It is just barely 8.30 AM on a late December Sunday and I am crunching over snow in damp leather boots, wearing the same clothes from the night before. Here, in quiet rolling rural Pennsylvania, the snow and the ice and the silence and the cold have settled into the land and the air. However, today it has started to warm up, in a freak accident of winter, and the fields and the horizon are thick with white fog. Black trees divide fallow fields into loose grids and here, the fog floats at knee level as the snow and the ice dissipate into the atmosphere. My camera is ten miles away, nestled in it’s bag on a chair, and I am cursing myself as I head toward 147 at 40mph.
Oh, this this this and that would be such a good picture. Oh god look at the color and the lines. I need to photograph out here. Over and over again, until the NPR station I have blaring* fades into nothing but static as a I get closer to town, which I find strange.
Everything is slick and wet and car tires make that noise, that amazing noise that car tires make over wet, smooth asphalt on highways. The rolling hills are white and patchy and that fog floats at the perfect height so that one can see the top and the bottom of whatever is in sight: mountains, houses, cows, cars.
I absorb the bits and pieces of what I see, watching the way the angles of the landscape change as my car moves forward. Steadily, slowly I am thinking “I love this place I love this place I love this place This place is who I am This place is who I am” over and over until the words loose meaning.
I often neglect to talk about moments here when they aren’t punctuated or illustrated with photographs. That recent Sunday morning was a moment I remembered that I love talking and writing about landscape and memory and place as much as I love to photograph it. It was reminder that just because I don’t have images to share doesn’t mean I don’t have anything to bring to you, Gentle Reader.
* I am that person that listens to NPR so loudly you can hear it with my car doors closed.