My Four Seasons, An Introduction
Way back in Part 4 of this blog in November of 2013, I wrote a blog using photos of trees I had taken over the years. Most of those photos were taken from a perspective of looking at trees from a distance, peering up at them. This past year, while on a beautiful spring day’s photo excursion in Central Park, I accidentally stumbled on a new approach to taking photos of trees. I certainly do not claim it to be my own, but I quickly realized I loved the perspective it presented to me. What happened is that there was a large flowering tree in full bloom on a pathway. While several other people near by stood and took their own photos standing back and looking up at the tree, I had a flicker of a thought to go under it instead. I ducked under the low hanging branches, placed my back up against the mighty trunk and looked up from that perspective.
I was reminded how the simplest change of looking at things differently can dramatically alter the view. Similarly, if I turned around and now faced the trunk while still standing under the tree it also presented me with a different look to the tree. When I got home and loaded the now enlarged photos on my laptop, I really liked the results. I spent the remainder of last year taking photos of all sizes and shapes of trees in the same manner. Recently while looking through all of those photos I took last year this way, a theme of four seasons began taking shape in my head because I had amassed so many.
The reason I liked this series of tree photos especially is because standing near the trunk in that manner the branches head out in multiple directions. Sometimes they give the appearance of sloping downwards, while at other times they shoot up skywards. Kind of like holding your outstretched hand in front of you upright with fingers pointed to the sky, and then turning it so the fingers now point down to the ground. As I took more and more of these photos, the unique criss-crossing lines of branches in multiple directions, of thick main stems supporting smaller and thinner ones reminded me of veins. I have heard others mention this before, but it was not until I saw it through my own photos that I really began to appreciate it. The unique patterns of veins which we are born with, stay the same as we grow older generally speaking. Despite all the things that happen to us throughout our lifetime, all the changes that occur, those unique patterns stay the same, throughout the years, in every season, at every age.
Thinking about this together with the photos I assembled throughout last year gave me an idea to explore each stage of life as a season in a blog. Spring will be birth, growth and learning. Summer will be maturity and fun, autumn will be changes and transitions, winter will be aging and death. It also struck me in preparing this that the colors of each season seemed appropriate to this idea-vibrant colors of spring, solid and strong colors of summer that give way to the changing colors of autumn before the starkness and loss of color when winter comes. Each season will have photos of trees taken using the method mentioned above, and each will have a selection of songs as I relate stories from my own four seasons to the songs.
This entire process of writing presented me with many challenges, and turned out to be unexpectedly autobiographical in places. Certain parts made me smile at happy memories, certain parts were slightly embarrassing to relate, and others were difficult to relive again. In the end however, I am glad I stuck with it and pushed these four seasons of my life out onto these pages. So for the next four days there will be a separate blog for each season which together will make up my four seasons, so be sure to read them all in succession. I hope you enjoy reading them.
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All Photographs By Robert P. Doyle
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