Each image that I create, no matter the session style or subject matter, has one specific goal in mind; to savour the beautiful, fleeting, and nearly imperceptible details that build the foundation of our lives and our loves. Training my eye to look for these moments and preserve them does not end when I set down the camera, and this is the biggest gift that my photographic journey has given me.
Mindfulness is such a "buzzword" at the moment, that it is sometimes easy to lose sight of what mindfulness can mean in our emotional lives. Finding the word savouring applied to this concept has brought new colour and texture to my understanding of how we can apply mindfulness to our daily practice of living wholeheartedly.
When I think of savouring something, I think of the rich world of food that we have available to enjoy. Some of the foods that we enjoy the most passionately are not obvious choices; they are "acquired tastes." Strong, bitter, pungent, spicy, heavy, sharp... it isn't only the sweet that is worth savouring. Surely we can easily enjoy the sweet as well, but even so, is it more gratifying to devour a tub of Ben & Jerry's or to experience a small gelato with a demitasse spoon, embracing the subtleties of the flavour.
And so I find myself bouncing back and forth with a sleepless, teething baby, fighting to night wean to get a moment of my own body and sanity back, while yearning to comfort him with ease and to get back to bed. And yet, at least occasionally, I find myself reflecting on the beauty of that moment of pure connection. When the two of us are completely without distraction. When he is all need and I am all love. I imagine the details that I would capture in that moment as a photographer... the way his tiny, still-dimpled fingers grasp each other with his arms wrapped tightly around my neck, nuzzling my nose into his soft, sweet skin. All the while praying for this moment to pass, and yet for this memory to stay forever.
This is how I find myself savouring even the bitter moments. Recognizing what I see and admire in even the sour, pungent, heavy, and sweet moments in the lives of others, and giving myself the gift of savouring and appreciating those moments in my own life.
This is how I push myself toward unconditional, wholehearted living.