I’m at the park, kneeling at my tripod and looking through the viewfinder at some flowers I don’t know the name of. What someone somewhere called them in the past doesn’t matter. They’re growing here today and I’m appreciating their unique beauty and attempting to capture a reasonable digital representation. Sometimes I catch glimmers of the Divine when I’m photographing flowers—maybe today will be one of those days.
A woman carrying a smartphone comes into my peripheral vision. She walks softly into this garden space as if she is intruding on my visual meditation. I do my best not to pay attention, but as she moves toward the bench where I left my camera bag my awareness of her heightens. I continue to work, adjusting the position of my tripod and my camera on the ball-mount, metering and focusing on the image I see through the viewfinder. Click. Click, click.
When I’m satisfied, I stand and adjust myself, and pick up my gear. The woman stands a respectful distance away from the bench and my bag looking toward the water. She lifts her phone to take photos of the geese coming up on the shore. I sit on the bench and she joins as I unzip my bag and tuck my camera inside.
She’s tells me she’s there for the goslings.
“Did you see them when they were young?” she asks, her eyes sparkling.
She scrolls through images on her phone and shows me photos of downy yellow babies she captured a few weeks earlier. We talk for a few minutes about the park, and photography, and the geese. There’s something vaguely familiar about her and I wonder if I once knew who she was. Today, she’s just a solitary woman who comes here to watch and record the wonder of a growing family of geese—a woman who hasn’t forgotten the way to wonderland. I think she must be one of the richest people in the city.