I wish I had worn hiking boots. I wish I had worn more sunscreen. I wish I had worn insect repellant, little furry creature repellant, Mountain Lion repellant. Okay, I’d settle for repelling the big dog that randomly shows up on my street because he’s having a dysfunctional love affair with my neighbors’ dog who’ll probably just want to lift his leg on my cold dead body if something goes terribly wrong.
On second thought, maybe he could have pulled me out of that rocky, prickly ravine that used to be a beautiful field of fragrant Sweet Pea. In my mind I even practiced that “Hey, I meant to do that.” look just in case someone saw me falling down.
You see, somehow, even though I knew it could be hazardous, after watching a lovely, lovely giant of a tree that I knew for 16 years be felled by every force of nature including Man I decided that day was the day to capture it in all its former glory. Or should I say current glory, although not in the traditional sense of the word.
I know I’m a photo nerd, but there really were so many wonderful, nuanced things to document. Seriously. And it got me thinking. You know how you read a book when you’re a kid and many years later it suddenly resonates? (Just humor me.) That book for me is The Giving Tree by the late, great Shel Silverstein. In a nutshell, it poetically tracks a boy then man’s odyssey of wanting something at every stage his of life that the tree always graciously gives him. In the end the boy is a very elderly man and the only thing the tree can offer is a stump to sit on which as it turns out is all he actually needs.
So I’m grateful that I paid a visit to that particular tree on that particular day for the sake of a meaningful picture because even though I didn’t know it at the time, I was just looking for an old friend to photograph. “And the tree was happy."
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