The Gate is Open!

I don’t remember where I saw the photo, but the moment it captured has stayed in my memory.

The picture caught a large group of parade-watchers crowded onto a city sidewalk. Too many people in too little space. The scene highlighted an elderly woman calmly resting her arms on the street barrier, leaning into the scene, watching the parade go by. Smiling. Relaxing. Soaking it all in.

Standing around this woman were a whole lot of others taking selfies. Posing. Finding the right light. Looking at their phones/cameras with their backs to the street.

Missing the parade. Missing the experience.

I’ve thought a lot about that lady who knew how to be “in the moment.” She was capturing the feelings, the colors, and the excitement, not just how she looked against the backdrop of the event. She is the one who will be able to describe the moment best and enjoy the details floating around in her mind for days.

Now, I sure don’t mind selfies. I’m glad someone thought of a way to put us into a memory moment without a camera timer. I love remembering that “I was there.”

But. When it comes to living life, I want to capture the experience, not just the selfie. I want to lean into it, watching the details play out. Feel the emotions that coincide with the event. Not worry about the lighting or the best angle. Focus on being fully present in the moment, not just trying to get it into Dropbox or iCloud.

Do you know what I mean?

I saw a sign on the sidewalk outside a neighborhood pet boutique — a store that sells bakery items and home goods for dogs. These words were written on it in colorful chalk …

Live like someone left the gate open.

Isn’t that a great reminder? 

Run and play and bounce and jump and then do it all over again.
Move. Chase the stick. Run through the puddles.
Notice the butterflies, the weeds, the other puppies, the sun bursts.

Live fully present. Lean into the moment.


It’s summertime, friend. Our days and evenings are filled with color, giggles, flowers, dewy grass, sunrises and sunsets, lazy rivers and rushing streams, parades and sunshine. Let’s bask in all of it. Experience it.

Let’s live like someone left the gate open.

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