I think one of the most beautiful things about nature is its sense of grandeur. Standing before a waterfall or a mountain or laying underneath the stars can remind you of how small you are. But there is another part of nature; her incredible (oftentimes minuscule) detail that we overlook far too often. For some reason having a camera in hand really forces me to appreciate nature in its entirety. I love looking for the small things, the way the fallen leaves sit in a blanket of straw or how moss on a rock makes strange shapes; it all intrigues me. I’m sitting here trying to put it all into words and I have to surrender because no one can say it better than Hopkins:
The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?
Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;
And wears man’s smudge and shares man’s smell: the soil
Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.
And for all this, nature is never spent;
There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went
Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs —
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.
Gerard Manely Hopkins
Thanks to my dear friend Jen for a day of exploring, great conversation, laughter, and coffee. And truly horrible small town postcards.