I have just returned from a wonderful holiday on the Isle of Wight. The weather was amazing and we were spending our time with Joe’s family. We all got on great and had a great experience.
The highlight for me came when I decided to set myself the goal of photographing some red squirrels in the wild. This shy creature is very rare in the UK and it is a privilege to see one.
I did my homework and some research. I contacted Helen Butler from the Wight Squirrel Project. She very kindly told me about a hide on a reserve where I had a good chance of seeing squirrels if I got up at dawn and took some walnuts with me. She advised me to put some walnuts where I wanted to take pictures.
I arrived at the hide and confess I was thinking this was going to be difficult. I had assumed I would need to put the nuts out some distance away and use my 500 lens. But it seemed the hide was set up to look at the wet lands and I’m thinking;
“Great get up at dawn and nothing!”
I started unpacking my camera gear anyway and then I heard it! The patter of tiny feet on the roof of the hide. The next thing I know there is a squirrel two feet away from me demanding some food!
It was then I entered the flow state. I lost all sense of time and found myself totally engrossed in what I was doing. Time passed without me noticing and I took picture after picture. It was amazing.
This for me is what “flow” is all about. Flow is not about “trying”, flow emerges when we give ourselves up to a task or an experience. Any thoughts are about the here and now. We are fully engaged and time passes without us even realising it.
I loved this experience so much that I returned later in the day with Joe. Late afternoon can be a good time for squirrels but there were no guarantees.
We were so lucky! They were back and this time even more cheeky. One ran right up to Joe and tapped him on the arm. Another raided our bag to help himself to walnuts we hadn’t put out yet.
Joe and I both experienced flow again. I’m not sure if much has been written about sharing flow as it is often written about as a solitary experience. For us it was a joy to share.
What gets you into flow? Is it something creative? Something everyday? Let me know your experiences.