There's no random photo this Tuesday.
I intentionally left my camera behind on our trip to the mountains this weekend. I figured the snow would still be melting and it was going to be a colorless, cold, wet weekend. We had a lot of things to take with us already. We weren’t going to do much. What would there be to take pictures of? I glanced at it as we were walking out the door and made a conscious decision to leave it on the counter.
As it turns out the snow is gone and this weekend was anything but colorless. It was the soft green of new grass growing thick around the black trunks and copper needles of the pine trees burnt in last fall’s fires. It was butter yellow and amythest wildflowers blanketing a meadow. It was whitewater and kayakers in bright blue vests. It was red fire engines and flashing red lights on a private tour of the fire station. It was a dark silhouette of an Osprey against a paynes grey sky.
It was that same Osprey reflected in the glassy waters of a marsh where a field is supposed to be. And an old barbed wire fence barely poking out of the rising water. It was a creek turned into a waterfall. A stream turned into a river. A lake dotted with sailboats instead of a giant sheet of ice.
It was wet and muddy. Muddy shoes left by the garage door. Muddy kids playing in the woods. Muddy tracks left by deer in our yard. Mud on our car from Gold Fork Road on the way to the hot springs. Mud on our toes as we went from pool to pool looking for the one that was the perfect temperature for a baby to kick and splash and giggle on his first swimming adventure. And for a big sister to practice holding her breath underwater for five…six…seven seconds!
But it was not cold. Every spring I am reminded that this is the time of year when it is soft. Summer is heavy and hard. Fall and winter are sharp and stinging. But spring in the mountains is palpably soft. Like mist and dew. Like a warm breeze. When it is soft you want to get out of bed immediately to sit outside in your old sweatshirt and watch the mountain and smell wood burning and sip tea. Or leave the screen door open so you can feel the breeze and smell the Ponderosa Pine while you cook dinner. And because it is a soft spring day, it is so quiet you can even hear the little fox when she comes begging for eggs at the porch.
I won’t leave my camera behind again. I will take hundreds of pictures of the beach, the lake, Charlie’s Gardens, the animals who visit us, our friends who come and play at our refuge in the mountains. But today I am being thankful for all the photo moments I didn’t capture this weekend.