What We See in the Dark

These two images were taken moments apart, the one on the left was taken when the sky was overcast on a mostly cloudy day. I had been just thinking, wouldn’t it be nice to have a bit of sun for this picture when the sun came out, lighting the wrong way, resulting in the picture on the right. As most photographers know, cloudy days are often better for photography because you get better detail without the bright sun. And so it is with people; we learn more about ourselves, we see more deeply into ourselves and our relationships on the difficult, cloudy, days. We can see more detail and with more clarity. Maybe that’s a good reason to welcome those days for what they can show us.

PS: I did a bit of processing on this picture but started off with both pictures directly off the camera and processed them together as a single shot.

The Power of Pain

Today I registered for a membership at a local trails organization and while browsing the list of volunteer needs ran across “Trail Steward”. I love hiking and I love the local trails but in the moment I was struggling to see how I could possibly fulfill such a role. I realized that most of the struggle was because, today, the arthritis in my foot is hurting. So how could I possibly be a trail steward if I can’t walk? The reason, however, that the arthritis is acting up is because I did a pretty challenging 11km hike yesterday. I also did two 7km hikes during the week. I’ve been here before; sometimes the pain is absolutely debilitating but, with time and care, I recover. It highlights just how important it is to remember that though there is pain, and no matter what the source; physical or emotional, it will eventually go away.

 

Note; the accompanying photo is of a year old forest fire burn area. It, too, is recovering.

Real Life Relating

I spend a lot of time living in front of a computer for my job, for volunteerism, for entertainment. This summer, because my partner has become a volunteer guide, I’ve had the great fortune to spend far more time with horses than I ever would have imagined. It isn’t much, compared to independent riding, but spending a few hours on trail rides helps one get to know these animals. Learning how to relate to them and communicate with them feels real in a way that a lot of my communication through the week just doesn’t. I’m feeling a lot of gratitude to these animals and to the opportunity I’ve had to get to know some of them.

PS This is Buck. I’ve been riding Cash and Gus – but Buck stood still long enough for me to get this picture.

Unexpected Gifts

You just never know when something really special will come along. I’d had a rather unsettled day, after a lot of heat, it was a chilly breezy day. So I was feeling scattered and unmotivated. I finally got up the gumption to go geocaching and called up a neighbour to come along. This doe and fawn were in their yard when I arrived to pick them up. Fortunately I often carry my DSLR with me wherever I go, just in case. I managed to shut off the car, roll down the window, keep the dog quiet (a miracle in itself) and change the macro lens off for the telephoto without scaring the deer away. And then, just as I was getting to a point where I could see them clearly through the window, this pose happened. Great light, great alignment, and a beautiful picture of a really special moment. And the take home message is that as long as you are open to it, you never know when something amazingly magical will cross your path. You just have to keep an eye open for it.

A Loony Thought

I went out for a really long stand-up paddle board ride today and spent almost two and a half hours paddling around the lake. For about fifteen minutes I was in the company of a pair of loons. They were busy hunting but weren’t too distressed about me being within three meters or so of them. It was a pretty sweet moment in time – just me, the water, and a couple of really special birds. I’m pretty lucky to have those moments. But it seems rather odd, crazy even, that I save them all up for the brief time on vacation. This is the path to finding balance; I don’t need to take a five mile paddle, but how do I create fifteen minutes of tranquility a couple times a day, every day?

(The picture is not of today’s loons. I took it another time from the safety of a canoe. I fell off the SUP board three times today, I’m not loony enough to take my camera with me)