I didn't even Instagram it!

I recently went on a date. We met downtown Ottawa right after work at 5 pm on a beautiful Friday evening. We had time to kill before our dinner reservation and I needed to re-center myself after rushing over from work in traffic, so we went for a walk.

I had never been up to the Astrolabe, so that's where we went. The sun was gloriously shining and the sky was a perfect blue with a few fluffy white clouds here and there. Up at the Astrolabe, the noise of the city dulled a little. The view was picturesque. In fact, I wanted to take out my cell phone to take pictures to post on my Instagram account. But I didn't. I decided to just be in the moment with this man and this beautiful scenery. As we talked, I breathed deeply and took in the view. Peace finally came over me. I was ready to really be in the moment with him.

We made our way back down to the market. There was still time before our dinner reservation, so we went to sit in a courtyard not far away from the restaurant. The holes in the old stone wall from one of the buildings surrounding the courtyard was home to many birds chirping away and flying around. This too was a photo-worthy scene. But the cell phone remained in my purse.

After supper, we weren't ready to part ways yet. We were enjoying each other's company. So we decided to keep walking around the city. We walk around parliament hill. We stopped for a little while to look over the river. This too was another photo opportunity. The cell phone remained tucked away in my purse. After a little while we continued on our walk around the city.

The whole evening was like this - photo-worthy moment after photo-worthy moment. It was a gorgeous evening with perfect weather and good company. The city seemed extremely beautiful to me! I would have liked to have had photos to share with you to show you all of the lovely sights I witnessed, but I don't. I like Instagram. I post often enough. However, I didn't want to ruin the evening with social media. I wanted to be present. To be in the moment with this interesting man walking around our beautiful city on a gorgeous evening.

I wanted to take photos not only because of the obvious beauty of the scenery, but because I wanted to hold on to the moment. I wanted to hold on to this moment of absolute contentment. But I think not being able to hold on to a moment is actually, ironically, part of what makes it so worthy of being held on to. All of these moments help shape us. Even though we might forget them eventually, they're still a part of us. It's ok to enjoy them and let them pass.

Deciding to be present was a good decision. It was a perfect evening!

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