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Savoring What is Given

Remember, I remind myself, to savor.

Dotty in Madagascar, after photographing a rare eagle

In the first essay I ever published, about paddling on a local waterway, I said I wanted to savor the creek the way my neighbor Susan savored food.

To gather each nuance, each subtlety, and not squander the sensations of experiencing what was there right before me.

In this photo of me, my joy felt boundless. I had just seen something wondrous, the Madagascar Fish Eagle. Seen it and been able to photograph it. Then, been told I had just taken a picture of one of the rarest eagles on earth.

Madagascar Fish Eagle

I will never forget that moment, nor the gift of seeing, while trekking a trail in western Madagascar, a baby lemur clinging to its mother.

Baby Brown Lemur clinging to its mother, Madagascar

My challenge, each time, is to put down my camera, even my binoculars, and just be with the animal or the bird, and simply watch it, as it is.

What gifts we are offered every day. A baby's gaze, the sun on a holly berry, the colors splashed across a calm sea when the sun first peeks over the horizon.

I do not want to miss what is given. I want to take the time to savor.

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