Distance Means Nothing

A lone tree tinged with red leaves, standing amid patches of sunlight along a sloping prairie.

Taken on the same day as Passing Rain, Flattening Wind, this lone tree was found near the start of the Glacial Park trails, distant from the forest and long-removed from the kame. I don’t remember any other point outside the forest where a single tree stood in such seclusion – where the prairie was broken elsewhere, it was by clusters of trees or well-kept trails. I was drawn to the strength and resilience conveyed by growing and surviving without the forest’s shelter, and started my hike by waiting for a break in clouds during a wind-free moment. Apparently too much to ask in the heart of autumn.

While waiting for my shot to reveal itself, my concentration rested on vibrant red creeping through this tree’s leaves, how its branches accepted and released wind in mirror likeness to trees distant. Streaks of sunlight fell on this tree, throughout the prairie, and upon myself, warming all, causing an irresistible craving for warmth afterward. When I finally took this photograph and went on my way, I knew the somewhat cliché qualities that first interested me would take no part in the final interpretation. Instead, I saw a strength woven through the core being of each tree in sight, a tenacity for life that allows home to be found wherever there is ground and sky, which has been shared by plant life throughout time.

Despite removal from its brethren, this tree shared air and water of the world, ground churned through countless cycling of feast and decay, a sun that made life possible in the first place. What meaning could standing apart from the forest, other plants of the world, or species known across time hold when we live through the other’s exhale, when we rise at the other’s provided nourishment, when we all know Earth as home?

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

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