A drift on the raft the gentle breeze imperceptibly maneuvering me its sole passenger around the lake. The lake that is ours albeit for this week our own private Idaho of a lake. Gliding past rushes, gorse and a multitude of waterside greenery. Observing close up the iridescent blue dragonflies as they mate, one atop the others head, a dance of a balancing act pairs pair up sharing the same leaf. Frogs languishing in boggy grassland leap to the waters safety whenever we pass, long legs stretching out, the splosh as they land and the carp, oh the carp! Gliding with stealth after our vessel each time we cast off from dry land, mouths agape like suction hoovers tousling over morsels thrown and then discarding them from their gullets. Trying everything in their pursuit for the edible, toes and heels are sucklingly savoured their bodies glistening in the ever present gaze of the high summer sun. Frogs croak amidst the constant chatter of birds high up in the surrounding green canopy. The duck house on the lake sits empty, its residents mascaraed when one winter the water froze over and nothing stood in the way between bird and fox. Languishing now naked atop this sturdy vessel, a low rumble of thunder in the skies and the searing heat of the July Dordogne sun on my back. I feel I have entered a realm of half remembered childhood, of lamb white days spent wide open in summers gaze. This lake, its inhabitants, the surrounding wildlife my sole accompliment to these lazy days. By night we retreat to the cabin, our cabin where meals are made, candles lit and stories told on the deck. This life strongly reminiscent in me of an existence simple and nurturing calling its call, intelligible to my soul, “come home”, “come home”.
A portal, a delectable garden of delights abundant, rich with possibility. Areas tended, a lawn, manicured avenues and then a threshold past which nature reclaims herself. The garden at Redan a beautiful offering to Gaia, a fusion of fecundity and tamed splendour. Walking alone with camera, dropping, dropping senses ignited soft grass underfoot. Early evening inching her way in yet sun still enveloping me in her warmth.
Watching as white butterflies and bees take their fill of lavender nectar, the purple crop a haze of continuous activity. Watching at the stream as iridescent blue damsel flies flutter around me in curiosity, landing here, there on my arm my leg. Quick to the left a red squirrel darts down from an adjacent tree drinks hastily at the waters edge its white underbelly aglow in the evening light. I marvel, opening still further in to this my body nature connection. Stepping in to the stream I set off on a meandering escapade to photograph the elusive fish. Yesterday I saw her emerge up in an illuminated pool of light. Still half in shadow I raised my camera and gone. A thought half remembered , the edge of a memory I sought to encapsulate, that slipping away, that here and then gone…
Belly on warm rock, form fitting the contours. Camera propped precariously close to the lapping waters edge, a risk worth taking for this close up encounter with the plunge pool offerings. Marveling as leaf surfaces adhere themselves to stone and lichen alike. Seeing natures colours alight in early afternoon sun, the heavy drone of crashing water enveloping me, merging my very being with her gushing onslaught. Alive here! Toes tingling in cold freshness, animating me fully in to this moment like a dancer perfecting a move I too practice encapsulating this moments magic, synchronizing eye and mind in the flash of perception. This I meeting a greater sense of non-self, blurring and merging in a great amorphous gulp.
Great day spent teaching Contemplative Photography at Hawkwood – lovely group and so much enthusiasm for the practice, really inspiring! We were exploring the themes of colour and texture, attached a few of my images.
Due to interest I’m looking to run a follow up day workshop in the autumn, we’ll be looking at light, simplicity and space. Please contact me if you’d like more information about this or other courses I run.