Leafy boughs reflected in a still pond with a bare tree standing behind.

Sturdy boughs filled with vitality, found at Silver Springs State Park of Yorkville, IL, USA. There was a good stretch of time between when I got out of the car to this moment, and it was entirely filled with creative struggle. The day was overcast and on the verge of rain – hoping to make the most of my first visit to this park, I felt disappointed and frustrated by nothing within the scenery stirring my creative spirit. Silver Springs was highly recommended to me, but I saw it as little more than manufactured wilderness stuck within the west-Chicago suburbs’ homogenized neighborhoods and ever-looming industrial parks.

Glimpsing this pond through an elevated, well-maintained path, I felt I had nothing to lose by climbing down the eroded and overgrown slope to the pond’s shore. Once I made it down (nearly spilling into the mud a few times), this scene, my only shot of the day (and most prized of the month), greeted me. The dream-like combination of overhead boughs, dark, fallen leaves at the shore, aged tree on the shore opposite, and playfully intermingled reflections was like a child and grandparent standing before the water, seeing in the other’s reflection what was and what could be.

Minolta Maxxum 7
Minolta AF 28mm f/2.8
Kodak Portra – ISO 160