Usually I like to at least attempt to sleep in a bit later on Sundays, as is the fine American tradition of most slothful non-religious-folk like me. But this morning I did not, because I wanted to participate in a moment of WORLD AWESOMENESS. From the New York Times'Lens blog:

Where will you be on Sunday, May 2, at 15:00 hours (U.T.C.)?

Wherever you are, we hope you’ll have a camera — or a camera phone — in hand. And we hope you’ll be taking a picture to send to Lens that will capture this singular instant in whatever way you think would add to a marvelous global mosaic; a Web-built image of one moment in time across the world.

We extend the invitation to everyone, everywhere. Amateurs. Students. Pros. People who’ve been photographing for a lifetime or who just started yesterday.

I love the idea of stopping time and everyone around the world taking a moment to share with everyone else something from their little corner. It's very worthy, and fun too. So I got up, with no ambitions of greatness because there is no greatness on any level for me at 7:30AM on any day other than maybe being able to pull on a pair of jeans without tipping over or not stabbing myself in the eye with a mascara brush. I told MissSeven to hurry and get dressed, that we were going on a short photography adventure outside in the neighborhood. She's always up for stuff.

It was cloudy, a little chilly, with the breeze off Lake Washington cutting through my beloved fluffy black sweater hoodie, too big now but I can't seem to give it up. Everything was completely quiet, save for the distant hum of some cars, some twittering birds, the sound of the air moving through the wildly blooming trees. My daughter and I were the only ones out in our little slice of universe,shoes padding on the gravel beside the road,going down towards the water. Nothing really in mind. Just walking and thinking, talking about houses and flowers and the stillness.

Around the corner, past the curving green hedges that are two feet taller than me, there's a tiny park with a single picnic table and a dispenser to get a plastic bag for dog waste. To the side of that, framed on each side by towering trees and impudent shrubbery is a wide muddy path that steeply descends towards the lake. It's kind of a secret little spot. You'd never know about it unless you lived here, or were a teenager looking for a secluded place to...talk. All the times I have walked down there, I've never seen anyone else, only various evidence of other people: a pen, graffiti on a bench, a soda can, a child's pink sock. MissSeven wants to run down the hill; I warn her to be careful, don't fall, slow down now.

It's almost 8AM as we find the small cleared spot, with a patch of rocks for beach, a fallen tree that extends out into the lake. Since I have been there last, someone has left an old wooden chair and a long aluminum bench with gang tags. It's funny to think of someone bothering to bring that bench all the way down there, although to be fair I once pushed a grocery shopping cart home and put it in my swimming pool in Arizona. Same stupid thing, although far less practical use in my example.

No boats on the big lake this morning, no ducks, no eagles or seagulls or stealthy fish visible. Everyone sleeps in on Sunday.

MissSeven delights in finding a pair of blue plastic sunglasses underneath the bench and immediately puts them on. I just start taking pictures, because it's time.

As I am shooting for a minute or two, I think about thousands of other people around the world right then taking pictures too, in the dark of midnight or heat of the afternoon, in a field or a busy street or the mall or a war zone, of family and friends, strangers, sunsets, sunrises, sadness, joy, quiet, chaos. Me, I'm taking photos of my daughter, by a big lake in the Pacific Northwest in a lovely little suburb, with my sleepy eyes and fairly steady feet, standing on the fallen tree, balancing.

As we walk back up the hill, MissSeven complains that her legs "feel funny." "It's good for you," I say, "It's good exercise."

And the moment is done.