I'm not who I was.
Our friend Barrett goes on fantastically rugged adventures for months at a time, braving the elements and icicles in his man-beard all in order to get some amazing photos of creation. (So amazing in fact that his pics have been featured in National Geographic. Seriously… check them out. They are stunning.)
Last month, I was admiring some recent photographs he had posted. He had been to Montana, Canada, Wyoming, Washington, Oregon, and made his way down the west coast of California… just this year so far. (And quite honestly, I’m not confident that I didn’t miss something). With so many breathtaking shots of wildlife mid-stride or swoop, rainbow-laden waterfalls, blustery coastlines, glistening mountain peaks and glowing sunsets, you may be surprised to discover that this shot is my present favorite.
It’s true that I enjoy the contrast, the organic feel, the bold lines with rugged edges, the fact that it is simultaneously natural and abstract, and that it sort of looks like a cross reaching out to hug me. But that’s not why it’s my favorite. This photo was taken in Redwood National Park. I don’t know if you are familiar at all with redwoods, but they are
big huge massive and towering: stuff that fantasy landscapes are made of. When I read the caption, that is when this image really gripped me:
“This tree was still alive, even though it was hollowed out.”
With that caption, I saw this tree in a new light. Surrounded by countless displays of might and beauty, this tree has its own story to tell. It has been weathered and carved out, its heart exposed; the light comes blaring in. All of its gnarls, cracks and ridges make it uniquely interesting and compellingly beautiful. It appears exhausted and empty, but it’s still alive. Fragile, but strong. It’s still growing. And it’s still reaching up.