I hadn’t been on a nice long winter walk, alone (with the dog), with my camera… for quite some time. I had forgotten how very relaxing it is. Oh, the first few minutes aren’t… Getting the dog taken care of, changing into my muck boots, putting on the hat and gloves, clipping the keys into the pocket so they can’t get lost, arranging the camera with the lens and monopod and slipping it around my neck… walking to the woods… That’s all very tense.
Then I see something that begs me to use the camera… I fuss around getting the settings “right” (guessing at the settings is more like it). Deciding on the composition. Snapping one, two, more… Then, keep on walking.
Into the woods and finally the stress starts to drop off. My steps slow down. I notice more things. A flock of juncos, a mixed group of chickadees and tufted titmice. There are still hundreds of hickory nuts on the forest floor.
I think about this day. Thanksgiving. I think of all the things for which I am so grateful. I think about Roy, who no longer walks this earth. I didn’t know him well. But I remember his smile, his talent, his kindness. I think about Roy’s family and hope that despite this terrible loss, they can find comfort in each other.
The juncos dance around before me. One sits long enough for a portrait… then flitters high up into the trees to join the others. I wander back to the car and then home again to join my family for Thanksgiving Dinner.
Tomorrow will be another day with family, friends, and strangers… When I look into their faces, I will wonder what thoughts are on their minds… what things they celebrate, for whom they grieve…