Gerry and I grab our cameras and head to a park. He’s been taking classes and wants to put some of what he’s learned about landscape photography and camera settings into practice. I grab my favourite 60mm macro lens and trust I’ll find something interesting a little closer to shoot.
He crouches down by the water and leans over a bridge, while I’m captivated by crispy leaves and bare branches. It’s the in-between time. The glorious colour of fall has given way to stick season. Now we wait, almost holding our breath.
Soon it will snow.
Soon we will enter Advent, the season of waiting and longing and leaning in.
Soon (may it be so) we will learn to live in the After and, while we’ll remain nostalgic for the Before, we’ll welcome the opportunity to recover from the exhaustion of the During. We’ll see who we’ve become and consider what we’ve learned.
Crispy, fallen leaves, remind me that all things change, and with every ending, there comes a new beginning. They are beautiful in their letting go—perhaps more beautiful than they were in the newness of spring and during the intensity of summer. Now they just are, taking on character and, yes, somehow even wisdom, as they drop to the ground and give themselves back.
Memento mori. I remember I will die. One solitary leaf clinging to a branch on a tree that’s somehow, in ways I can’t see, preparing for the deep freeze that’s coming whispers that, for me too, the days ahead are fewer than those behind.
Is the sphere I inhabit better for having me in it? Am I giving more than taking? Contributing more than consuming? Listening? Loving? Being transformed?
These are the questions I ask myself when I sit at my desk later processing the images I captured with my camera.