On a Cloudy Day in May

sgnm2watermarksgnm6watermark The old saying about May flowers is true; and, I know this because I have been out in the local hills and mountains photographing them in their delicate beauty over the past couple weeks.  The sun shines with the cool springtime breeze that moves over the land and the little flowers dance on their green stems.  They dance and move in waves while I look pretty ridiculous sprawled out on the rocky ground with my lens an inch away from a flower that just will not cooperate.  So I wait at times and other times just keep shooting with a hope of a fast shutter getting the thing at the right moment in its journey across the vision of my viewfinder.  But mostly its a waiting game.  The breeze will subside and I get excited, snapping the shutter, moving up and down to get different angles and blurry backgrounds. But mostly nature photography is made up of two things: patience and creativity.  The mind sees the world in a visual sense, but the camera only understands one thing, light.  That is all it is and it is all it ever has been.  When Ansel Adams spoke of the Range of Light, he understood this.  Every picture anyone has ever seen is only this.  There is white and there is black.  That is it.  Colors are parts of the broken bands of the white which fade back into the black.  But, then I think is there really black?  If black is the opposite of white, then its the absence of light, which means that there is nothing.  So a picture is really nothingness to pure light and all the spectra of the same paternal waves are everything we can capture.  And in my discomfort along the rocky gravel trying to find that one shot, I realize that this flower and all that I am trying to do is the same thing as my life.  I live somewhere in that same spectrum.  I can honestly say that sometimes I have been much closer to the nothingness of darkness then that joy of the pure white, but nonetheless I am somewhere in the array.  I have seen God.  In that moment I saw white light.  I traveled towards it and knew the answer.  The pure white is just that, pure.  And I know, yes know that God is there.  The abyss of black at the other end is just as opposite as the light and dark of a photograph.  It is the nothingness. Can we be nothing I ask myself?  The answer is no.  Nothing has no substance and thus cannot be.  It is the dance on the edge of that abyss where we teeter on the truth that we may not actually be.  And the sad part is that falling into the darkness is a choice.  Moving to the light is another choice.  I wonder what its like to be leaning over the endless pit and accidentally lose balance.  Being nothing is just that.  One stops being.  It is our demons that take us there.  But it is our salvation that moves us to the bright beautiful colors like the petals of a flower dancing under a bright sun.  I see this so clearly and because of that, I have one quest in my life.  That is to always be the one with the bright smile and the laughing heart and the love of spirit to lead others further up the range of light to a brighter, happier, more fulfilling place where they become the real them and can not help but to spread the joy and humor and love in their soul to the next person teetering on that edge.  I know this even though today was a cloudy, drizzly, and dark day in May.

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