A week ago I woke up to a surprising fact: the weatherman’s dire prediction for multiple inches of snow by morning had actually come true. Normally the first good snow of the year reawakens a childish giddiness in me, but a first snow midway through November did not bode well with me after last winter, and so I decided to show my displeasure by staying indoors with a cup of tea, refusing to acknowledge it with my camera.
Until the sun came out. Then the sight of bright snow contrasting against the last of the fall leaves and a clear blue sky coaxed me out of the house, camera in hand.
Revisiting that moment through these photos reminds me of a snippet from Luci Shaw’s book The Crime of Living Cautiously, where she describes cultivating a spirit alive to the opportunities of the moments God brings us to:
…I need to have my camera and film, and my journal and pen, always accessible, ready to collect the images and words that may present themselves. The opportunity may not be repeated; I need to seize it and enter into it or risk losing it altogether. I call my camera and journal ‘my collection jars,’ recalling those wonderful summer evenings of catching lightning bugs in a mason jar and watching the flashes of light their small insect bodies gave off. I’m determined to catch and collect the images and insights that come my way while they are still alive and blinking in their subtle light.
This is one way I try to invest what the Master has entrusted to me, rather than ignoring it and allowing it to got to waste. Each of us must identify such gifts and such occasions for ourselves. ‘Use it or lose it’ is not an empty maxim.