Saturday, April 12, 2008

Looking for...

What exactly is one looking for when she is wandering around in foul weather wearing the equivalent of a wet suit and hip waders, carrying a bag of lenses and with a camera strung around her neck ? A friend asked me that question late yesterday evening, and I have been thinking about it this morning.

Some places arrange themselves perfectly in eye and viewfinder, and yet they do not speak or sing. Others, often on cold, dank and foggy days, arrange themselves easily in neither eye nor lens, but they tug at the sensibilities like a dancing kite on a sunny morning or a fey harp being played somewhere over the hills and far away.

Such places, and they always seem to be wild places, call us out of ourselves and into something greater and more magnificent than we will ever be able to comprehend with our feeble human brains. A group of trees across the Clyde River valley on a cold foggy morning, the cliffs above Dalhousie Lake on a rainy day, a quiet bay where herons haunt the shallows at twilight and loons craft their floating nests, the hidden (and insect infested) highland bog where wild orchids bloom in June - there are many such places in my life, and I am fortunate to know them, so fortunate, even if I never manage to take a single good picture of them.

As Barbara Kingsolver wrote so beautifully in Last Stand: America's Virgin Lands:

"In the places that call me out, I know I'll recover my wordless childhood trust in the largeness of life and its willingness to take me in."


After some thought, I have decided that I am looking for home, just not in the usual places.

6 comments:

kate smudges said...

Your words always give me much food for thought - often stopping me in my tracks. Now I'm thinking of dancing kits on a sunny morning ... and a fey harp being played far away (might it sound like the one I've been playing around with lately at a harpmaker's house?)

Fran aka Redondowriter said...

As always, beautiful photo and insightful writing.

Sky said...

your writing is as beautiful as the images you share. lovely, indeed.

Shelli said...

I LOVE this photo.

Carolyn H said...

Lovely photo and great words today. For me, home is always in the wild places.

Carolyn H.

albertapostcards said...

lovely, thoughtful post and a dynamite photo!

Diane