This winter, shortly after a snow storm, my wife and I were driving home. On our normal route home there is a small stream that originates from a lake that is the center of a nearby park. It runs through a culvert under the road winding next to farmland and houses. Ducks and geese use the stream for whatever ducks and geese do as they enjoy the day. But this was a winter day. A white, freshly fallen snow, winter day.
I was driving slowly because the road was covered. As we approached the area of the stream, we both noticed a flash of red, stark against the snow. There was no traffic so I slowed down even more to watch a fox playing on the ice covered stream. The fox jumped, circled, bounded a few times. It was playing something. Its coat was beautiful against the white plumps the fox made as it enjoyed the moment.
It was joy personified.
After a few seconds the fox disappeared from our view as we continued home. I did think that it would have been a cool picture, but in all honesty we would have ruined the moment if we had stopped and tried to take the photo. In fact we probably wouldn’t have gotten a photo anyway.
Instead of a photo, I have the memory. And when I drive past the stream, I think about that fox, about the joy it had playing in the snow. And I’m glad I didn’t ruin it by trying to take a photo of the moment.