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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Sleeping Trees.........

Just some trees I snapped off the side of the road in Sanford, NC after we'd traveled to an English Springer Spaniel Rescue social gathering near Holly Springs, NC.

This "grove" of trees just really struck me, in fact, I asked my husband to turn around the car, so I could photograph them. The sky was so incredibly blue, and setting was so soft. I'm super light sensitive and it triggers things at times for me. Well, the sun had found a place where it had become easier for me to tolerate. As much as I love the sun, in a moving car, with light dappling, it can do some not so fun stuff to me. We'd already had a long day. Both Sydney and Chance were with us. It had been a stressful day for them, because it was their first social gathering with other Springers and their humans. Both of my Springers are rescues and are imprinted in various ways. Plus, these days I tend not to mingle so much -- and try to avoid a ton of activity. So,we pretty muck kept a bit of a distance. I wanted to observe their behaviors to see what I needed to work on, and both had their own triggers going on. I could elaborate, but if I did, this would be 20 pages, and not a blog entry.

Anyway, I needed to see those trees. And, Sydney and Chance needed a safe place to use the facilities. On the other side of the road from the grove of trees was the perfect place. When I'm tired, stressed and/or am going through dappling light issues, it always help for me to spend a few moments looking through a viewfinder on one of my cameras. It helps me re-focus and I can shut the light out easily and focus on whatever images I want to shoot. That's just the way it works for me.

The trees reminded me of something one might see far away. As I gazed upon them, I imagined sleeping lions snoozing underneath them and big elephants lumbering around behind them having just eaten all of the foliage off for an early dinner.

To me, it's another example of seeing beauty in the imperfections. The trees aren't imperfect, yet they've weathered with time. They've wisdom for all of their years. They've seen a great deal during their lifetimes. And, they are strong. They depend upon the rain God gives to water them, even though their roots are deep. I expect they like to feel the rain, and if they're an thing like me, they enjoy watching the storms. In fact, they get to be right out in the middle of them. Front row seats. To me, they are beautiful not only for themselves, but because I could see the sky through them, and the birds who flew behind them. The scenery in the distance, too.

To me, they are another glorious testament to them and to God that they're still standing, because one can tell they've been through much. Although, I didn't walk up close enough to see, I could tell. Now, whether they are dead or are just sleeping getting ready to burst forth for Spring, I may never know. Since we'd made a wrong turn that took us down that road; I'm not sure if I'll ever travel that way again. Maybe. Maybe not.

If it's meant to be, sooner or later, I will......... that much I'm sure of. Either way, those trees just struck me in a manner in which I felt compelled to ask my husband to stop... go back... turn around... I simply had to take photos of those trees.

Was it really the wrong road? Or, the right road? Because if it was the wrong road, I'd have surely missed seeing some sleeping lovely trees -- trees that impressed me so, I couldn't miss the opportunity to take their photos. I would have missed imagining the wonderful lion and elephant. So, turned out that it was precisely the right road, no doubt about it. Precisely! And our timing was perfect, all along. That is some God knew, but we didn't.

I knew if we kept driving and turned back even a few minutes later, the lighting would be different. The color of the sky and the clouds change moment by moment. The shadowing would be different. And, if tried to come back on another day, would the trees even be there. Who knows? But, it certainly does mean that I won't wonder about them. If new life sprang forth, or if they are just resting as they slowly turn into dust.

What I've learned through my very own life, is that sometimes in life, we only get only one opportunity to seize the moment. We can never get it back. While other times, one can get part of a moment back......... while other times, things truly do come full circle. But, to see it one must be looking for such opportunities. Watching and listening for such opportunities. It's much like trying to snap photos of my elusive Piliated Woodpeckers. I have two that live in the forest right beside me. They are there. I catch glimpses of them. I hear them at certain times of the day. Sometimes I even watch them for a few minutes, but don't have my camera. I enjoy those moments ever so much. Yet, I still would love to capture their pictures, individually or together. When I see them, the choice I always must make is whether to watch closely, or run for my camera. I don't carry a camera with me around my yard deliberately because I'm seeking such moments. More about that in another post one day.

Regardless, nothing ever takes away from that first moment... that first opportunity. Those trees added to my life that day. And, in sharing them with my readers, they may or may not change your life, but you'll recall that they added to, or said differently, changed mine. It's the little things that make the differences. Special moments that get etched. That day was a good day. We saw old friends and met new ones. Met tons of Springers. And, a super special Lemon and White little girl Springer named Sophie, same age as Sydney. Who has finally found her much needed forever home, thanks to ESRA! Yay! But, for me personally... my "me" moment was seeing those trees. I'll remember the rest. But, differently.

Life changing stuff can happen in tiny moments. Artists have been inspired to paint pictures. Photographers have captured simple shots that reflect life changing moments, and life changing shots of simple moments. For poets and writers the same is true. For those that enjoy their artistry, the same is true.

I remember the first time I ever read Joyce Kilmer's Trees, I've never looked at trees the same since. I was in seventh grade then, and already adored trees. But, from that point on, I try to remember to look really closely at a tree to gaze intently to see every bit of it I can. Every detail, even though I know I'm missing a few. As I view each tree, I begin to describe it to myself, each little detail, and often times, it's in the form of a poem. It's happening more often now than ever, which I actually attribute to Project Rewire.

So, here's a little slide show of my "Sleeping Trees". It's part of a series I'm working on. Then, after the slide show, I'm including the poem Trees by Joyce Kilmer.


by: Joyce Kilmer (1886-1918)

I THINK that I shall never see

      A poem lovely as a tree.

      A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
      Against the earth's sweet flowing breast;

      A tree that looks at God all day,
      And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

      A tree that may in Summer wear
      A nest of robins in her hair;

      Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
      Who intimately lives with rain.

      Poems are made by fools like me,

      But only God can make a tree.

      Trees was originally published in Trees and Other Poems by Joyce Kilmer
      New York: George H. Doran Company, 1914

**Still making changes here and I've taken on two more blogging gigs. One is a joint venture involving Sydney and her Cairn Terrier, boyfriend, Toby which will go live very soon. While the other, I just go the go ahead to begin. It will be mine, but I'm doing it on behalf of the Red Springs & Northern Rail Road. Many of my photos will be used of events and the like. But, the cool thing is that the RS&N RR members will be sharing trip reports and stories, as well as their photos, too. For me, it's a win win. it's a way I can help out and give some time away and I love sharing stories from other people and their photos, too. I'm receiving so many pictures and stories now, actually, from all over the world. It's crazy!**

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