From an early age, I asked many a most sincere “Why?”. Such a little word with no real vowel. And answering that little word pries open a wondrous door that connects our hearts to our minds.
And here, I ask and answer, why do I take photos?
Speaking to nature as my subject, I take photos as a form of communion. To the land and sky and water, I communicate, “I see you. I love you.” Light, tendril, briar, and branch are my wild divine temple and I love it in a way that transcends anything else. Relating to nature ignites my own light; it brings me home to myself; it expresses that I do indeed belong, here in my woods and here on this magical and majestic planet. The photos are a record, a reminder and a testament of what matters.
And why do I share them?
My quick superficial answer would be because they’re pretty. Digging deeper, opening the weighty door a little wider, I see that these photos are an offering.
They are an invitation to accompany me as I visit the enchanted temple of the ephemeral. To witness the first rays of the sun illuminating the misty field, the arcing camellias encased in winter’s snowy song, water’s constant dance with light and landscape, we may encounter the poetic and unselfconscious. These gestures, these luscious whisper-soft utterances speak explicitly to both the ephemeral and eternal, the entirety of existence, the sacred. If we pause, we can experience the fragile majesty of this sanctuary and in turn, the fragile majesty of ourselves.
This seeing, this kinship and honoring, allows us to open the world-heavy door to the sanctuary of everything that matters and to sit quietly with exquisite solitude and deep belonging.
I invite you to sing hymns to the light, bow deeply to the trees, celebrate the gospel of gurgling waters. Our Earth, the first church. If we can look at this beauty and proclaim, “I see you. I love you.”, we may extend this same love to ourselves. As testament to the sacred glory of existing, for just showing up as a human, we may look in the mirror and say, “I see you. I love you.”.
At our deepest core, we want to be seen for the radiant being that we are.
“I see you. I love you.”.