isn’t really wishing your life away. During the five long days between Sunday and Saturday, while I wish for the weekend to be here, I’m living. Every day, every minute, I am going about the daily grind that is a big part of my life. I wish for 5:00 on Friday starting first thing Monday morning. I know that once Saturday comes, I will be up and out before the sun, doing, living, moving and embracing a beauty that otherwise lives in my head.
Occasionally something comes along that distracts me even from wishing for days off. When that happens, there is little to do but hang on for dear life and ride the wave until it either drowns me or dumps me out somewhere; broken, blessed and sometimes disheartened. Each failure and triumph is a lesson and my purpose is to learn them. I have no illusions, however, that there are not others who feel this way. Some call us weekend warriors, some call us wannabe’s, some call us weird and unsatisfied and others just call us nuts. I don’t consider myself a warrior on the weekends, nor a wannabe, nor unsatisfied or nuts; I am just somebody who wants to see and do and see some more for the vastness of creation can never been fully experienced in a single lifetime. I have difficulty staying in one place when I know there is somewhere else to go … and there is always and forever, as long as time lasts, somewhere else to go.
Some days I wish could go on for weeks and others cannot possibly end soon enough. But inevitably, I know that if I can hang on for a few days, (because once I’m set free I will be rewarded by one amazing thing after another) I will be set free as a bird from a cage. I don’t mind working, not overmuch anyway, but there are many other things I would rather be doing. A disheartening thing for me is looking out the window and seeing the light change and knowing that, for the most part, I am missing it; as a photographer, watching the light change without me becomes, at times, physically painful. At times like that, I wish even harder for time to pass. I don’t feel bad about it and have no intention of not wishing for weekends. The drum I march to may not be the same rhythm as others’, but it suits me just right and, at some point, they meet up anyway.
I’m not much of a joiner. Where I am, for the most part, I am there alone. I, unlike many, however, don’t mind being alone. It would be a fallacy to say there was never a time I didn’t wish for company, for someone special to share the beauty that embraces me, in the recesses of my mind, like a lover … but there is something so serene and renewing about being in the middle of a beautiful place in nature with nothing but the sound of the earth mingling with the music in my head to keep me company. If anyone has ever stood on the top of a mountain, feeling the wind, lifting their arms and face to enjoy the sheer freedom of it … or lying down in a field of blooming flowers, letting the sun warm their body even as the fragrance overtakes them … or standing close enough to a waterfall to feel the mist as it moistens their hair and skin as it plummets to a clear pool below, or feeling an intimacy that moves the soul and spirit in ways that were never expected or imagined; they understand. They know what words can never describe.
These days, my time off is spent hiking in and around Southwest Virginia, not just because it’s where I live, but because it is a spectacular sight to see. I pack my gear, put in my earphones and listen to the beauty of music while I immerse myself in the beauty of nature; a Pentax around my neck and my eyes always searching for what I wouldn’t have seen if I hadn’t been looking. That is part of being a photographer at the core of my heart. Everything is beautiful, everything is alluring, everything is a photograph and nothing is too small to stop and admire. During every moment, every adventure, every triumph and every disappointment, I know that I have been blessed beyond imagination by a loving God who knows what moves my heart and soul. There are lessons to be learned and joys to be experienced. It’s too late for me to change now, being as I’m getting old and set in my ways, so I’ll just go with it. So far, it seems to suit me just fine … but eventually, the need to photograph will overtake everything else. I feel, as I have for years, that this is God’s will for me. He has encouraged me when I became discouraged and opened new doors into photography. I am humbled that He would use me to encourage His people by doing what I love. I am truly and excitingly and reverently and beautifully and gratefully blessed.
Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.