I spent the last three days outside with the camera, braving the bitter cold, in order to photograph the exquisite ice display from a recent storm. The landscape, in its frozen state, was gorgeous. But try as I might, I felt I failed miserably with many of my photographs. After filling a card, or freezing too much to snap any more shots, I would come inside to download images and discover I had not done justice to the gorgeous ice spectacle outside. So, back out I would go, trying various settings and angles, but still not capturing the kind of breathtaking razzle-dazzle in the photos that I was seeing in real life. I wondered if there was really any way to truly capture the sparkle as I saw it through my eyes.
I was also disappointed that the sunlight only shone through the clouds for very short intervals. I grew weary tromping around on the crunchy ice to get to a photographic location, only to have to wait for the sun to appear again. Disheartened about my lack of luck, and growing numb from the cold, I decided to call it quits. Sometimes, what we want or hope for, is just not meant to be.
And then, as I crossed the pasture to the edge of the woods, I saw Daisy and Spirit! We had seen them recently in the night at the feeders, but did not bother them in the darkness as it sometimes spooks them. I walked quick as I could in my muck boots to meet Daisy. I laughed in delight as I petted her woolly face and neck. I had both cameras around my neck and, just like old times, Daisy got busy snooping. Nibbling and yanking on my jacket’s zipper pulls and toggles, she suddenly turned her attention to the camera lens. Giving it a quick lick, she then proceeded to chew on the camera strap. I frantically tried to keep everything out of her reach, but it was impossible.
After a good massage and pet, I left Daisy and Spirit to continue their feeding on plant life and browse in the woods. Later in the afternoon, while attempting to photograph the ice extravaganza again, I found them both bedded down in the ice and snow, chewing their cud and looking quite contented. I did not bother them this time, except to take a few photos of them with their cheeks puffed out, enjoying the ruminating process and simply relaxing.
This morning as I read through my favorite blogs, one post in particular stood out: “It is the time of year for Christmas Revelry. If you want to.” My friend Celi, author of thekitchensgarden, wrote this post, which spoke to me from a perspective I had not thought about before. And oddly, it offered a fairly accurate reflection of my own deeply-felt thoughts about the holiday season. As I read Celi’s post, a sudden welling of tears sprouted from my eyes, and my nose commenced to running. It took me forever to compose myself enough to post a response in the comment section. And later, when I saw her response to my comment, the tears flowed again.
I had expectations about how my ice photography should be. I wanted to produce a dazzling Christmas post showing the full splendor of Mother Nature, while making sure I was promptly in-line with all of the other great holiday blog posts. I was doing as I always had done, viewing the holiday season in a way that I “thought” it should be and how I was supposed to celebrate it. But reading Celi’s words brought to me a realization of my own, true spirit of the season. What my friend had the courage to say and to own about herself, was exactly what I was afraid to admit to myself all of these years.
For me, the joy of Christmas is that it can be “Just Another Day In The Woodlands” – where my Daisy roams, and Spirit follows, nibbling and browsing about – and that is exactly where I want to be!
© Day by Day the Farm Girl Way…