Lake at Honeyman
I have been meaning to write about this special morning for sometime, but life got too busy. The last day of my workshop with Jack Graham in Portland, the check engine light came on in my car again. It turns out the Prius truly isn't an off road vehicle. The canisters underneath the gas tank I punctured a month ago when I hit a boulder on a dirt road in Durango were breaking down and another costly repair was required. I opted to trade the Prius in for an all wheel drive vehicle with sufficient clearance to travel the roads I often drive on in search of photographic subjects. The experience I had making this photograph was so significant to me that I couldn't not write about it, so I am going back in time.
This photograph was made at Honeyman State Park, where I stayed in a yurt one night on my way up to Portland. I got up before sunrise and went for a walk on a trail near the campground. First I passed a very small lake with native plantings all around it. It was just before sunrise and the sky had started to turn all these amazing colors and I could see them being reflected in the water through the trees. The vegetation around the lake was so thick that I couldn't find a place to photograph. I felt very frustrated. I asked the universe why I was being allowed to notice something so beautiful but wasn't being given a perfect vantage point, or even a manageable one. I promised it wasn't so I could take a photograph for my own benefit. I tried to explain to the universe that I was merely trying to celebrate and share its beauty with others. Still no openings appeared. I am not sure exactly what I thought would happen–that trees would magically part like the Red Sea or something? I tried bushwhacking, but I left my machete at home in Florida and a branch scratched my eye. I sighed and gave up.
I walked on a quarter of a mile or so and came to the parking lot for the day users. On the other side of the lot, there was another, larger lake that was surrounded by more majestic trees. The colors in the sky were on fire now and the reflection was much more expansive. Again there was no place to photograph from the shoreline, but then I spotted a floating dock. It was closed but I easily managed to climb under the barrier and push my gear through. I thanked the universe and promised to be more patient next time, though I admit that I often have difficulties with patience when I sense something incredible on the horizon. This morning taught me two things which I keep having to relearn every day. First, my vision is limited. What I think might be an ideal place or state might only be a stepping stone to something even more special that I am not yet aware of. Second I am just one small cog in the big machine that turns the wheels of time. It is not solely up to me when revelations occur or when dreams begin to manifest in reality. Sometimes the universe lets me catch a glimpse of its secret workings and then the door is closed again. All I can do is walk with awareness and allow my senses to guide me to where openings might be. Every now and then I am given great gifts like this beautiful sunrise and the journey to see it.