Monday, February 9, 2015

Day Walk

I've given myself the assignment to take daily photographs in my little suburban gated community, a place where I've often felt drained of inspiration. I grew up in the woods, in places full of green and grass and dapples of sun and the sounds of crickets and crunching leaves and breaking branches. Now, I hear the sounds of people and cars and yard work. Our yard is a small triangle of grass which is watered, automatically, every night at seven in the months of April through September. People I don't know occasionally show up to trim the grass and cut wild branches. A tree sits at the corner of our lot, in front of our porch, and some hedges line the edges of our condo, planted in beds of rock. It is all very manicured. It's the kind of place where our individual spaces are so delineated that I feel vaguely nervous when I walk down some of the sidewalks with the baby, sidewalks that often dead-end right in front of doors, creating strange, frustrating loops.

Still, this is a beautiful place, as aggressively scrubbed of all wildness as it is. I live in Colorado, where the sky is enormous and usually blue. Though this isn't my preferred weather (I miss the damp of Vermont and Oklahoma and Arkansas, the overwhelming sound of crickets, lushness, storms), But I can see why people come here and feel more themselves, more alive. The skyline is dramatic, full of white-capped, jagged mountains and endless endless blue. Rabbits swarm our little gated community: clearly, this was once where they lived, and they've managed to keep living here despite the influx of self-contained gated communities, each one cut off from the next. But sometimes I just can't see it. I miss Vermont's gently sloping mountains and those cold, rocky rivers. I miss Southern Oklahoma, the Ouachitas in particular, damp and noisy and wild.

So I've challenged myself: look for something beautiful, anything, and take a picture of it every day. So now, I take my camera with me as I wheel the baby around the block.

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