It seems that I am already in the New Year’s spirit. I have several resolutions already. With the combined inspiration of a dear friend and of a beloved place, I hope to record the beauty of the Hawlings River with a camera and my words. I tried this a few years ago and was pleased with the result. Then, I attempted to capture the beauty of the river alongside the beauty of my son and our dog, the simplicity of our time together in natural places such as these.
Perhaps they will join me on my future outings. My son and I often find ourselves in the woods together. It is where we both belong. He is certainly always welcome. Always will be.
But no, this time I want to capture, with the images of a camera and with my words, the river and the wooded banks that embrace it. I want to travel far and travel long by staying in one place and by visiting frequently. Thoreau sought to live deeply and shave close by living at his Walden Pond. I too hope to learn something new with my plan to frequently visit the banks of Hawlings River. I have no plans to drive life into a corner though; I prefer to be a quiet observer.
I plan to visit each month, focusing on the growth of spring and the deeper greens of summer even though my soul yearns for wider horizons with the return of the warmer months.
Like the study of a moment in history where each new book, new diary, new photograph provides me with yet more exciting people, moments, ideas to pursue with yet more reading; I will give this simple place more of my study.
I will meet no Washington, no Lincoln, neither Teddy nor Franklin on these banks; however, if I am lucky, I will learn the names and faces of the denizens of these woods. These quieter souls who never seek public office, finding the shelter of the mountain laurel to be mansion enough. They too have much to teach about how to be noble and just.
This is no Acadia, no Yellowstone, not even the C & O; but it is a beautiful place and a place worthy of contemplation.
Hope to see you there; I’ll be the one with the tripod and the dirty boots.