We’re entering the darkest week of the year in Nova Scotia, when each day is less than nine hours in length. This morning, the sun rose at 7:45, almost two hours after I set out for a walk along the Salt Marsh Trail.
I often walk in the dark with the intention of seeing the sun rise while out in the middle of nature. If you’ve never risen early and braved the elements outside in the pre-dawn light, you’re missing a wonderful experience. It’s one that engages all the senses.
Too often, we really only on our eyesight. We only trust what we can see directly in front of us, and fail to engage our other senses when confronted with the unknown.
Walks in the darkness make us perk our ears more. The scent of trees in the mist and the sounds of waking birds and rushing tide waters all add to our perception of place and time.
Even on moonless nights, white objects stand out in the darkness. I wondered what creature attacked this seagull when I came across these feathers on my walk yesterday morning. A coyote? Not knowing what’s lurking in the darkness is part of life’s adventure. The challenge of facing our fears, whether real or imagined, shouldn’t prevent us from moving forward along the trail.
On this morning’s walk, the light drizzle soon changed to pouring rain. The droplets were caught by the flash of the camera and capture a bit of the magic that is felt at this special time of day when most are still asleep and warm in their beds.
The quotation below is from Canadian portrait photographer, Yousuf Karsh. Although digital photographs no longer require darkness for their development phase, his words still hold true.
Character, like a photograph, develops in darkness.
~ Yousuf Karsh