Saturday, September 24, 2011

Stepping out of the stream of life

Great blue heron, Frye Cove-Puget Sound
I just finished reading James Herriot's "All Creatures Great and Small" and started "All Things Bright and Beautiful." Given how much I love nature and creatures great and small, it's a little surprising I haven't read the much-loved veterinarian's books until now. He also wrote children's books, several of which I read with my son when he was little. Two favorites are "Only One Woof" and "The Christmas Day Kitten." I could never make it through "The Christmas Day Kitten" without a quavering voice and a few tears.

Something that strikes me about Herriot's writing is a sense of balancing work with play, sadness with happiness. In "All Things..." he writes about stopping the car on the way to a veterinary call, just to enjoy the beautiful Yorkshire countryside:

"This form of self-indulgence had become part of my life and still is: a reluctance to come down from the high country; a penchant for stepping out of the stream of life and loitering on the brink for a few minutes as an uninvolved spectator."

Nisqually Reach - Puget Sound
Some of my best images were captured when I stepped out of the stream of life, rushing to work only to be stopped by an incredible sunrise. So, of course, I photograph it.

December sunrise - Mount Rainier
When I photograph something in nature - a beautiful scene or a wild eagle plucking a fish from the river - I am a spectator documenting, often without thinking. Later, when I'm downloading and editing images, I allow myself to experience the emotion I would have if I wasn't trying to capture a scene. I have several favorite images to share in my online Places Gallery.

I hope you will take some time to step out of the stream of life and enjoy.

1 comment:

  1. This is my favorite blog post of yours so far. Love it.

    Janet Kieffer