Saturday, December 18, 2010

Moods on a Rainy Saturday

This morning I walked out of the growing queue at the post office, impatient even before the door opened. It's a rainy Saturday in Ormond Beach, and I rather like the gray--not because I'm depressed or introspective Quiet. Settled. Content even. About as mentally removed from Christmas shoppers and grandparents anxious about mailing presents up north as I can possibly be.

So I placed my package (which would eventually be mailed in time to arrive in Indiana before Christmas) in the trunk and pulled my camera out of my bag. For months I've dutifully worked at home or traveled far from it, but I've missed walking along the muddy flats along the Tomoka River or riding under the canopy of water oaks. I felt the need to take in the bigger picture before I could focus on the details.

Although the tide was low, the egrets hunted the shallows close to the road. They're still wary, though, as well they should be. They don't live in a protected zone for nothing.

When I share photographs, I often hear the comment that I capture a world without people. Probably that says a lot about me. I often like the singular, of a subject, such as this egret in flight, or a moment that revealed something about the world from a different perspective. This shot is far from perfect, but I like its spontaneity.

Whether I photograph a single bird or a solitary stalk of swamp grass, I often like quiet isolation, the serenity in the alone. If I choose one shot that resonates with my mood this morning, it's this one.

Before long, the raindrops multiplied, and I headed back to the car. Refreshed. Cleansed. Contemplative.

Even a brief reacquaintance with the river clarifies my thoughts--and purpose, the salty tang of memory in the heavy air, tasty on my tongue. I don't write or photograph it as clearly as I should, but this tiny section of river and its often-unseen inhabitants continue to introduce me to a world I need to visit more often. Mystery might be revealed in murky details, and the ordinary gain beauty through illusion.