My heart is most at peace during time spent with my camera in a quiet place alive with the colours of the season. With each big shift in nature’s display, I feel a new pull. Each new palette calls to a distinct part of me, each rings with the truth of its own colour.
So the other day I was overjoyed to steal a few moments in a park filled with the colours of autumn. Or perhaps they stole me.
Often when I am lost in beauty, when I follow the whims of my camera lens from this point to that, my inner voice gets to chattering.
It’s not the voice about worry and hurry and what to make for dinner or who needs to be paid.
It’s the voice that brings into focus the depth of the meaning in the moment. The one that notices that the words change in my head when the camera is in control. The one that brings me the peace and fullness of what I feel in there.
So on that day as I was saturated by the glow of fall leaves, lost in the myriad views of sunshine that dappling revealed, I heard that voice ask an unusual question:
What do you long for? Right now in this moment?
I was really struck by how at first the question seemed at odds with the peace I was feeling, the absolute fullness and completeness that I swim in while I’m lost to Beauty.
But the question did not feel filled with scarcity or lack, was not a gaping hole empty with wishes.
It felt comforting. True. Alive.
It felt like the secret cracking open just a little more.
Because there was something very important in the way the question was asked.
It’s easy for us to spend a lot of our longing on lack. Hopes that we’ll have the money to buy that cool thing or wishing to be with someone or somewhere we simply can’t.
But most of the time if we quiet the noisy voices if we let ourselves feel the fullness in this actual moment, the one thing we long for is probably much more immediate. A friend. A kindness. A feeling of belonging.
If we only focus on what we long for in this moment, if we dig deep enough into exactly what we long for, what might we discover?
Once we have our base needs taken care of, when we have our food and shelter, what do we need next?
And my thought ran forward in search of its answer while my heart, still in that moment before the next breath, trailed behind.
All that we all long for, that which we truly need, fits into the puzzle of Gratitude:
Thankfulness, kindness, awareness, community.
All that we need.
And to long for these things is not to admit to lack, it may have nothing to do with scarcity. It may have everything to do with the divine. It may be entirely about reaching the divine within ourselves, where we know we have all that we need.
And breathlessly I feel this going even deeper.
For if what we need is one of these elements of Gratitude, then it is both what we need and what we must give away. In every moment that we give away thankfulness, kindness, awareness and community, in every way that put forward Gratitude, we get back more of the same.