Last year, I spent quite a bit of time walking down by the Kettle River, which runs through town, and saw the seasons change from a river's point-of-view. This year, I haven't wandered there as much...and have missed it. So, when the sun peeked out the other day after a long rainy spell, I grabbed my camera and headed out to catch up with an old friend.
The outside landscape has changed quite a bit since autumn really started a month or so back. Those gorgeous, golden-coloured leaves on the deciduous trees have fallen to the ground and are now turning a not-so-attractive brown. The trees themselves are looking quite barren without their leafy coats, and the vibrancy of nature has faded like an old pair of jeans.
I love it.
I think of this time - now November - as the "in-between." It's not the autumn we romanticize in colourful words and photos. And it's not yet the glistening whites of ice and snow that accompanies the winter. Frankly, it's gray, and damp, and decomposing.
And in my practice to be, what I call, dift (deliberate, inspired, focused, and thoughtful), I seek the beauty in this seasonal death. It is beautiful. Because with the distractions of lush foliage taken away, something else takes its place...light...and shadow.
This is a different way to look at the landscape: in levels, brightness, and contrast. And my photographer-self feels like I've hit the jackpot. With the sun lower in the sky, it is much more warm and welcoming visually than when in its high vantage during the summer. So on this particular outing, I put on my short lens, opened up the aperture, and took photos of not just the landscape, but the light.
Lens flare (the light scatter) and bokeh (the light blur) were welcomed during this shoot, and I tried to come up with my own unique views to capture the magic. Like the sun in the sky, it was usually from a lower point.
While contemplating this in-between time, when nature starts to call it quits, I looked down to see an inevitable "sign" on a rock at my feet.
Can you see it? Yes, autumn is definitely coming to a close. Today, snow lightly fell for a quick few minutes, but it was enough to let us know what is coming. Before it actually gets here, however, I will continue to enjoy the in-between when I can. It is an opportunity the Universe gives us to pause and just be. It is the point between inhaling and exhaling, between the past and the future.
And it is also a time, depending on your latitude, to go outside and see nature at her bare bones...before she is covered again; this time by a snowy blanket.
This is what the in-between looks like where I live. I hope you will go out and take time to pause in your own in-between, wherever you are.