The Opposite

June 23, 2019

BW photograph of the pre-sunrise over the Atlantic Ocean.

Copyright 2019 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

The previous post was about a trip to the mountains.  This is about a trip to the shore.  The geography could not be more different; however, the rationale for the journey was the same.

BW photograph of the sunrise behind a dune fence.

Copyright 2019 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

This particular trip involved arising at 1:00 a.m. to be on the beach before the sun was rising at 5:30 a.m.  The drive was well worth it as it was quite dark, quiet, smooth, and with very little traffic.  None of those factors applied to the trip home, but that is a story for a different time.

BW photograph of the pre-sunrise over the Atlantic Ocean.

Copyright 2019 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Given our ancestral history (for example, please research Tiktaalikthis is also worth a read), there is something quite primal about returning to the ocean.  As such, the rhythmic, rolling pulse of the waves, a sensation you hear much before they become visible, creates a deeply calming effect, which is the same as a walk in the deep woods.  While I much prefer the latter as I have not ever made friends with sand, let alone the crowds that surely descend this time of year (indeed, shortly after these photos were made, this area became crowded with folks taking selfies with the sun), there is no denying the hypnosis of the ocean.

As an aside, I was about to write “sea” at the conclusion of the last sentence above as a means of varying my word choice-that would have created an inaccuracy.

Take care.

 

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Walking

June 13, 2019

BW photograph of a pine and flowering bush in Wenatchee State Park.

Copyright 2019 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Sometimes, you do have a drive a bit to get to where you want to be.  That means navigating traffic and all that entails.

BW photograph of either the Wenatchee or Chiwawa River.

Copyright 2019 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Once there, though, it is time to unwind, to allow the mayhem to dissipate, and to just settle in and let the mind and body relax.

BW photograph of backlit old growth forest in Rainier National Park.

Copyright 2019 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Within the outdoor world there is a concept called the “fastest known time” (FKT), which means that athletes will attempt to complete, say, the Appalachian Trail as quickly as possible.  The current record for covering the 2100+ miles of the AT is just over 41 days-you can do the math.  (As an aside, this particular record may have already been eclipsed.)  The corollary to this in the climbing world is “speed climbing”.  Alex Honnold (of Free Solo) and Tommy Caldwell (of The Dawn Wall-a free climb completed with Kevin Jorgeson) currently hold the speed record for El Capitan-they climbed over 3,000 feet in just under 2 hours.  As before, you can do the math.  Both of those documentaries, by the way, are worth seeing.  What Mr. Honnold and Mr. Caldwell have accomplished together and with others is quite astonishing.  Records, however, are almost invariably broken.

While these are undeniably extremely impressive feats, such activities hold no interest to me whatsoever in terms of participation.  With so much daily time spent getting from here-to-there and with deadlines looming, not to mention the time suck of working online, the last thing I want to do is push myself to fly down the trails when in the woods.  The fact that I am not capable of such accomplishments does not factor into this.  I go to the woods for the relief of stress, not its creation.  I want to linger.

This also needs to not be read as a criticism of those who endeavour to be the fastest at whatever they do.  It is just simply not for me.

BW photograph of some debris in the dried out run-off in Rainier National Park.

Copyright 2019 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Time moves fast enough as it is-this is a perception enhanced by growing older and by recognizing that time, both chronologically and spiritually, is limited.

BW photograph of tree debris in Rainier National Park.

Copyright 2019 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Walking doesn’t change the limitations, but it does appear to slow the passage and allows for the opportunity to engage the details that would otherwise be lost in the blur.

Take care.