stopLast Sunday in a post titled Stopping, inspired by a spontaneous photo of a sunset here in Anaheim Hills, I challenged my readers to join me in an experiment.  For one day, I said, set the timer in your smartphone for 30 minutes.  Every time it chimes, stop.  Look around and take a picture of something that’s amazing, even if in a small way.  At the end of the day, you will have roughly 25 photos to remind you that there are indeed spaces between the events of your busy life.  And sometimes, the best part of your day lies in those spaces.   If you’re feeling ambitious … and creative … make a collage and post it where you can see it.   I even offered to show you mine if you’ll show me yours.  I had no takers (Well, Terri of These Are Days said she might do it).

My feelings aren’t hurt.  My wife, Muri, told me that she thought it was a bit much to ask anyone stop every half hour to take a picture, and as happens so often, she was right.  I didn’t do it either.  But I feel like I have to set some kind of example here on my own blog, so during the week I took twenty-five photos of things that caught my eye.  I have a fairly low threshold for amazing and it still wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be.  But here’s my collage:


From top-left: (1) Anaheim Hills sunset; (2) Socal “snow flurry” (early spring flower petals); (3) Elvis and Mr. P; (4) Winter sky; (5) Coots (not old); (6) Bluebird; (7) Happy restaurant kid; (8) Black-Eyed Susan by the river; (9) Brown-Eyed Muri out to dinner with Older Eyes; (10) Park trees; (11) Rebel cactus, growing in the river marsh; (12) Morning coffee, Kona blend; (13) Freeway sunset; (14) Back yard flowers; (15) Egret in the park; (16) Office plant; (17) Mr. P on my lap watching TV; (18) Finches on the feeder; (19) Deer grass along the trail: (20) Wildflowers on the river trail; (21) Early spring blossoms; (22) My favorite park view; (23) Mandevilla blossom in the yard; (24) Tributes to my Dad by my son and grandson; (25) Glass vase titled “Rose Garden”.

See?  It can be done.  You just have to be retired, patient and, perhaps, a bit obsessive.  And when you’re done, you have a nice reminder of the benefits if being mindful.  And everything else in your life remains exactly the same.

Have a great weekend.

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4 Comments on “Stopped”

  1. What a lovely collage.

    But yes, taking a photo every 30 minutes is way too much!

  2. territerri Says:

    One of my current goals is to use my camera more often. And I haven’t really even done that, much less take you up on your challenge. I still think it’s a thoughtful challenge though. I tend to get lost in the routine and sameness of every day. But I’m sure there are amazing things all around, every day. I would still like to give this a shot, maybe planning ahead for a day when it’s more likely I’ll encounter more than the same four walls for eight hours at a time.

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