Updated: Feb 25
If I allow myself to slow down long enough to see what is happening around me, I am given such great “gifts of the moment”.
I went out on this day, just seeking a quiet walk by the lake, hoping to catch a few sunset photographs.
This lady caught my attention. She was there by herself, with her buckets, fishing pole and a net. I had walked in this spot hundreds of times and never seen anyone using a net here, way too many rocks. Smaller fish for bait, would be my guess was her purpose. Yet, her net openings were fairly good size, so I’m not sure.
I always wonder if I’m going to make someone mad if I take their photo. Sometimes I ask, sometimes I don’t. I try to be unobtrusive, not wanting to spoil the “moment” they are in for themselves. I quickly snapped a few frames of her, hoping she didn’t notice.
Lots of questions raced through my mind about the woman and wondering why I was brought to this moment. Sometimes moments like this I think are simply “the pleasures of life” appearing. Other times, I know there’s something deeper, a “lesson” perhaps in what is presented to me.
As I break down the scene, I notice and think about these things:
The woman is alone. Why is she here on her own?
She has all the right equipment for doing what she’s doing. She’s done this before.
Her net…her actions…is it fish that she’s really after?
The poet in me finds symbolism bursting through the scene and remnants of this captured moment makes me think there’s a message here for me, and now for you as well.
The water…nature shows itself in the reflections, water is life-giving.
The woman being there alone speaks of independence, perhaps a moment of proving to herself that she can do this alone. Perhaps, this is her moment of quietness away from the chaos of her day to day routines.
The buckets… anticipation and hope of what will be caught
The net… a fisherman’s tool, used to capture…used to hold…why does the story of Jesus and the men in the boat keep coming to mind? I looked the verses up.
In the Gospel of Luke
5 One day, as the crowds were pressing close to him to hear the word of God, Jesus was standing by the lake of Gennesaret. 2 He saw two boats moored by the land; the fishermen had gone ashore and were washing their nets. 3 He got into one of the boats — it was Simon’s — and asked him to put out a little way from the land. Then he sat down in the boat and began to teach the crowd.
4 When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, ‘Put out into the deeper part, and let down your nets for a catch.’
5 ‘Master,’ replied Simon, ‘we were working hard all night and caught nothing at all. But if you say so, I’ll let down the nets.’
6 When they did so, they caught such a huge number of fish that their nets began to break. 7 They signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. So they came, and filled both the boats, and they began to sink.
I took this photo a year or two ago, yet today, I reflect on the message given to me that day and even now.
Regardless, of whether we’re “casting our net” alone or with others, we can anticipate and hope for our buckets to be filled, because Jesus is nearby teaching us in a way that makes sense to us. Our nets will always be full when He is nearby.
On this day, I wasn’t fishing with a net, but I “captured and held” a moment with my camera that reminded me to remain teachable and reachable. I may appear to be alone, but Jesus is always waiting at the shore to step into my sight through the lens of a camera. I wait in anticipation and hope that I never miss a moment.
I did get a sunset photo on another day…a man and his friend…a net…a boat and a shoreline.