A Winter Story

Press play for a soundtrack to the reading below.

I'm trying to use the rest of this week to get my life in order. It seems like the last month was a blur and I haven't been to bed before 2am in awhile. I've been struggling with feeling present, with being authentic with people and being far too hard on myself (not to mention way too much isolated time at my computer). All that to say, this morning when I woke up, I simply felt sad (and way too tired for 32 years old).

As I went through my computer, cleaning up files and attempting to get my business workflow in order, I found this collection of images I shot right about this week in December a year ago. My husband Kenny and I took a beautiful scenic adventure up near Leavenworth, WA last winter. I remember the snow had made the whole world quiet, as we walked down an seemingly abandoned country road. There were animal paw prints in the snow and beautiful, other-worldly horses who let us pet their noses. When they sing songs about "winter wonderlands", well...this was about as magical as it gets.

I treasure these images because I think they are some of my strongest work. There is a distinct reason for this...and it's wrapped up in love. The peaceful affections of the moment seep into the images; when I look at them, I feel gratitude. I can see my authentic self in these photos, and as any creative person knows, if your work isn't authentic to who you are, it doesn't feel authentic to anyone else either.

I'm so glad I stumbled upon these photographs today, because I was feeling pretty bleak inside. Not depressed, but just overwhelmed and helpless at the spinning fast paced life we live in. I hate that feeling, more than almost anything else. The truth is, none of us are helpless. We can make choices that sculpt a life for ourselves; that whisper at a simpler way of life. Of course our days can take drastic courses and there times of stress and seasons of pain, just like there is a time for everything. Yet when I see these photos, I feel hope that I CAN teach people how to treat me, and choose to live life with more wonder and importance placed on the simple things. I imagine running through the woods, breath turning to fog...chasing a winter story.

Nature, Poem 50  | Snow

It sifts from leaden sieves,
It powders all the wood,
It fills with alabaster wool
The wrinkles of the road.

It makes an even face
Of mountain and of plain, —
Unbroken forehead from the east
Unto the east again.

It reaches to the fence,
It wraps it, rail by rail,
Till it is lost in fleeces;
It flings a crystal veil

On stump and stack and stem, —
The summer's empty room,
Acres of seams where harvests were,
Recordless, but for them.

It ruffles wrists of posts,
As ankles of a queen, —
Then stills its artisans like ghosts,
Denying they have been.

By Emily Dickinson | Published in 1856