Murray River Princess And Life

Murray River Princess And Life

Not long ago I was on the  Murray Princess and it is an imposing Paddle-steamer, although technically it is not a paddle-steamer as it is not driven by steam.That’s another story.

Nevertheless it’s an imposing structure and one that demands your attention when you see this traveling down Australia’s greatest waterway-The Murray River.

I was on the boat for a week as a guest.

The meals are outstanding and the trip over all is simply sensational and its an amazing experience.

The week went quickly and the weather was a mixed bag with one perfect day for taking pictures that I was hoping for and the remaining days where either raining at times or heavy in dark threatening skies.These are still awesome to shoot in and storms always provide endless options.

It was announced that a professional photographer was on board for the week and in a very short time, people soon made their way to me, tracked me down, all looking for advice in their how to use their cameras effectively.

The majority of people who do this trip are much older , 60’s through to mid 80’s,there were younger ones off course, but not many.

It wasn’t long where I’d be helping people in taking better pics, helping them understand their cameras although I was meant to be a fly on the wall so to speak and later I gave an hour talk at the request of the Princess people on how to take better pictures with their existing cameras.

Over the week, as I mixed with the people on this boat, it became very clear of the number of people who love taking pictures and in the end this moved me for many different reasons.

I was moved on this trip  and there were lessons of life that I was gently reminded of  how the the elderly have embraced not only photography,but life in general along with the digital revolution.

I met a dear women in her late 80s who was so much alive,who loved photography with such a passion and was so full of life and she told me that since the age of 10 she has loved photography.It has been her passion all of these years to capture the things around her. She spoke about her first camera and still has it today and the progression to where she is today.

Inside me this moved me to tears and my eyes began to water up as I recap to myself the passion that she spoke with.The little girl within her still lives, has never died.

Being on the boat for the week, there were so many people who spoke with such zeal about why they love taking pictures and what it means to them.

Although the body ages, for many the mind is active, busting to go, ready for the adventure and the the only thing that stops many of this age for launching into the many adventurous things that one can do through photography is the aging body. It does slow them down and yet their minds are set to go.

Every single person in that room had their own story to tell. I loved their laughter, their stories, recalling the past and their desires, the things that they want to do before it is their time to leave this world as we know it.

This was a timely reminder and it is how I love my life , that is don’t put of tomorrow as we don’t know how much time we have left in this world .I  admire these folk so so much because  they were living their adventure in the ways that their bodies would allow them to.

In their hearts as I spoke to them, there were so many things that they would like to do but can’t, and yet, it hasn’t stopped them from achieving other things that they want to do with their aging bodies.

We will all travel this road at some stage  and we too will be elderly as people trapped in a body that will allow us a limited exposure to the things we desire to do.

But the plus to all of this, there is no logical reason as to sit and grow old, these people on the vessel were living their dreams in the way that they could. Yes they have to be modified at times but they were still living them.

I loved seeing the very young people on the vessel, those who were serving on the boat mixing with ones that they wouldn’t normally be mixing with as their peers  and they  themselves would never think about doing that in general and yet here they were communicating with them, learning from them and seeing another part of life that tells the greater story for all of us..

In my own life, there are things that  would love to do and I must not allow time to slip by. There are things I’m longing to do and have put things off for various reasons but this was a great lesson to be on the boat and these people will never know the silent lesson that they have taught me without them even knowing.

We must never allow fear of the unknown to control our comfort zone which prevents us for being totally happy or fulfilled in this life.In the end we can live a safe life and not totally 100% happy.We live once so why not give it a crack at what you want to do and whom you may want to share it with.

The people on board this boat, most are allowing the little boy and the little girl to live within  and although in a  limited form.The lid has not been shut.

As I look at the decaying body of many on this trip, ( we are all heading that way, including myself)what inspires me and brings tears of joy , wonder and delight is to see their hearts grow, bursting forth with life and joy, wanting to squeeze the most out of life.

There are many personalities, some loud, some quite, some dominate in the conversations that carry on at the table, others who are willing or not so willing to melt into the furniture. No matter what their personalities, they all have two things in common, the bucket list that they want to fulfill and most enjoyed the love of photography.

Their passion, their love for taking pictures was so moving.

Some of the people in this boat were very frail and perhaps will not be here on this planet in the next 10 years and it was such an awesome pleasure to have spent this week with them.

Every pic that they were taking on this trip , was their history being recorded was their story being told in pictures.

How do you want to spend the rest of your life? What are the things that are important to you?

Life presents us with all sort of things, some good and some not so good and being on this boat with these dear people, it simply reminds me again of the value of life, the value of friend’s, the people I miss in my life, those who move on sadly and those new friendships that are formed and the people that you wait for who sadly will never come.

Embrace your life and to a point, you determine the shape and form you want it to take and you also determine the attitude that you have to life and this will reflect in the person that you are, or could be or want to be.

When the body ages, always know there are ways to still embrace life and to be inspired.

Pete:)

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“I don’t regret the things I’ve done, I regret the things I didn’t do when I had the chance.”

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