Weekend Walk

It’s been a couple of hectic weeks—three, in fact. There was a week of Vacation Bible School and the photography for that event, and then the July mod at Remington College started the next week. We are halfway through the four-week term. The weather here in SC has been been brutal. If I heard correctly last night, we’ve had nineteen days of triple-digit temperatures in the state. It is hot.

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This morning, I had to get out and walk around the ponds in spite of the heat. I took the camera with me. I did not plan to walk for exercise or fitness. I did not have a “destination” in mind, other than to walk the circle around and between the seven ponds. I just went.

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Christine Valters Paintner and Julia Cameron, among others, advocate the daily walk. Julia Cameron recommends a thirty-minute walk a day. Some call it “contemplative walking,” going out with an “empty” mind so that one can be receptive to all that is around, to be open to receive whatever speaks or draws notice, to have no preconceived notions about what to see. In doing so, sometimes, we are surprised by what we see.

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Today was no different for me. I saw the “usual”: the crepe myrtle bloom, the zinnias and other “wildflowers” in my small flower patch, the hibiscus buds, roses, greenery everywhere. Purple flowers, dandelions, button bushes, dragon flies—all of these danced in the breeze (thank goodness for breezes); corn is maturing in the field.

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The Canada geese are making their annual appears and overlay on the big pond; the heron flew over. So much of what I received is the same as every other time I’ve walked, and I’ve been walking around these ponds for over thirty years. And yet, so much is different, still beautiful, still inspiring.

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I think that’s what draws my camera and me to these places—the “sameness”, the familiarity, the comfortable nature of things. And yet, there is something new to see: the dragon flies, some “new” foliage, the textures of the field, even the juxtaposition of an older rural way of living just across the road from the modern electrical sub-station.

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I don’t know what my children and their children will make of these hundreds of photographs in the future. I hope they see an appreciation of creation and beauty and a desire to tell the story of what my small piece of the world looked like during my life time. After all, that’s what photography and art and writing are all about.

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I love conversation, the close, intimate kind amongst friends. Won't you join me? I look forward to a good coze.

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