Traveling to Capture Moments in Time


I took three shots of this ship as it passed me by: a beginning, a middle, and an end.  I was standing on the dock in Port Douglas, in Cairns, Australia.  Taking pictures is one of many ways I try to maintain a death grip on happy memories.  Some other times, it’s just to prove a simple point: I was here.  One of my good friends makes sure to take a proof of life selfie next to a landmark to prove she was there.  I am an abomination in selfies, and that is the only reason I don’t take them.

What I’ve started stocking up on in my travels, is single moments when my life and my idea of perfection happen to coincide.  They come in little spurts: taking that first bite of nutella french toast, snorkeling for the first time without a life vest and not sinking to my death as I’d imagined I would (water and I have never been friends), watching the sun slowly dip down over the water, and practically every night I was skipping around the Nepal wilderness, thinking “This is my life!”

It’s odd how my everyday work life doesn’t feel like my authentic life.  It may just be that my career doesn’t offer many opportunities for joy.  My authentic life seems to be when I’m running around elsewhere: writing, running (literally, for exercise), traveling.  Basically, any time when I wish I had my camera around, trying desperately to capture time.


The Sacrificial Leaf


The trees in the background are mangrove trees.  It’s a tree I’ve read about but never seen.  Their roots dig right into the saltwater.  A guide explained to me that for the mangrove tree to survive in saltwater, they funnel all the salt they take in through their roots, and deposit it onto a single, sacrificial leaf, that then withers and falls off the tree.

I know a leaf is not a person.  A leaf is a leaf.  But I find that explanation touching all the same.