The Lightning That Never Was

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What’s one to do stuck at home on a rainy day, waiting for some papers to be delivered, with no “work” work to be done? Well… a million things come to mind, but that’s part of the problem. Tedious house work to be done… exhausting, stressful thoughts and issues to be mentally sorted out, when one has no clue as to how they could be handled in a way that might provide a positive outcome.

Self-care does, of course, come to mind… but who can empty their mind for long enough in order for that to be an option? So I pace up and down, unable to focus and start doing any of the things I should be doing… knowing that when I’m like this, it’s impossible for me to sit still… hating that I have to wait on the damn papers to be delivered… hating that they never narrow that delivery window of time to anything less than their entire work day… well, hating all sorts of annoying little things, because hating annoying little things outside one’s control can be a lot easier to handle than anger.

What I really want to be doing is go for a photo walk in the park, grab some shots of the probably mostly dead roses that I just didn’t get to photograph yet, see how big the ducklings got, and generally empty my brain of all worries, concerns and fears while walking and shooting.

But no… stuck at home it is… watching the loud funny family of magpies from my window. The two young ones are so big already that it’s not easy to tell them apart from the parents. By the time I half-heartedly get my camera, they no longer are right outside my window, but further away in the garden, at an angle that doesn’t promise decent shots. After a few attempts, I put away the camera without even checking the photos.

I might as well cross some chores off the list, since I’m not able to use my time in more constructive a way. Then, as the wind stirs up, the sky darkens suddenly and loud thunders overpower any other natural noise, an idea emerges from my own mental noise. A delightful summer storm seems to be brewing.

I have a tripod, but I don’t use it often, I don’t like carrying it. So I get it from the back of the shelf where it lives, and I set it up in front of the window. I’ve watched many spectacular storms from this window, why would today be any different? I never tried to photograph lightning, so this might be a great opportunity.

The lightning storm I was hoping for didn’t happen, at least not for me. It rained, but thunder faded in the distance, the real storm happening somewhere else. However, I wasn’t disappointed. Without thinking about it, I just stopped thinking about anything else and immersed myself in my activity, figuring out camera settings, reading a couple of articles on the topic, breathing in the smell of the rain and staring at the sky, waiting for lightning to strike. It didn’t happen, but that made little difference, since what I really needed was reprieve, piece of mind, and not necessarily some great shots.

As the rain stopped, I left the camera on the tripod, hoping for some post rain magpie antics. They didn’t show up, but at least I this time I was enjoying taking a few photos of life outside my window.

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Bad hair day? Rain will do that… we’ve all been there.

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Almost harvest time… I don’t really like these plums, but surely some of the neighbourhood children will have fun trying to pick as many as possible without a certain mean old lady downstairs seeing them.

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Their fragrance in the evening is amazing. 🙂

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Not the nicest of the many neighbourhood strays… He would clearly love a nice juicy magpie rump, yet he’s the one who keeps ending up with his tail pulled and bitten by the birds.

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Finally, some shots of the magpies before the rain. The young one is still a bit shy, but mom and dad no longer care about me… not unless they expect me to offer them some nice cool water on a hot summer day.

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Everything isn’t miraculously better, but my photo session by the window was a step… something that came to me naturally, my mind providing me with a solution, if I was willing to acknowledge it and follow through, in spite of other conscious tendencies. Of course my first instinct was to not drop everything; my first thought was, “I shouldn’t waste my time like this, I should take care of the many things that need to be done around the house, since I have all this time on my hands.”

Somehow, taking care of ourselves instead of doing all those mostly insignificant things feels like a waste of time… Why does it have to be this way, why does self-care have to be so guilt-inducing? Oh, I can come up with several reasons, but there’s really no point. We all know them, we all struggle with them. Meanwhile, body and brain send discrete signals that they need a break, and they’re often ignored. Here’s to hoping we learn to pay attention to them more often!

Take care of yourselves, the best you can… don’t postpone it until irreparable damage occurs.

22 Replies to “The Lightning That Never Was”

  1. Also – a few months ago we had someone come to measure the kitchen and he gave us a four hour window and came at the very end of it- ugh – so I can relate to waiting on the papers

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So frustrating… we have so much of that going on around here… too little respect and consideration for other people’s time…
      Did your kitchen remodel turn out the way you were hoping at least?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi – everything else went perfect with the remodel – really Anna it was so great and even was a little quicker than expected.
        I was dragging my feet with it for a while and hubs finally convinced me and now I wonder why I was hesitant – lol!
        Hope your weekend is going well

        Liked by 1 person

        1. That’s wonderful, Yvette, I’m glad for you 🙂 After finding myself in the middle of a couple of renovation projects some years ago, feeling like they would never end and wondering, “what the hell was I thinking to start this”, I can understand feeling reluctant to take on such projects, even if you know they would eventually turn out nicely. Enjoy your new kitchen and have a nice summer. 😉 🙂

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          1. Thanks so much
            And there were some hard days – like when we were not able to go in the kitchen and without a kitchen sink for a few days – thankfully it was minor and never led to the “what the hell was I thinking” haha – because we have been there as well
            Glad yours worked out in the end

            Liked by 1 person

  2. Love that call to do self
    Care right away and not when more damage is done
    The bad hair photo was fun too!
    And funny how the cats tail gets nipped by birds – wouldn’t expect tha —

    Liked by 1 person

        1. We equate it with a waste of time and/or laziness… I remember having been accused of it when I was younger and feeling like I would fall apart if I didn’t take a break. So I kept going, believing I had no choice, feeling ashamed I wasn’t strong enough…. and sadly, projecting the same kind of toxic judgement on others for a while. That’s our culture… Thankfully the times of caring about what others might think on the matter are behind me, even if it can still be difficult to stop.

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    1. Thank you, Tracy, I’m glad you liked them. As it happens, though, none of these were taken using the tripod. 😀
      How are you and your TL? I hope he’s feeling better and that you somehow managed not to catch it.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. What a lovely post, Ana. I’m so glad you pulled out the tripod and soothed your soul with your camera. That gull photo is stunning. The cat photo is intense. The magpie photos are delightful. Take care…

    Liked by 1 person

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