Updated: Feb 19
On the 3rd of November, 2019, the family hopped in a car with the intent of feasting on Maryland's bountiful nature. For a late fall afternoon, the weather was pretty darn good. Recent rains had stripped trees of their peak foliage but what remained---shades of brown, orange, and yellow, were well received as we plodded down the trail. We walked, we talked, we carried a gigantic medium format camera, snapped a few pictures, and tried not to fall into the icy waters of Cunningham Falls.
Overall, the experience was fun and beautiful but a mere blip on my life's timeline. While this fact is frustrating, it is reality. Most of us, as a result of weather or personal obligations, cannot spend our entire lives outdoors. What's important however, is that we collect these experiences---these blips---so when we reach the end of our lives, we have a substantial blob representing our time in nature.
More than 250 years ago, one man decided to experiment with simple living. He left his personal belongings and headed into the woods. This man was Henry David Thoreau. When asked why he did it, he stated:
I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life.
With a belly full of life's marrow, Thoreau's experiment eventually came to an end---two years later.
For many of us, such a feat seems impossible---for some of us, it may be. We've become addicted to the luxuries of life. Addicted to comfort. Addicted to the frivolous things which hinder not only our individual growth, but our evolution as a species.
As I said before, the experience was fun and beautiful.
At the end of the trail was the falls--a long, multi-tiered, cascade of water, racing down a rock staircase. Water pooled at the bottom of the falls, eventually feeding into a stream. On the edge of the pool was a dying tree. At its base, a gaping hole surrounded by moss, lichen, and a solitary mushroom. A vivid reminder of the never-ending circle of beginnings and ends.
Camera: Mamiya RB67
Film: Lomography 100 (Color-Negative, 120 format)
When: November 2019
Where: Cunningham Falls, MD
Note: There is orange banding at the top of the images as a result of the initial 100ml of fixer going in at 120F+, then a delay (this was the mistake) to allow for cooling, followed by the addition of the remaining fixer at a lower temperature.