A couple of weeks ago my family and I went to the County Fair. It's something we do together every year. The hooligans look forward to entering contests, watching the rodeo, and seeing the animals among other fun attractions. I usually always take my camera, but as I mentioned earlier I've been a bit lazy as of late. On the last night of our visit at the fair I decided I should take it with me. I'm so glad I did. When we arrived we found a spot under a large tent to watch the talent show. It was muggy and hot and because we were a bit late, there weren't any chairs left to sit on. We huddled up together on a spot in the crunchy grass and started watching the show. As the evening grew later, more and more people arrived. A soft breeze picked up that cooled us off and eventually the crowd began to scatter. We quickly located enough chairs to accommodate our family and waited after the talent show for the hypnotist to arrive. The hooligans get a good laugh watching him, and it was our purpose in attending on this night. I decided that the break was the perfect opportunity to get my camera out.
I didn't really have a purpose in mind when I set out with it in my hand, but as always my mind quickly started turning as soon as I put the viewfinder to my eye. I started noticing things. I noticed how many people were roaming around, and I noticed they all had their own agendas. I noticed how busy this one spot on the earth had become, and I noticed how the sounds and light added to the energy of it all. I noticed that even though we were all in the same place that really we weren't all in the same space at all. Each person I passed was in their own little world doing their own thing hardly noticing anything else around them. People were shopping from tent to tent, and people were waiting in long lines for pricey fair food. People were searching for entertainment, and some people were even providing it. Beyond the fence the small carnival was attracting people as well with the buzzing of the lights and the whirling of the rides. People were flocking there in droves, but then I noticed something beyond that and once I noticed it I couldn't stop looking. As I wandered around in that short period of time I noticed that the soft breeze had picked up. The wind was now tossing my hair, and beyond the bright lights of the carnival rides the sky was a beautiful purple. Eventually the soft purples were drowned out with more angry tones as a storm blew in and landed directly over us. Everything looked brilliant against this dramatic backdrop, and it made me wonder how many others noticed it. I wondered if the girl on the rock climbing wall had any idea how beautiful the sky was on the other side, and I wondered if those cheering her on below had any idea either. I wondered if any of those people walking away from the carnival rides had noticed it before they turned their backs and walked into the wind. I wondered if those busy deal finders at the huge sale tent lifted their heads long enough to see such an amazing sight. I hope it grabbed the attention of at least of a few of them. I was glad I had my camera because it definitely grabbed mine. It's one of the reasons that carrying my camera is such a blessing. It helps me slow down, and it helps me to be a noticer. It gets thoughts rolling around in my head and it helps me enjoy things that I might not notice otherwise. I'm happy that it's something I've discovered because the world is a much more interesting and beautiful place when I slow down to notice things.