What's in a day?
When I first arrived in the Appalachian Mountains mid-March, wisps of green and pinkish hues filled the views. There was a distinct air of impatience, of waiting for Spring to arrive. I was clearly in an eager-state-of-mind. I was ready to be awed and inspired.
The first sunset was impressive. I lit a small fire and watched pinkish hues emerge behind subtle rolling hills. My lens was active, my thoughts racing. Had I captured this moment on camera? Had I captured this moment in my memory? Was I blown away by this beautiful horizon? Prodding for answers, all I could do was stoke the fire and continue to take it all in.
Day two brought much of the same. I took a long hike, captured hundreds of shots, and soaked in as much O2 as I could. My legs felt tired, but my mind continued to race. I made it back to my homestead just as the last minutes of daylight disappeared, and I captured a faint glow strewn across the mountains. All I could focus on was the color-noise-error of the capture. With a shake of my head, I knew somewhere inside, I still wasn’t feeling it…whatever it was.
When I woke on day three, I wasn’t sure where I was. I felt a strange aura fill the air, as if a presence was just alerting me to it’s being. I couldn’t quite discern the message, yet.
Birds chattered outside alive and active. A quick gaze out the window showed rolling hills and mountains cast in the multi-layered colors only the Smokey Mountains can produce. I reached for my phone to capture the beauty, anxious to see the results and finally feel immersed. After a coffee and some deep breaths, I only felt impatience.
After another long day of hiking, climbing, descending and constantly-capturing, I felt a welcome tiredness. Once again arriving home around sunset, I was greeted to an incoming storm. Clouds swirled around the mountains, billowing an ominous air that intensified the landscape.
I set up a tripod and a telephoto lens in hopes to capture this intensity. I made quick work of the details, turning the camera dials to get just the right combination. As the light faded, a new color was revealed to me. A faint brush of a salmon-pink-orange was feathered across the sky. It touched just a handful of clouds, careful and considerate in its affect.
Finally, it was here in this moment I could feel the distractions of day-to-day life disappear, and the details of my surroundings emerge.