It's the first day of May today and it is one of my favorite months of the year. The days are longer, the trees fill in, the barges travel up and down the river and blow their funny horns and wave when they see me in the yard, leaving colorful buoys in their wake. Those of us who enjoy slicing through the water with barely a noise, pull out the kayaks and begin dreaming about putting them in the water again. There is nothing like that feeling to me... working arms hard, squinting into the sun that is laying down sparkles all around me. Fish jump out of the water gleefully and I share that space with all sorts of other wildlife too. Blue herons, ducks, geese, beavers... I even woke up one morning to see something across the river, jump from the bank, into the water. Thinking it was a big dog, I picked up the binoculars and found instead, a doe who had reached the edge of the land she'd been walking on and decided to swim across a section of the river to continue on her way. I had never seen that before. It was such a beautiful sight. I often feel, at this time of year, as if I am living in a vacation home in some magical place. It's really very cool.
As much as I love color... there are times when distilling it down to black and white does a better job of telling the story without distraction. Man, nature, quiet, stillness, sparkles, warmth.. and me. How blessed we are as photographers to be able to capture these moments in time in a way that lets us return to them, to remember, to anticipate. I pray that is never taken from me. It's been a challenge for me and a mighty one this year. I've developed some health issues in the last few years that threaten my ability to continue doing it effectively. That in turn has done a bit of a number on my mind, but it has also forced me to research, to detach emotionally and look at my body from a clinical and scientific perspective. Pain has a way of shaping you. Changing you. Teaching you about the depths of you. And making you appreciate what a very precious gift, health is, and how it should be protected and cared for. It has been 8 weeks since I have allowed a single processed food to enter my body. I am choosing to take better care because I am learning that if I choose otherwise, the consequences will be steep. I have often wished that my 40 something year old self could have just one day with my 20 year old self.;-) There are many things I would like to say to her and in fact... I am working on a new idea for a book based on that premise.
I have sought healing this year, perhaps more than ever before. Healing, not just of my body (though that has been a powerful catalyst) but of my mind and my spirit as well. They are all so interconnected... there is no way to nurture one while ignoring another - there has to be balance - and balance is something I have yet to achieve. This journey will likely continue for some time yet, and will include many days out on the water in a kayak this summer. I think really well out there. And If there is one thing of which I am very certain... for me, it will take time alone in the woods, on the river, by the ocean, and above all else, looking in the mirror before ever pointing my finger at anyone else. All things I have planned into the remainder of this year. Healing rain is falling down. I'm not afraid.:)