01 Apr Unfolding
I have been photographing in the Meadow for almost a year now. I have images from all 4 seasons. Today I got a shot of a group of leaves unfolding from some kind of small tree. I’m not a nature photographer, and I’m not interested in the plants as much as I am the process. I started to photograph the meadow because I didn’t have as many people around. I also wanted to challenge myself to find new ways of seeing that space. By space I mean both the physical space, but also the philosophical space. When is a photograph of nature not a nature photograph?
A couple of months into the process of documenting the meadow I began to meditate. Actually I began to try to meditate. I’m still not very proficient at it, but the photography became a part of that process. I’ve always been a noticer, like a bird flitting from branch to branch my eyes were always on the hunt even if my brain wasn’t conscious of it. I tried to slow down and be more conscious of the process. Taking photos the way I did was an exercise in noticing more slowly and more fully. I wasn’t always successful in being mindful as I worked, but over time I have been able to become more settled.
This morning, after I took the shot above, I thought about the excitement I’ve felt about being fully aware of spring coming. I’m not so interested in my pictures from the summer, or the winter. Spring and fall are interesting to me. I’m drawn to the sense of transition and renewal that occurs.
Spring brings life and reminds us of death, for the plants signal rebirth. An acquaintance of mine died the other day, leaving behind a small son. He also left large pieces of himself with others, as he was a big personality who had an impact on everyone he met. These leaves unfurl as they were taught to do. I am reminded of how I move, think, and act like my father; the good and the bad. As I wrestle with my daughters, both physically and philosophically, I focus on embracing the good and accepting the bad, so that they might unfurl with greater strength,and grace, than I.