Life suspended between the boundaries

chipmunk

I love that exact moment when a wild creature acknowledges my existence. They look at me, and for a moment time is suspended and one species recognizes the other.

Trees, of course, are also aware of our being. Mere plants as well.

Okay, then, what about the rocks. Do the rocks know I exist? Can they speed up their slow lifespan to mine for just an instant to say, oh, there’s another one of those human things? Or are they just too busy in their rock world to care?

My life has no purpose, no direction, no aim,
no meaning, and yet I’m happy.
I can’t figure it out.
What am I doing right?

~Charles Schultz, cartoonist~

Perfect symmetry

water symmetry

Upside down, right side up, left to right, right to left. If you’ve ever noticed, we don’t often find (almost) perfect symmetry in nature. That’s why, when I found this vista, I was delighted.

Symmetry creates a comforting predictability. Two by two, like the story of Madeleine living in the convent. Or Noah’s animals in the ark. As children begin to explore a continually new, exciting world, they need to return occasionally to what they know.

Every up has a down. Every night has a day. Shared pairs of togetherness.

One of these things is not like the others,
One of these things just doesn’t belong,
~Sesame Street Song~

 

Doesn’t take much to keep me happy

vase rock hedge

Abiquiu, New Mexico is north of Albuquerque, north of Santa Fe, even north of Taos. Georgia O’Keeffe discovered it and spent years there creating her own artistic way of seeing flowers, and nature, and blue sky.

When I visited her Ghost Ranch, the isolation and peace of the country allowed me to slow down and see what was actually in front of me, as well.

Gray, beige, ochre.

Rock, pottery, plant.

It doesn’t take much to keep me happy.

The world is full of magical things,
patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.
~Eden Phillpots~

 

The intensity of an Arizona sunset

Picture of Arizona Sunset

The quality of light in Arizona is intense, and never more so than at sunset during monsoon season. For two summer months, the afternoon clouds build, fierce thunderstorms crash and threaten. Then it is over. Or is it?

As a photographer, I’ve learned to be patient. If I wait out the storm, and stick around for the aftermath, a brilliantly hued sunset often occurs. It is time well-spent.

The end of summer is always hard on me. Trying to cram in all the goofing off I’ve been meaning to do.
~Calvin and Hobbes~

Summer green afternoon

Picture of summer green water

As you drive through Oak Creek Canyon, you’ll see a sign for Ensinoso Park. There, if you stop your car and walk down the hill you’ll find this secret place.

I’ve visited when it is dressed in winter white and fall gold, but nothing is so startling as the passionate green of summer, when the creek borrows color from the moisture-loving sycamores, alders, and ashes that line the banks.

To me, water is the ultimate “yes” person. It says, whatever you want me to be, I’ll be. Hard, soft, liquid, mist. I’ll reflect back your blue skies, your gray storms, your green leaves. Yes! I’m here. Just ask.

Summer afternoon–summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.
~Henry James~

My life in a moment

Hawkins Pond

Water has endlessly fascinating, shape-shifting qualities. This pond became the epitome of summer as it reflected the lush green of the lily pads and trees in a smooth, mirrored surface.

I longed to wade in, to splash up to my chest, to feel the coolness between my shoulder blades–especially as this view came after a six-mile hike, uphill both ways.

Perhaps it is because we are born of water and cannot survive even days without it, that it maintains such a primal spot in our psyche. And for a born-and-bred desert rat, that sensation is multiplied ten fold.

Let’s hear it for water, in all of its glorious forms. It sustains us in myriad ways.

Always hold to the present hour.
Every state of duration, every second, is of infinite value.
I have staked on the present as one stakes a large sum on one card,
and I have sought without exaggerating
to make it as high as possible.

~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe