Instant replay can’t compare to seeing it live
The shot is in the air, and the fans are hushed with hope.
Everyone saw the catch, jump, release and the ball slide through the nylon net.
The whistle blows and with a signal to both coaches, the lead referee walks to the scorer’s table and asks for the shot to be reviewed.
Was his foot on the line? An inch either way and the outcome of the game is decided by a review.
Welcome to the world of review and replay.
Life is open to a do-over, see-it-again or instant replay.
Yet, thankfully enough, the world outdoors is not.
It was a scene meant to be briefly observed in real-time and only reviewed again in the scatterings of my mind. I suppose the hawk had studied the terrain for as long as hawks study terrain, and it waited until the field mouse was careless.
The movement of the hawk distracted my eyes, and I was fortunate enough to see the bird sail through the air. Soon, the mouse was airborne as well.
The act took place over a matter of seconds, yet even days later, I still can see the colors of this bird sailing through my mind.
Replay also was not needed when the sun rose quickly, painting graffiti on the eastern sky in red, purple, violet, orange and yellow. Seeing it again would not have been true.
And rewind was not needed when the serenade of early morning birds sang true on a day when clouds were fanned and moisture was only a few hours away.
There was no need to rewind and play again the vision of the deer as, one by one, they leapt the same fence at nearly the same pace in late February.
And there was no need to check the monitor for the way a lone turkey on a frosted field stands, surveys and keeps its poise.
In the outdoors, where the script and the play are spontaneous, there is almost no need in capturing every moment or activity on film.
Rewind and replay are not needed where we travel and wait, hunt and stalk, wait and wonder.
Instead, the mind of an outdoors person is to remain vigilant for moments and experiences that are intimate, immediate and imprint our minds forever.
Even though we may not have a camera to record, the first tool we should take afield is an empty mind that remains open.
Along these paths, there are first shots and first days, and who could ever forget the first time they ate Vienna sausages, saltines and drank from a glass bottle while standing at the heel of a father or mentor.
Sure, rewinding and playing scenes back would be nice. But does replay best serve that memory that is as detailed as any footage or picture taken?
Long after the frost has burned off, these memories are special for the impact on our minds.
Within each of us are moments that either define or engage us. Yet these do not always have to be reviewed in film or in print. These moments are fluid and follow us into our daily routines where some become backdrops to dealing with other issues.
This is the wonder of the outdoors.
There always will memories that are worthy of being captured on film. However, when those memories are captured by the true passion for the outdoors, the vision lasts longer than any film or image known to a modern society.
As our technology-advanced society continues to infiltrate the world of sports and life and our hobbies, let us be reminded that replaying moments in the outdoors is sometimes best done when the eyes are closed and the mind is open.
It is accurate to assume that a referee will miss calls or make mistakes.
However, the power and wonder of seeing a hawk in flight swoop to capture a field mouse reminds us that some moments are unpredictable and that seeing these birds is better than any instant replay.
Enjoy your time outdoors.
You may contact Jason Hawkins at firstname.lastname@example.org.