In this era of portable and ever-present technology, I’m often chided for my insistence on toting a relatively heavy and bulky DSLR camera case on vacation. Though I concede that iPhone snapshots can be great, nothing can compare to capturing a predawn experience through my camera lens.
I expect incredibly vibrant sunrise shots and mirrored reflections of the Seven Seas Lagoon; but some of my more memorable moments come from unexpected sights and sounds encountered along the way.
Barefooted and armed with zoom lens in my pocket, and a polishing cloth in the other, I eased out through the sliding doors, careful to not wake the sleeping child in the adjacent bed. The sprinklers were cycling through their programmed sequences, and I knew that if I headed east on the lava pathway towards Bay Lake, I could skirt the spray and reach already-watered landscapes. There I would wait for my sunrise.
Thirsty from the previous sun-scorched afternoon, the lush landscapes seemed to be soaking in the welcomed moisture. The sun would soon return and the blooms would re-open, dotting the Polynesian scene with vibrant tropical hues. But for now, here, in the quiet of the cool dawn, I paused to wait; content to bear silent witness to tear-shaped droplets clinging to delicate buds and stems.
This unanticipated frame transports me to that sublimely peaceful moment, reminding me (with the twenty-twenty clarity of hindsight) that the journey can be priceless.