But what about the next waterfall? Or the next? Or the next?
On the day I took this photo, I saw at least 5-6 different falls and took photos of them all. And I saw trail signs indicating there are more out there. That was just one trail, in one state park, on one island. Think about how many waterfalls there are in the world! And that’s just waterfalls; how many other trail features are there? Think of all the peaks, lookouts, lakes, passes, saddles, divides, summits, springs, bridges, ruins, and rivers you pass out there.
It can be dizzying and almost incapacitating to anyone with FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) because we want to chase them all and anytime someone posts a pic from a hike we haven’t done, we feel like we need to rush out and see it. We get there and spend just enough time to snap a pic and prove we were there, before heading off to the next “it” location.
We get that way with people, too. In my job, I have to work a room full of people all the time. Shake hands. Make connections. Keep things moving. But in my private life, I learned a long time ago that I’m happiest finding a kindred spirit, finding a quiet corner, and talking for hours over a bowl of melting ice cream.
In today’s culture, we’re used to doling out half-second likes before moving on to the next pic. But people aren’t posts. We need to stop, listen, observe, admire, and see them for every intricate detail and vivid color they possess. When we do, we start to notice details that are otherwise lost to brevity. A light curl in their lip when they smile, a flecked freckle on their cheek, or the way they get flushed when we pay them a compliment.
I was a little manic on this hike. I snapped this photo and left, spending no more than 5 minutes at this pool. Some hikes are like that. But I’d rather spend an entire day at the right waterfall, then a week bouncing from fall to fall without stopping to appreciate the beauty only beheld in patient, quiet study.