You walk through the woods and then stop. You look up and are caught within the branches, the lines and shapes, the shadows and forms, the sky.
You’re working under an open pavilion, on an island off the coast of Malaysia. It is time for the afternoon rains. You stop and watch the drops pelt the concrete in amazing rhythms, patterns and chaos.
The sun comes out, and each droplet becomes a mirror, a prism, reflecting light and color briefly before evaporating back into the air or being absorbed into the earth.
You are distracted by the sound of the rain on the skylight above you. It shifts, louder and softer, along with the visual staccato of points.
You hear the birds – so many birds. You look around, but you cannot find them. And then you look up, and see them like notes floating along the treetops.
You are at a lookout point, waiting for the sun to set over the ocean. You turn, and see a wide expanse of quiet tidal pools, ignored by the busloads of tourists surrounding you. You climb down and spend so much time exploring the creatures and plants and colors and forms that you miss the sunset. But you captured something else.
All of these and more are moments to stop, to absorb the colors, the light, the movement and line, the experience of a point in time in the world around us.
Whether walking around my neighborhood or traveling far from home, I have developed the habit of stopping and observing my surroundings. Sometimes the focus is on the unique; sometimes it is on the universal. But it is always about this moment, this brief, fleeting moment.