I awoke this morning to a pristine white dream outside my window. Even before my contacts were in I could tell our hollow had been turned into a wonderland. There is a unique freedom I enjoy during this transitional part of my life’s journey, in that I am no slave to desk or master; a walk outside my only calling on this cold Monday. So it was with great haste I showered and dressed. Not towards car and highway I would go, rather I would dart to my door and out to my land, camera in hand.
I had a nice walk, minute rainy flakes still falling from the sky, as everyone else slept soundly inside. Before me was a once in every dozen or so snowfalls where all the snow clung to leafless branches as if painted on overnight. The chalk colored sky blending seamlessly into the background, providing a measured dose of morning light to make the snow radiate just so, its moist flakes contrasting with charcoal branches and trunks. It was a dawn for taking large photographs. For capturing symmetry, contrast, balance and texture. No need for black and white photography, the world before me was rendered as such by its own hand whilst I slumbered. Like one final protest of winter before spring comes to saturate ground to sky \with imagination to last well through summer’s waning days.
As I slowly deposited meandering footprints I took in the scene, for this beauty, like most in life would soon be betrayed by time. I believe it is in brevity that the wonder of such snow falls truly rests, for deep down inside we know that it will not last. Being that it is a spring snowfall, the normal solitude of such a jaunt was not to be, for many a bird filled the air with chirp and song. A morning of contrast indeed.
Snapping away at the camera, I circled the plot and came upon many a glorious subject, all dressed in their best black and whites. My friends who I have never really seen before in such a way, it was as if we met for the first time. A thorny bush…our holiday tree from year prior….three sister trees, defined as such by the snowfall….a lone maple…and, not realizing it until I really looked at the photographs later in the evening, two trees standing proud side by side; a rather unremarkable photo telling a profound story.
On the right stands an old tree trunk, weathered and branch-less To the left stands a tall tree, probably an oak or maple. It towers over the former shell of a tree. But as you examine the photo, look at how the tree on the left grew. Look at the branches. There are no lower branches on the side where the old tree is. At one time the old tree towered over its younger companion. Shading it. But they lived in harmony, for obviously the younger tree survived. And they lived along side each other for some time, just by virtue of the girth of their trunks. The younger tree has several large branches, and they all stem from the opposite side of the older tree. The elder companion forever shaped and ultimately helped define, what was once just a sapling growing at its base. A sapling grown of the nutrients cast off from a once towering tree. A sapling that has now grown into as tall a tree as one would cast gaze upon in this clearing. Grown to be a tree that now protects its old friend from the prevailing winds. I have borne witness to many a splendid old tree trunk standing like monuments on our property. I have seen the wind send many of them to their final resting place. Were it not for this relationship these two pillars have for each other, the ground would know the taste of older tree by this day. There is wonder, lesson and humility out there if we open ourselves to receive it.
With cold and obligation setting in I reluctantly treaded back inside. Settling in at my drafting table I marvel at the scene outside my window and quietly say thanks for my lot in life. Spring snow can be wonderful. It need not be a habit though, for in rarity is treasure.