The other day I visited my mom and dad, and we went out to lunch at *Castle in the Clouds in Moultonborough, NH. It is a beautiful place to visit, and their balcony overlooks the lakes and mountains. We had our lunch out there, and were remarking on what a lovely place we were in, and weren’t we lucky to have such a great day together and with such a gorgeous view to enjoy with our lunch?
The sky was a magnificent blue with fluffy white clouds scudding across it. There was a fresh, pine-y breeze blowing, and the view was outstanding. As we sat and talked, two couples were seated at a table near us. From the moment they sat down to the time we left, all they did was to take endless selfies of themselves, their food, their drinks and each other. The one time they got up to the railing where most people gaze at the view, they turned their backs on it and used it as a backdrop to many more selfies and group pictures. Honestly, they could have been eating in a container truck for all they noticed.
Mom said that once she and Dad were somewhere in Maine when they saw an amazing double rainbow. She had said, “oh, shoot–the camera’s in the car–I’ll go get it!” Then she looked at the rainbow and said, “no–I’m going to just stand here and look at this incredible sight and just take it all in.”
How come people don’t seem to do this any longer? Must we record every second of our lives instead of simply living it? Will there be no more treasured family albums filled with pictures of weddings, births, graduations, and so on? I remember so well sitting with my Aunt Ruby when I was quite young. She got out her photo album and placed it on both our laps. As she slowly turned the pages, she explained who everyone was, and what their connection was to me. Hearing her voice and seeing her point out my relatives, I felt part of something bigger than the family I already knew. That sense of place and belonging has always stayed with me.
So in these days do we sit a young one on our lap and pull selfies out of “the cloud” to show them their family? Does anyone carry wallet-size photos of their loved ones any more, or is all that now stored on iPhones and their ilk? What happens when the smart phone breaks down or is lost? I’m sure that all pictures can eventually be brought down from the almighty and all-knowing cloud, but where’s the permanence of that? Will future archaeologists find out about us only by unearthing old cell phones and performing technical surgery on them to see who we were?
It is sad, for me, anyway; that while we technically can be in the moment, we may actually be missing the moment.