Category: Noticing NOW

Images that capture NOW. Things we may not notice all the time.

Off the beaten path in Procida, Italy (video included)

Since we were young our parents and family preached that we must have a path in life; to get from point A to Point B in the most efficient manner, and have a goal to strive toward. While at the time it seemed like sage advice and even now holds some value, parents would always say, “stay on the straight and narrow” or, “we must guide our children; when they wander off the path it’s our job to gently guide them back”. But looking back, while it kept many of us out of “trouble”, it certainly did not spark the wanderlust creativity that some of us don’t even know we need to feed. It was boring don’t you think?

Marina Corricella, Procida, Italy

An interesting example of staying on the straight and narrow is traveling to a foreign country and going on a tour. Sure you might learn all the history behind why doors in a certain town are painted special colors or what the local dish is. But you may never learn that the painter that originally picked the color and painted the doors was doing so as part of a feud with the local restauranteur who was attempting to change the local dish! Getting out on your own, getting lost and getting to know the locals gets you off the beaten path and gives you a vacation memory that you and only you will have; not the same vacations that all of the members of the tour will have. The photographs will be yours. They will be different. And, they will tell the story that you created; not the one you followed along to.

We visited Italy one year ago and made our home “base” the crazy and wonderful city of Naples (but that’s another story). Naples, as you may know, sits on the coast and offers access by sea to other parts of Italy and several small islands in the area, most notably Capri. Yes, we visited Capri. Who doesn’t when in Naples? But our shining “off the beaten path” moment was Procida. Ah, beautiful Procida. Smaller, and less traveled than its sister islands of Ischia and Capri; but uncrowded, peaceful and breathtaking. And, one of our favorite memories was created when we rented a Vespa and took on the narrow (some times one way), cobblestoned, streets and wound our way from the harbor up into the mixed residential and commercial streets, avoiding other Vespas, people, delivery vehicles and opening doors. Life seemed to stop and focus on only us as we headed up toward the sun and out of the shaded corsos. We were unstoppable and determined to conquer the streets of Procida. Faster and with more confidence we rose from the harbor and then it happened! We found ourselves in unfamiliar territory. We stood at the precipice and looked down. Then we looked back and realized, “We missed the turn!”. We had been gaining as much speed as confidence on the ride up that in our excitement we rocketed right by the turn we needed to take to get us to the other side of the island. We were headed to the beach.

Well, life had thrown us off the path and we had no parents or tour guide to guide us back, so we looked around and what we found was unlike any other vista we’d seen. One end of the island to the other was panoramically laid out for us, and only us (remember life stopped and focused on us). It was unbelievable and for a brief moment we were speechless; but this was quickly followed by several jaw dropping expletives and furious photo taking. The image of what we witnessed is shown below.

Perhaps the moral of the story is evident. But if not, LiFE is NOW… sometimes you need to get off the beaten path, immerse yourself in life and create memorable stories for yourselves.

Check out the video below for a sample of the fun ride we had from the harbor!

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Early Bird Gets the Worm; and the Fog!

It’s 7:00 am eastbound along the Cape Cod Canal. The sun has just risen over the horizon as we make our way into the light of the orange glow. If we had been driving along on auto-pilot it may have been missed. But, in the early mornings along the canal memorable reminders bubble to the surface; auto-pilot is manually shut off and we begin to take in the quiet morning as it awakens for the day.

And, there it is!!

From the time we were young, we were told you have to get up early to see it. If you were 5 minutes late it may not be there. Today, timing was perfect. Like a lot of good things in life you first have to be on the look out and aware; and secondly, the timing needs to be right.

Sunrise on the Cape Cod Railway

We love early mornings. The world is quiet and serene. You get to watch the day as it begins to unfold. Fishermen make their way along the docks (chatting and laughing of yesterday’s events) heading to ready their boats for today’s adventures. Shop owners, sweeping up, unfurling awnings and opening their doors to unveil the enviable aromas of coffee and freshly baked bread and pastries. Other early risers are out getting an exercise jump on the day as they jog, bike or walk with friends. The dew isn’t yet burned off by the rising sun and everything in its path glows in that sunrise flat light while it whitewashes the world until it rises higher in the morning sky and changes day from slumber to awake.

It’s a time to review and reflect, anticipate and plan; and most of all recharge and be grateful for everything that is life; oh yeah, and drink really good coffee while doing it all!!

Sunrise, birds and early morning fog on the Cape Cod Canal

Back to the original topic at hand. Turning the corner, the sunrise hit us smack in the face and with the windows down we began taking in the sights and sounds of the early morning; and, there it is. We pulled off the side of the road down into a bumpy parking lot and parked; figuring a little effort might get a big reward. The reward was there but the effort was slightly larger than little. In flip flops we carried our trusty phone camera as we traversed down a steep embankment, through a thicket and onto slippery rocks to the spot. The effort and time paid off as the photo below reveals.

The sun shrouded in mist lit up the shining steel of the bridge while the early morning fog hovered above the water and rolled beneath the bridge.

Sunrise and early morning fog on the Cape Cod Canal / Sagamore Bridge
Sunrise and early morning fog on the Cape Cod Canal / Sagamore Bridge

We smile every time we get to witness this event as it not only reminds us to be present, but it also reminds us of those that have gone before us. So, the next time you’re up early, head to your local gathering spot, marina, beach, lake or waterway; watch the world awaken and smile at the fog.

LiFE is NOW… get out of the fog and SEE THE FOG!

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FOCUS on NOW… you owe it to yourself

LiFE is NOW… is a way of life;

an affirmative action to be present during each day.

While spending energy reminiscing about the past

or worrying about the future we lose the ability to

focus 100% of our energy into enjoying the present.

People say they can multi task

but in reality they are short changing themselves

as they cannot possibly

focus all energy on the present

and enjoy it.

A portion of their energy is always lagging behind in the past

or jumping forward to the future.

This is not to say that

life in the present is always worth enjoying

(it could be tough or sad)

but, don’t we owe it to ourselves to

give 100% of our energy

to either forge through life

or sit back and enjoy it?  

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Change is good, right?

Change is good, right?  Traditions are good, right?  Well, which is it? Change or No Change?  I guess it’s up to the individual.  Or is it?

They say yoga relieves stress through meditation and discipline (ritually practicing over and over, the same time each day).  Then there’s sleep. Experts tell us to try to go to bed the same time each night and get the same amount of distraction free sleep to keep our bodies finely tuned and in line with bio-phases. 

Both, establishing rituals and patterns; without change.  These are both supposed to add happiness and health to our lives.  But, do they? 

Then there’s change.  Change brings questions, projecting, stress and distractions. Sounds to us like change is bad…really bad, even.  Not so fast, let’s think about what happens during No Change and Change.

Picture yourself driving in a snowstorm – the snow mesmerizing as it zooms through the blackness toward the windshield.  The rhythmic sound of the moving windshield wipers. 

Nothing changes and hours later the temptation is to fall asleep. 

How about the work day.  Alarm goes off, out of bed, drive to work, work all day, drive home, cook, eat, sleep, alarm goes off; repeat.     

Sometimes No Change can be bad.  It’s all in the “relative perspective” of the person dealing with it.  Let’s look at it from the other side.  Not the right side or the wrong side, just another side. 

So what if you’re comfortable in your own skin, your family and work life is great and all is wonderful in your world?  Wouldn’t not changing anything be a good thing?!  Maybe knowing you have a job and co-workers to go to every day gives your life stability.  Wouldn’t No Change be a good thing?!

Then there’s traditions.  The definition of tradition is:  an inherited, established, or customary pattern of thought, action, or behavior.  An established or customary pattern of thought, action or behavior??…ouch!.  Put that way tradition doesn’t sound so good! 

So where does tradition fit into Change vs No Change?  Well, what if a customary pattern makes someone happy, soothes their stress?  Since it’s a tradition there is less likely to be worrisome changes to be dealt with?  Wouldn’t that be a good thing?  Maybe.  Depends on which side you’re on.  Take for example apple picking and Christmas decorating; the things that keep some of us grounded and make us happy; while boring the hell out of others and adding stress to their lives trying to keep up with traditions set so many years before us; without our input. 

Here’s one that has more likely than not happened to many of us.  Your boss calls you into their office and tells you the job you’ve been getting up every morning and faithfully going to and working at for the last 14 years no longer exists.  Wait! What?  You will now be doing a job you are unfamiliar with and may not have the experience to fulfill.  BAM!  How’s that for stress level!?  Can you feel the cortisol coursing through your veins? 

For some, yes.  For others it’s an opportunity.  An opportunity for advancement. An chance to meet new people and cavort in new social circles. A chance to simply try something new.  Again, it’s all “relative perspective” for the person whose life the change is affecting. 

So, is change good or bad? Who the hell knows? It’s all in the eye of the beholder.  But one thing is for sure, the question keeps the world interesting. 

Just remember regardless if you’re a “Change” or “No-Change” person; LiFE is ALWAYS NOW.  Make the most of what you choose.

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