It might be a small adventure and maybe signify a bit of insanity to drive and watch the sunset at a local state park with the weather as it’s been. My fingers were cold trying to work the camera and my whole body shivered as the wind whipped up into cracks of clothes and licked bare skin. Goosebumps crawled among my arms and legs as I jumped and hopped from rock to rock searching for the best photo position. I wobbled to the edge, as close as my feet could carry me to the ice, and kneeled down for a photo taken in my favorite view; close to the water and capturing the horizon.
This trip was a spur of the moment deal where I decided that the lake would be my best bet at enjoying the evening and taking some photos of a scenic landscape that wasn’t just wheat fields. My intentions were to capture sunset in all its glistening glory and hopefully contrast the cold and warm colors of winter to convey the mood of the evening.
I’ve certainly heard it before that the winter is cold, dreary, or depressing but to me this overcast weather with its powerful clouds and blanketing cool hues is nothing short of thinking weather. The melancholy mood that settles upon a table set next to a window or a rock by the side of an iced over lake is the thing that most puts me into a thoughtful air. My connections and relationships borne from thinking about my life are brought to me in new views.
I don’t know if melancholy is the correct word. I’m subdued by the weather but the biting chill is a new sort of awakening. Though the weather freezes, it makes me move; it prompts my feet to pump and my mind to swirl like cold snow falling from the treetops and floating through the swift air. The silence of such weather only hints at the wild creatures flitting about the cold landscape, a rabbit’s prints, a squirrel’s scuffling in the ground. Little moments, these short jaunts into soul-filling settings are the things that recharge my insane sanity.
Little by little these moments heal and burn. They fill my lust for new sights and a presence in the great outdoors but also light the fire in my heart to be more.
To me, being a part of this little world is the closest I may come to the experiences realized by Thoreau in his pond and forest or the great west pioneers who saw the world and laid eyes on untouched perfection for the very first time in history.
Everything is already explored. There is very little to see that hasn’t been seen and very little places to be that someone else hasn’t been. This makes it all the more salient that we enjoy the wild places and protect what tracts of land we still have left, to preserve the world not only for us, but also the generations around us.
I am so honored to have a relationship with the outdoors. It has unequivocally shaped who I am. I can say, with all certainty, that the shape I’ve assumed is not one I regret.
Put on some clothes. Go have an adventure.