Every morning and evening I watch the sky turn into a beautiful canvas of reds, pinks, oranges and greys.

As the sun rises, the neighbours’ silos are a black silhouette against the bright, red fiery ball. Its rays kiss the tips of the trees on the opposite side of the barn. Each night when the sun sets, the clouds make up a landscape of shapes and colours. Picture-perfect moments – which are never the same twice.

I believe that as human beings we strive to create picture-perfect lives. This desire seems to have become even more prominent with the constant use of social media. I lose track of how many times a day I think “Ooooo that would be a great picture to put on Facebook!” or I plan activities and outings that would be great to share with others on Instagram.

We want family and friends to be included in all the memories we create with our families and friends. Social media is also a great way to be sure to have a way to look back on our memories someday. But sometimes I can’t help but ask myself if maybe sometimes we work too hard to create ‘picture-perfect’ moments.

When our parents and grandparents were young, there were no digital cameras or easy access to computers or smartphones. One of my favourite activities is to sit and listen to all the stories my parents and grandparents have to share about their past. The passion in their voices as they recall all the crazy games and activities they came up with is truly heartwarming. They had no choice but to use their imaginations to find ways to entertain themselves.

It was a different world back then. Family get-togethers were a chance to tell stories about the past or to catch up on everything that was happening in the present. Nowadays there’s less need for that type of communication, because everyone already knows what’s going on in our lives.

During the pandemic we have been very lucky to be able to have access to social media in order to keep our family and friends updated, but eventually we will be able to be together again. Will the next generation be told stories the same way we were told stories, or will they just be told to go look at the pictures on Facebook and Instagram?

Just like each sunrise and sunset, we are all different and have different ideas of what ‘picture perfect’ looks like. There is no right or wrong way on how we choose to preserve memories. Everyone’s perspective is different, but in the end we all just want to create the best picture we can for ourselves and our loved ones.

Choosing to take the time to capture the beauty of life and how lucky we are to be living it, in anyway we can, is the best gift each generation can give to the next one. Every moment of every day should be picture perfect. We just have to believe it to see it!