time he failed to learn from experience and did something the hard way.
I have to admire his persistence, though. He eventually got halfway in and managed to have dinner. It’s an open question as to whether a selfie or a photo of cat food would help him navigate the situation next time.
Just in case you’re wondering, I noted the time the moon set, thinking I might catch a photo the next day. The next day’s dawn came and I forgot to look at the horizon until it was too late. (My recliner was comfy and the coffee was good.) By the third day the moon wasn’t setting until the sky was bright. Maybe next month, if I’m as persistent as this fox.
A version of this post appeared in the Bandera Prophet.
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