Last Saturday morning, I woke up shortly after the sun had awakened and Huntley Meadows, one of the local wildlife refuges, beckoned. There was only one thing that made me think that maybe, just maybe, I should stay in bed. The sky was overcast and the weather casters predicted about two inches of rain for the weekend. I was pretty sure I wanted to just go out, go for a short hike, and take some pictures. There was, however, something weighing on my mind. It was grey. It was dull. What pictures were there to take in such a day as this? In short, while I knew what I wanted to do, how will the reality of the on and off drizzle mesh with my idea of taking pictures of birds in spring? My heart said go ahead. My head asked why? How so?
Sometimes the head wins out. Sometimes the heart flutters too much and like the sweet smell of sampaguitas, the feeling envelops you, and the world feels new. Is new. The dawn of a new day. A little muted, perhaps, but alive with possibilities.
And so it was that three hours was spent walking around in the on and off sprinkles from the sky. And sometimes, the sun decided to tease a little warmth into the cool May morning. The heart may be a lonely hunter at times, but then again, it can only be so. For in the ups and downs and ups in life, we find our way to life lived, a life lived well.
How so? The answer is simple. Make it so. And here are the pictures to prove it.
Spring is tulip season in the mid Atlantic region. With days getting warmer, rainfall is also bountiful. Life giving water. It makes the grass green. The mood a little melancholy. The ground, saturated by the drops of rain falling from the skies, is a little soft. Maybe even muddy. Grey skies indeed. And in what can only be described as a pleasant contrast, shades of red, pink and yellow adorn countless gardens in all the neighborhoods. The colors, saturated by the clouds diffusing light as it falls from our star, are vibrant. Droplets of water cling to every flower. And through each miniature lens, beauty is magnified.
Many people obsess about keeping the subject of their photograph in focus. How every part of the image has to be sharp. How great the bokeh is. And all that stuff. Sometimes, you just have to take a picture that you have in your mind. And if that means the subject is not in focus, then so be it. Is everything sharp? Is that what’s really important? Photography is about light. And a photograph is something that makes you feel something. The sharpest lens on the best camera in the world? No, but I like what I saw through the lens of my camera. Pictures of the setting sun, even when though the sun is not in focus. It makes me appreciate the beauty of the world around us.
I look up a pink hued sky And my heart beats in rhythm With nature’s beauty, enveloping me With warmth in the still cold April day I gaze upward, and in the midst of the cherry canopy I see a flower, standing still, yet moving me My soul trembles with joy And for a moment, an instant The spirit of love overwhelms me And my heart, changed, is finally free Embraced by an ephemeral beauty That lasts an eternity
A beautiful morning to go to the wildlife refuge and look (and photograph) birds and other wildlife was in the offing on the last day of March, 2018. Unfortunately, errands must be run (life is not all for the birds after all). With camera in hand, the trip to the Department of Motor Vehicles was at least uninteresting. April, here we come.
And it was wonderful! With my son (young then) looking at the pristine blue waters of Crater Lake, the beauty of the Cascades was in full view. If Bend was beautiful, the view from the snow covered edge of the caldera that forms the lake is nothing but spectacular. The blue waters. The strong springtime winds. The setting sun. And getting used to snowshoes.
My older son is in college now. His younger sibling will soon follow. Each second seems long enough, but the years spent with the children seems all too short. The transient nature of every moment. Each slice of time unique. Some joyful. Some challenging. All part of lives lived and still being lived. A lot has been told. A lot has yet to unfold.
Life is indeed beautiful. From the places that we visit and look on in awe. To the short moments that we share with each other. Each day unique. Each day a chance to appreciate the world that we live in. And hopefully, in our own way, moments lived making a world that is a better place for all who live in it.