Struck by Light: 1996 Nov. 17, Photoshoot at Peggy’s Cover, Nova Scotia, Canada
My first visit to Nova Scotia, my first Peggy’s Cove experience, I found an impenetrable calm while doing a photo shoot. The beauty of the sunset over the ocean struck and then re-struck until I became dizzy with joy. A strikingly beautiful natural light cast a never-ending screen of increasingly beautiful hues. Everything was lit. The light cast on the rocks, on my daughter and in joyous wonder and appreciation, the light also shone through her eyes.
A happiness, previously foreign, enveloped me. It’s so beautiful, I thought. I snapped my camera over and over again. Each time that I focused the camera lens, a mere degree away from my previous aim, the thought, O-oh, this is more beautiful, passed through me — over and over and over again — spinning me, around and around for over an hour.
It can’t get any better than this, brought another, Oh, it can! Only when I and my film were spent, did the sunlight fade beyond the endless ocean horizon.
Since that time, lesson after lesson was gained from my experience. Upon looking over the captured photos with my young daughter, she remarked on one, “That’s a beautiful photo of you, mommy.”
“It is a beautiful photo but that’s not me,” I answered.
My daughter quickly corrected me. Her finger landed on the long hair in the photograph, “that’s your hair.”
“Oh!” She was right. I had admitted it was beautiful and realizing that it included me was life-changing, especially since it was unfamiliar thought.
Time, like light, has quickly moved along. Our life seasons and my experiences have as well. Sharing such moments with family and friends is a good catalyst in ripening them. Interestingly, I came across a family moment through the writings of a deceased family member while doing family genealogy projects. Over a century ago, the following short passage from the memoirs of Henry William Lacey (Short Items from a Long Life) was written, adding to the flavour of my story. :
The storm became a calm and we came into Halifax Nova Scotia on Sunday evening March 11th, 1907. I saw in the Harbour, the most beautiful sunset I have ever seen. 60 years later I have a vivid remembrance of it, seemed like an Old Testament promise once again.
Henry’s impression of his Halifax Harbour sunset experience mirrors my 1996 Peggy’s Cove experience. Like Henry, the memory is vividly remembered. Unlike Henry, I have photographs of it that help to evoke the memory and make the experience easier to share with others. Our connection is nearly a century apart.
When the light of realization hit me, I could not go back to my old thoughts. Now, I need only look for light to have fear dispelled and I am more easily swayed to feel hope and happiness. Additionally, I’ve learned to appreciate and share my life-altering moments. Each time I do so, the experience is enrichened. By sharing the experience with others and have them hear and sense my wonderment and joy, I was able to re-experience the gifted moment again. Through the sharing, the visited memory is enrichened. I see myself as part of a spiral of love and wonderment.
As life goes on and I think that the light of experience and wisdom and sharing that I gained as I grow older can’t get any more beautiful, I find it does. For I have learned to see light in even the darkest corners. I am rewarded by others’ feedback; I feel and hear how my story opened their eyes and heart to the beauty of all things. I learn to appreciate making a positive difference in the world. Happiness is no longer foreign and I find it more easily revisited. It can pervade my life.
I hope you too can not only see the light but also feel it as I did — in, around and through you. If you do, you will know a peace that noone can take away, ever. It knows no boundaries, no fear.
What you believe doesn’t matter. What we think we believe or know is only a guess. Whatever is, is—despite our beliefs. Deep in my soul, I feel a beauty around the next corner that I could not imagine. These are now my every moments. I can simply choose to let dissolve the negative and focus on the light. It gets easier and easier especially as I find I can substantially reduce the time and energy that I used to spend to dissolve the negative.