Lessons From My Lightning Watching




This evening, it rained and thundered heavy.

I hate thunders; I really do. I always tell myself I won’t be scared, but then they go off and I almost shrink on my bed. Today was no different. As I cowered in my bed and watched for the lightning that would announce the thunders, I hated thunderstorms more and more.
After it subsided and it was just light streaks of lightning and gentle rumbles of thunder, my younger brother suggested that we take pictures of the lightning.

So, we stood by the open window with my camera in my hands and shot incessantly, hoping to be faster than the speed of light. Suffice it to say that out of about a hundred pictures, only two came out with lightning streaks. It was fun until my head started pounding and I retired to do something else.

Reflecting back on the moment, some things jumped right at me – about how some aspect of life can be likened to my lightning -watching experience. I’ll share:


1. Opportunities are neutral elements; for them to be activated into something great, they must meet with preparation and readiness. If I had sat on my bed and thought of how nice it’d be if I simply took a picture of the lightning, I never would have actually captured it. The lightning simply continued manifesting never minding that I was not snapping it. The truth is whether or not I was, someone somewhere who had the same idea that I did, stood up and endeavored to take pictures of the lightning. Opportunities are not biased to a category of people. We all would realize opportunities in our lives and we must be prepared to, and actually act of them if we want to.

2. Thinking about something is way easier than doing it. In my mind, all I’d have to do was set my shutter and ISO at the perfect setting, stand and just shoot at the sky and all would work out fine. But I was wrong. My neck hurt, and I had to review my settings a couple of times. It was surely easier in my head.





3. You win some, you lose some, you move on. There were times when I turned my head to talk to David, my brother; or times when I lowered my camera and stretched my neck, and in those moments, the most terrific lightning showed up. I missed those opportunities. But the truth is that if I had sulked after those losses, I would have not been fast enough to capture the two that I did,

4. Sometimes, you get even what you’re not looking for. You know how people who fall in love say, ‘I wasn’t even searching for love when I found it’? Well, it happens in real life too. I took three amazing pictures of the flight of a bird and it actually inspired me to stop and think about how birds never fly backwards; they just don’t; neither can they. It was raining and there was thunder and there was lightning, but this bird just kept flying forward. I loved that.




5.  Don’t regret doing what you love. There’s something Yinka, my best friend tells me and it’s that ‘Never regret things you do, only regret things you don’t do.’  I usually repeat it to myself when I feel bad about some things I have wasted my life and my time doing. Even if you completely fail at doing something, take away lessons from what you did and dump all the regrets. I got 2 lightning pictures from about 100. I wasn’t too happy that I wasted my time. But in truth, I did not exactly waste my time. Being sad over a past simply helps you spend your present  for that past and not for the future.


God knows this is the kind of photography I like; giving way to beauty to show itself without it even knowing that it is.

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