Taking a Breath

Sometimes taking a breath and experiencing the miracle of our bodies in that simple act, can be incredibly life affirming. We’re here for such a short period of time and squander so many of our precious moments with wasteful pursuits and unkind acts. We can fill our minds with a multitude of concerns. Some real. Some imagined. And… most won’t make any difference tomorrow. Next week. Or next year.

NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 10-100mm f/4-5.6 @ 48mm, efov 129.6mm, ISO 800, 1/100, f/6.3

We allow darkness to cloud our minds. To be sure the world around us has plenty of issues. The media ensures that we never get far from being reminded of all the ills that humankind brings on to itself.

Mud explosion at Mud Pools, New Zealand, Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 52 mm, efov 140.4 mm, f/8, -0.7 step, 1/640, ISO-160

We always have a choice of the things we allow into our lives. Ultimately we control our inputs. We can choose negativity and judgement. Or we can focus on love and support.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 29 mm, efov 78.3 mm, f/5.3, 1/1600, ISO-800

Taking a breath, and focusing on that life sustaining act can help remind us what a gift today is. Each day starts afresh. We can craft it into a mini miracle. Or experience it as self-induced Sisyphean drudgery.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 20 mm, efov 54 mm, f/8, 1/125, ISO-400

Compassion is not difficult to find. It lies just below the surface of our humanness. We can let it out with a kind word. Or showing some real interest and appreciation in the everyday work of those around us. The check-out clerk at the grocery store. A teller at the bank. Someone serving us at a restaurant. The technician working on our vehicle.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 50 mm, efov 135 mm, f/8, 1/50, ISO-400

Honest, hardworking people making their way in the world are all around us. Genuine interest and human connection let others know that we care. A single moment of kindness can transform someone else’s day. And, enrich our own life in the process.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 46 mm, efov 124.2 mm, f/5.6, 1/100, ISO-400

Taking a breath can remind us of the love that is in our lives. From our life partners. Our parents. Our siblings. Our children. Our friends. Our coworkers. Our neighbours. The most important recycling project on this planet is that of recycling love and understanding.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 24 mm, efov 64.8 mm, f/5.6, 1/80, ISO-3200

Taking a breath confirms the fragility of the environment. Resources are not infinite. Our past stewardship has been ineffective… but we can create a different future whenever we choose. Each of us can make a positive impact in some small way.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 10 mm, efov 27 mm, f/16, 1/2, ISO-160

Taking a breath can slow us down and allow us to step off the meaningless merry-go-round of consumption and selfishness.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 40-150 mm f/2.8 @ 150 mm, efov 300 mm, f/2.8, 1/400, ISO-200, subject distance 950 mm

One day each of us will take a breath that will be our last. It is only then that a full accounting of our life’s contribution here can be assessed. Did we leave the world a little bit better than we found it? Nothing else matters.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 @ 150 mm, efov 300 mm, f/8, 1/50, ISO-200, subject distance 905 mm

Technical Note:

Photographs were captured handheld using camera gear as noted in the EXIF data. All images were produced from RAW files using my standard approach in post. Images were resized for web use. This is the 1,191 article published on this website since its original inception in 2015.

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