Sometimes, the only thing I can be sure of is that it is always and forever right now.
The first photograph was taken from under the shade of forest, mid-morning, about a mile up the trail on Eagle Creek. The second photograph was taken a step or two later, just as the sun escaped from behind the moss-laden limbs of a winter maple. How swiftly mood changes, rising like the temperature when the sun strikes you. The view up the canyon washed out in the light, refocusing on the path and the shortened shadows. Distance shrunk and focus expanded; I became aware of steam evaporating from sunlit moss, of the subtle greens tips of pine needles, on the weight of winter exhaled in a bright moment of easy breath.
It was like this all day at Eagle Creek – a thousand changes happening without weight, or, when noticed, noticed in sum, every detail magnified and whole, like nature getting off work and slipping into something more comfortable. Sun into shadow and back again. The creek singing from its bed, suddenly silent, suddenly always there. Ice on the trail followed by soft earth. Cathedrals of trees opening into long vistas and closing again in meditation. Breeze, then stillness.
Later when I turned around – for there’s only one way in and one way out of Eagle Creek – the sunny grove I meant to take my lunch in was thick with shadow. Below me, the creek cut through the basalt as it has for centuries, and the sun sank into the trees at the edge of the ridge-top.
A thousand changes happening without weight, always and forever right now.