The title sounds very grim, dark, and hopeless; it is not.
A Dane, on seeing this picture expressed quite candidly that this is a common sight every fall. He is probably right, but is he? See, we live in a delusion of a promised future, a tomorrow, a next week, a next month, a next year, a next autumn and so on. We tend to take the present for granted and assume that tomorrow will always come.
Will the trees be definitely here next fall? Will they be exactly the same? Will the browning leaves fall onto the exact arrangements? Will the weather be the same? Will there be definitely no remodeling around the area?
Nothing can be replicated exactly the same as the moment we snapped that picture, or creating a memory in our head about simple things around us.
Even if nature somehow decides to oblige and arrange everything the same as the year before, has the audience not changed? Would I have the same mood? Would I have the same visual capability to take in all the colors and gradients? Would I still be alive for the next fall?
There is no promised future to cash in because future never promises. It is just a mirage that we fabricate to allow us to stretch the present moment. It is an imagined safety net to shield the genuine existential fear.
So, don’t wait until the next sunset to enjoy the beautiful hues of this sunset, because next sunset may arrive, the same experience and scene are not promised. The next sunset may arrive, but we may not have the luxury to be in the exact same spot, with exact same ease.
Sometimes people comment that we are putting too much emphasis in taking photos for the sake of social media exposure. I think we should be allowed to create any form of memory if it means something to us.
I saw this frozen plant on my first “official” day of learning to ride a bicycle. I put the bike aside and ran to get my phone. I take nothing for granted, although it was freezing cold out there, the ice was not going to melt anytime soon, well, who knows?! I ran to get my phone camera anyway and took the picture.
Our mindset often shapes our behaviors. We can assume that the plant would still remain intact, given the freezing temperature, but can we guarantee that no one was going to walk on it?
Learn to be a child again. Remember how to be excited about things like you were a child. Our body may age, our mind could stay as young and as curious for as long as we desire.
When I was living in Singapore, my room faced the west direction. I saw countless of sunsets, but I still got really excited when the bright orange, or purple, or pink sunlight shone through my window into my room. I would always take a moment to indulge in the happy mood until the light was gone.
I woke to a foggy afternoon today. Perhaps when the next foggy day happens, the trees would be all bare. It would paint a new picture.
Take nothing for granted. The promised future is a lie, it creates heartbreaks and shattered hopes. The promised future creates a haunting chant in our head, reminding us of the missed dates and missed activities.