Mount Hart, New Zealand (2018)

Do you ever just stop and admire the simple things in life anymore?

We live our lives rushing from place to place attempting to check items off our never ending to-do lists. Some of us striving for self improvement, others just trying to stay afloat. And yet this constant drive for self betterment can leave us blinded to the simple things in life.

One of my goals for this year has been to be more deliberate and focused in everything I do.  It's become far too easy to become distracted by everyday noise.  Part of the reason the Milford Track resonated with me so much this year was that it removed so many distractions from my life.  It gave me a chance to get back in touch with nature and return to a grounded state of mind.

This shot, taken near the second hut on the Milford Track is a prime example of nature putting things into focus. I had walked away from the hut to take some time for myself.  Time to absorb the surroundings and appreciate the gravity of the sight that people travel from all over the world to see.  Surrounded by the sentinel giants that form the Clinton Canyon.  In true Milford style, the sky was dark and overcast, as it was for a lot of the trip.  But out of nowhere the last light of the day punched through the clouds to illuminate the Southern face of Mount Hart.  I sat back and watched in awe at the light show unfolding and just as quick as it arrived it was gone.

What makes this shot so special to me is that nature was reflecting my state of mind.  For a brief moment, a small part of a single mountain in this immense valley was illuminated in all it's glory where it was impossible to focus on anything else.  In that moment I felt content and at peace.  It's that feeling that now drives my focus as I've become more mindful of my thoughts, behaviors and actions.

So I'll ask again, when was the last time you stopped to admire something simple with your full attention?

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