look up to see where you are going

Early one sticky morning while on a walk through the woods, I tried my dexterity at selfie-videoing (is that what it’s called?) I found it takes practice, and an artistic eye. My face moved in and out of the frame, my head moved up and down, though I was not agreeing to anything. Perhaps it was a lack of hand-eye coordination. Or an arm that was just not long enough? The landscape was recessed, and I was so up front, age spots dotting the face clearly visible, the floral and fauna in the background, not so much. Yes, making an action selfie, or video? takes practice, unlike photos, which indeed, are “still”, and of which I am better at taking.

My purpose for this selfie-video was to share my interactive outdoor experience. My face flush with warmth of the beginning day and the exercise of the body, I was ready in audio and video to capture the melody of a cardinal’s song, see red-winged blackbirds swooping closely, a pair of fawns straining their necks to reach for tasty leaves . . . and me! These would be my feel-good moments during a splendid weather day, worthy of media sharing. It is about capturing the moments, right?

Perhaps my nostalgia for life and its moments was the result of recently reading fellow authors’ reflections on new moments in their lives. One author, who turned seventy and wrote about it on her blog, FANAGRAMS-Humor, Curiosity, Anagrams, Idioms, acknowledged this new decade with grace and perception by hanging photos of her ancestors, making home connections with tchotkes placed on shelves, and seeing herself wearing bird socks while contemplating a troubled toenail. And then there were those who have retired, or simply have hung up just one of many hats they wear, as reflected, for example, in this author’s blog, THE ABUNDANCE.

Sometimes we can’t help but to review our lives when we reach milestones, answering an internal question, “how did I get here?” in reflection of our journey.

I read with sincere interest, first to learn what life lies ahead for them, and then for me, as I soon will be a sexagenarian. Yes, I wondered, what’s next for me? What’s in my future as I reflect that I have spent more days then I have saved?

Kierkegaard once said, “Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.” The notion that we need to look back at where we came from in order to see where we’re headed can strike at any time, for whatever reason.

True, but what is with all this backward-forward-thinking, eyes ahead, toe tips always in sight? Perhaps anticipating the future is in the thrill of an unknown, of a promised road that will take you there.

On that humid morning, I realized it wasn’t about moving forward . . . or looking back, when a heated breeze rippled through the oaks, and summer’s chimes of tendriled branches flirted with rustling leaves, filtering blue and light.

I turned my face to the sky. Think Emerson when he said, “The sky is the daily bread of the eyes.”

Therein lies where we’re headed. A short meditation on the infinite possibilities meeting our eyes, with the sun in the day to dream in infinite skies, or the plum-dark of night to wish upon a star. Our futures lie in the folds of our dreams that can take us anywhere we desire. And who doesn’t dream when we look up into the tree crowns tickling suspended clouds?

I noted I have more years behind me than I have ahead. But when I look above, I will think it neither my life I have lived, nor the definition of who I am now, but the possibilities yet to be discovered.

In the future, I’d be curious to view the time-stamp of those moments: the length and color of my hair, my skin’s loss of youth to ripples, a once slender frame now filled out. When seeing this video with myself placed in it, I will remember that morning of birdsong, the fauna, the tender forest, as a wake-up call to cast my eyes upward.

Admittedly, I need more practice with the selfie-video thing. And when I think I have a good one, I’ll share the seconds.

. . . to myself in moments of real time.