I was reminded more than a few times of how generosity goes a long way and how good deeds both small and large can make a huge impact. This particular trip I‘m about to tell you about hit home for me. And looking back on the last few days the message is a lot larger than I had realized when I was there.
This weekend I went to Cape Cod and stayed in Chatham. I was invited to assist Dan to photograph a corporate retreat. While the intent was business we had a bit of time to ourselves to enjoy the area. Any opportunity to visit the ocean and rejuvenate is greatly welcomed. But there was something extra special about this particular area. I had passed through on a previous trip to Nantucket but wasn‘t able to visit. Many people have raved about the Cape and without a doubt it lived up to the hype.
After the first half of the shoot was complete we had some time to check in. We had previously booked a hotel room a few miles away from the area we were shooting in. But come to find out that one of the partners had unfortunately needed to leave early due to a family member being sick and were asked if we‘d like to stay at Chatham Bars Inn in their place. Having never been to the area we didn‘t quite fully realize the extent of the generosity of this upgrade. We were given a very beautiful quaint, private, spacious cottage on gorgeous piece of property.
When our work day was complete we went out to dinner at the Del Mar. Our server was a very sweet woman who just had the most fun spirit. It wasn‘t the fact that she was spot on with her food and drink recommendations or the fact that she was super attentive, it was how she naturally cared to make the most of her time with us. It was rather simple-she was thoroughly kind in a heartfelt way. It deserved to be noticed so Dan took the time to leave the manager a handwritten note. Dan later told me that she reminded him of his late mom. And then it dawned on me at that moment that it circles around.
This leads me to talk to you about Dan. Many of you have heard me talk about him in the past and some of you may have the privilege of knowing him. He‘s been a friend for many years but in the last five years our photography has brought us closer as we have worked together and collaborated on many occasions. Whenever one of us needs help we often utilize each other. It doesn‘t stop there. He is super thoughtful, he holds the door for you, he sends you candy and notepads in the mail just to say hey, he‘ll tell you he‘s full and lets you have the last slice of pizza, he sends flowers on Valentine‘s Day, he reminds you to follow up on client projects, he will rarely let you win the “lets split the bill“ fight, he always forgives me when I park on the wrong side of the track at the train station and he has to walk up the flight of stairs, over the bridge and down another flight to unload his cart full of gear into my car, he carefully listens and offers advise that suits your disposition and situation, he puts pima cotton sheets on his couch for you to stay on and doesn‘t judge you when you put a random assortment of blankets on your couch when he stays at your place. He is more than what I‘ve listed. It‘s actually only a small fraction of who he is and what he stands for. I love him dearly. He‘s the epitome of a true friend.
My heart is filled with gratitude. I was drawn to the beach grass yet again during my stay, as I always am when I‘m at the ocean. It has a spirit of its own. It reminds me of those people that have touched my life in both small and large ways. I feel extremely lucky to have been given these reminders on how to be better, do better and love better. All is well with my soul.
Don't be the same. Be better.