Setting up my tripod before a mirrored lake, I manually adjusted each setting in the manner all photography was done before (AUTO). Shockingly Ansel Adams didn’t use an I-phone, or a point and shoot. Sliding the dial from Auto to Manual opens “a whole new world, don’t you dare close your eyes“. Ok, Aladdin may have been trying to impress Jasmine. But if you want to go on a magic carpet ride, (More Steppenwolf/ “less Disney”) try a little night photography. Welcome to the Power of the Dark Side.
Before the dew settles, cool stillness grants access to normally crowded views. With a little practice, your camera can show you a world mostly invisible to the naked eye. Rotating towards sunrise the horizon shifts through shades of blues, purples, and oranges. Formal sunrise is the climax of a show most photographers only experience the end of.
Sure, alone for hours in the woods, occasionally I get scared. I’ve watched ” The Blair Witch Project” everyone knows not to enter the (DARK WOOD) alone at night. To be honest I’ve been afraid of the dark since childhood. Religion, Poetry, Folklore, Fiction, all tell us the dark is filled with scary creatures like Justin Bieber. Heart pounding I’ve often turned on my flood lamp fully expecting to see a monster, only to find an armadillo.
At Boykin, Springs Lauren was sound asleep as I tracked to locations scouted the day before. My parents met at this park, one of my first camping memories was of the Old Aldridge Sawmill, which Lauren and I always visit. A remnant of history from the Timber-boom and bust of the Big Thicket. Now an abandoned structure being gradually disassembled by nature’s processes.
From dust, all things come and so they will return. Staring at the stars glowing millions of light years away, I contemplated those natural processes. One of the few topics science and most major religions agree on is that we’re basically made of cosmic dust, AKA “mud”. Either from a random evolutionary process or by the hand of a Divine Creator.
Balancing the dark horizon against the lakes mirrored reflection; I hear and feel it, the light breeze, the random croak of a frog, the song of the locus. A deep breath draws in what can only be described as serenity. Why is this feeling so foreign, these realizations so rare? Why is my life filled with frivolousness instead of thoughts like “I’m a spirit driving a biomechanical (meat suit) made of star dust”!!!
I never saw the stars until I turned off my flashlight and let my eyes adjust. In that moment I knew, my life was a rat race by my design. If I don’t want to race I could simply stop running. This became a pivotal moment since which we have chosen to simplify, prioritize, and remember that “I’m a spirit driving a biomechanical (meat suit) made of star dust”!!!
Stay tuned Little Adventures is about to make some big steps!
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