Color warms my lens.
My heart too. I grab my pens.
Gratitude soon flows.
With a free gas station pumpkin spice in hand, I enter a forest rich with gold.
I have only ten minutes to spare before work, yet I’m already becoming one with the trees.
Long branches embrace me as I stand by their hefty trunks looking up, or sometimes sideways with my camera.
Besides that feathery soft gold, I’m stockpiling new memories of crimson red, vibrant green, and warm orange tones for the long months of winter white ahead.
I study the deep veins of the maple leaves, brilliant light shimmering through the oaks, and the strength of those branches supporting all.
Looking at my watch, I pack away my camera but not my joy as I walk back to the car to leave.
Laughing at myself, I’m amazed at what a simple camera and a couple of trees can do for your morning perspective.
I pondered before making the decision, but only briefly.
I hadn’t intended to visit the beautiful cemetary before me today, but my plans had changed.
Though the remains of my parents, brother and husband rest elsewhere, my grandparents ashes are in this sacred spot.
The lush, green rolling hills are striking and it’s been decades since I’ve visited.
Yet an additional draw for me today was the arts.
And there was plenty of it.
Music sang from all directions. The local police band played the traditional patriotic songs, but also offerings were made of gospel, classical, folk, and swing.
And there was poetry, including a poetry writing class with critiques available for all.
There was also drawing sessions with guidance, paper, and pastels freely given by professional artists.
Photography, too, was represented with creative and technical tips being shared by instructors.
With white doves soaring above and shiny horse drawn carriages trotting along side me, opportunities for subjects to shoot were everywhere.
Unfortunately my digital camera, currently short a memory card, peacefully rested at home missing the events.
But in the camera’s honor, and also that of my sweet caramel loving grandmother, I did pen one short poem in my poetry session that reads:
My memories are like caramels.
Savored and sweet.
Melting on my tongue till they’re gone.
Maybe I can freeze them?
All right, I admit I was really hungry and hot when I wrote it.
I’ll try again next year.
I’m no photographer, but I’m working on it.
So far I’ve learned how much my world view changes when looking through a lens.
Even when traveling light with an iPad.
This day my lens teaches me as shadows grow longer in the fall, they lead me on to new paths.
Detours causing me to slow down and reflect.
My eye’s opening now to gifts from a shoreline’s soft palette.
Rippling water melodies dancing just beyond.
I wait patiently on a boulder in the breeze, searching for signs the pond’s inching closer to ice.
Knowing my lens will be teaching me this winter, there’s beauty to be found even at thirty below.