In life, I’m not one to look back. I don’t dwell in high school memories. The wishes I make aren’t for do-overs. Sometimes you just do what you do in the moment because it feels like the right path forward. My philosophy applies to people too—don’t allow the intrusion into your life of people that don’t make you feel good about yourself—the cancers that masquerade as friends/family but secretly gnaw at your exterior bit by bit, hoping to access your soul and infect it with their disease.
There is a time and a place for looking back, though. During sunrise and sunset. Sometimes in the garish beauty of one of those events you can find, simply by turning around, a quieter, less common light path. Like alpenglow. A brief and fleeting optical phenomenon found, on occasion, when conditions are right and the sun is below the horizon.
It’s here—even if you were blindfolded you couldn’t miss the scent of fall in the air. When molecules and memories collide and the sweet sugary smell of decaying leaves fills the air. It’s impossible not to be reminded of childhood moments spent raking leaves into piles and leaping into them afterward.
This walk in the mountains was particularly memorable. Watchful of bears stuffing themselves in the final weeks before hibernation, we entered a clearing just as three elk strolled past navigating the shallow waters of the creek bed.
And just then I heard it. Ripping through the air the bugle call of a bull elk as dawn’s first light began to lift the shadows.
He laughed at the expression on my face after hearing the sound for the first time and my hand reached for his as we soaked up the moment.
without acknowledging my father’s birthday. When I came across this pastoral landscape accented by light falling on a distant mountain, it struck me that it was the kind of scenery he would have loved to have painted. I can almost see him slathering color upon the mountains with his palette knife and scratching detail into the hay bales in the foreground with a stiff, tapered brush.
My father’s been gone for almost twenty years but the memories linger. He wasn’t the perfect father but I always knew that he loved me and he knew that I loved him. I’d give almost anything to share with him what my life’s like now.
Love is imperfect, but that’s as it should be. It lives in darkness and light—touching some for a day and others for a lifetime—a gift, not a right. If you love someone, tell them today, in case tomorrow never comes.
Today, people across Canada are celebrating Thanksgiving. In a year that has brought extreme changes to how we do everything, I’m grateful for where I am at thismoment. There will always be challenges, but those challenges viewed from within the context of a life lived, hold different weights. When I was in a particularly difficult time of my life I remember saying to the woman who was sharing it with me, “Enjoy this time because when it’s gone, you will miss even this.”
Happy Thanksgiving to those celebrating today. None of us know where the road will lead but we can enjoy the journey!
Every action of your life touches on some chord that will vibrate in eternity.
Edwin Hubbell Chapin
A hike in the mountains with me isn’t for the faint of heart because rarely is reaching the summit important, and the person that can come with me and take pleasure as well in the findings along the way is a true gem.
The woods are full of stories. Stories of rebirth, life and death struggles, hope and renewal. We found these scars encircling this tree scraping higher and higher. All around were other trees burned, some to charcoal, others merely kissed by flames.
Black bear we figured. We like to think he survived the fire of 2017 but can only imagine how many animals did not.
I had a recent review of a group of five photographs done by an industry professional whose words struck a chord with me. He referenced a serenity and poetic quality in my work and spoke of how most offered elements that existed outside of the frame.
I’m still thinking about those words and how to dig deeper, not just when I have my camera in hand but every day for it’s not just in the image where elements exist outside of the frame.
Something to think about as this year draws to a close…