Some memories you can’t keep on film

Published 3:00 am Saturday, August 29, 2015

Several years ago, I was in Aspen, Colo. I got up early and drove to a place where the road butted against the mountain. The only road was the one back.

I grabbed my camera and the paper sack that held my lunch, a fried “balonie” sandwich and an apple, and started out across the meadow to photograph the beauty all around me.

I was so caught up in the “picture taking” I didn’t realize anyone was around.

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“You can’t do it, can you?”

The voice surprised me.

For a moment, I didn’t know what the young hiker was asking.

“No. No, I can’t,” I said, with the sudden realization that I could take a thousand photographs and not capture the moment I was in.

We walked together for a while. Then, he went his way and I went mine.

As I walked across the meadow, I felt the grass brushing against my legs and the wind on my face. I had not noticed the sun on my back or the tree sweeping the sky.

I stopped for lunch on the porch of an old abandoned shack. I sat in a sunbeam and shared my lunch with a chipmunk that dared to come around. I listened to the birdcalls and the rustling of the falling leaves. In the distance I could hear the rushing of a mountain stream. I watched as the clouds drifted over the mountains alternately showing and hiding the mountains’ craggy faces.

No. I could not capture that moment on camera but I could hold it forever in my mind and my heart.

God put a gray mass between our ears that forever captures the special moments in or lives.

I can still hear Mama’s teakettle whistling in the early morning. I can hear the rustling of Daddy’s newspaper and the sliding of his chair from the table. I can feel the wetness of the dirt I packed on my bare foot to make a frog house.

I can taste billy goat grass and see the flickering of lightning bugs in a jar. I can feel the relief at the closing of the car door as my children came home late at night and experience the joy of hearing them say, “I love you, Mama.”

What is happening in our world today is that we are so caught up with trying to capture those special moments on camera that we are not experiencing them, not letting them into our hearts where we can hold them and they will stay forever.

So, take a picture or two, capture those 3×5 images. Then, put down the camera or the cell phone and experience the moment you are in. Take in all that is around you – the sights, the sounds, the wonder — and you will have captured those moments forever in your mind and in your heart and you can relive them again and again.