The Boy is mindful of his special gift and is careful to use only what he needs from the clouds, knowing that if he uses too much, there won't be any left for future days. As he weaves, he sings a little verse--"Enough is enough, and not one stitch more"--taught to him by his mother as a reminder for wise use. But the King is not as wise as the Boy and demands he spin yarn for extravagant royal cloaks, robes and such. It is a story of wisdom, mindfulness and sustainability.
During the Christmas season, it's easy to get caught up in the hype and the push for "more" of everything. It's easy to get caught up in the quest for the "perfect" gift or in preparing the "perfect" meal. I confess that I sometimes get caught up in these quests in my daily life, rather than being mindful and appreciative of all that I already have. I did so today as I prepared our Christmas dinner.
As a photographer, I definitely get caught up in the quest for the "perfect" photo and am often not very kind to myself in the process. The truth is, I am still new to this art, I am still growing and learning every day. Actually, as I write these words, I hope to always be growing and learning and hope to always have a feeling of newness in my art. I photograph because I am drawn to the truly awesome--in the real sense of the word--beauty of our natural world. I aspire to make great photographs, but I sincerely doubt they will ever be perfect, and I am okay with that.
Tonight, as I hear the Boy in The Cloud Spinner, singing the refrain, "Enough is enough, and not one stitch more," I hear it in a new way. While I still hear the message of wise use, the more resonant message I hear tonight is that of mindfulness. It calls me to be mindful of all that I have, tangibly, emotionally and spiritually, and to be grateful. It reminds me to be mindful of ways to help others who are in need. It gently reminds me to enjoy the experience of my photography as much as I do the end results.
I made the photograph above, "Christmas Berry" this morning during a lull in my cooking for Christmas dinner. I made it with a new macro lens (or, "micro" as Nikon likes to call them) that my wife's mother and sister gave to me for Christmas. I love the color of this berry in contrast to the snow on the ground and I like how clearly I was able to capture it with this lens. I'm thrilled and grateful to have this lens, but I have some practicing to do with it. Now, this is not a perfect photo. It's not even a great photo. It is, however, representative of my first steps in learning with this new lens. For today, that is "enough."
So, tonight, I leave you with an invitation.
Close your eyes, and hear the refrain of The Cloud Spinner: "Enough is enough, and not one stitch more." What do you hear in these words? For what or whom are you grateful? Please, leave a comment, thought or reflection.
In the quiet of this Christmas Day night in Vermont, I wish you a Merry Christmas and send you my hopes for a peaceful New Year.