Sunday, November 29, 2015

Rose-coloured clouds

click photo to enlarge
"What is the good of your stars and trees, your sunrise and the wind, if they do not enter into our daily lives."
E. M. Forster (1879-1970), English novelist

Some people find it hard to look forward to retiring from work because for them it signifies the beginning of the end of their lives, something they don't want reminding about. It can be just that if you let it, if you are one of the many people for whom the three stages of life are childhood and education, work, and lastly retirement. However, retirement can also be seen as a distinct, fulfilling, exciting time, one where each day offers experiences and opportunities that work in particular, often reduced to brief episodes, but more usually denied.

The quotation by E. M. Forster (above) is one that I like because it emphasises the importance and beauty of everyday experiences, phenomena that are too often overlooked because they are common. Moreover, the things that he itemises are those that work can relegate to the infrequent and the snatched, to the periphery of life. Retirement can, if you so wish it, bring them (and many other everyday pleasures) back to the centre of your existence and the joys that they offer can be life enriching.

In my working life I rose quite early and returned home quite late; I had long days. Getting up in the morning I would often speed through ablutions and breakfast and be gone. There was no time to do what I do daily in retirement: namely, open the curtains and look at the day and reflect on how I might fill it. Or admire the frosted grass, the autumnal leaves, the light fall of snow or the rose-coloured clouds of a fine sunrise. The sky in today's photograph appeared for only five or so minutes before I sat down for breakfast. Had I been working I probably wouldn't have noticed it. But, in retirement I got my camera and took a few shots of the beautiful sight.

photograph and text © Tony Boughen

Camera: Olympus E-M10
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 22mm (44mm - 35mm equiv.)
F No: f4.5
Shutter Speed: 1/80 sec
Exposure Compensation: -0.3EV
Image Stabilisation: On