Walking away is not an option... dialogue must prevail.

"A good listener tries to understand what the other person is saying. In the end he may disagree sharply, but because he disagrees, he wants to know exactly what it is he is disagreeing with."
- Kenneth A. Wells

"I do not want the peace that passeth understanding. I want the understanding which bringeth peace."
- Helen Keller

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Creative Photography - my old friend

As much as a picture is said to be worth a thousand words, we can bring a new dimension to pictures when we share a story to go along with them. I've strived to do this with Roger's Creative Photography Contest (visit other participants HERE) and I figure this week shouldn't be any different.

Ask anyone about their most vivid childhood memories and everyone has a special moment (hopefully mostly good) that comes to mind.

One of mine involves the tree in Dad's front yard. It's been there for as long as I can remember. I'm quite saddened at the thought that by the fall I'll have to say goodbye to my old friend as it has died. 

Many upcoming winters were judged by the berries on that tree. It's been used as home base for more hide-and-seek games than I can remember. And it was my friend when I was forced to spend time in bed during my bout with chicken pox, allowing sweet feathered friends to perch on it's branches as I listened to their cheerful songs.

The most vivid of my childhood memories involving my friend the tree is one of lying in a soft and fluffy bed of freshly fallen snow under leafless branches and watching lovely lace mademoiselles flutter down from the sky. It was made all the more magical because of the Christmas lights that my father so lovingly and patiently had strung on the branches... bright colourful lights that made the snow sparkle like a priceless trove of rubies, emeralds, sapphires and canary diamonds.

I was never cold when my friend sheltered me.

I examined it closely lately and found all manner of interesting things.

Imagine my surprise when I found it was staring back at me!

Even in death it sustains life...

But it's the alien sticking out from it that gave me pause.

Which picture did you like the best?
Would you share a vivid childhood memory?

"Happiness is sharing a bowl of cherries and a book of poetry with a shade tree. He doesn't eat much and doesn't read much, but listens well and is a most gracious host."
~Astrid Alauda


Cooper said...

We had a small backyard taken up mostly by a giant maple tree. Through divine providence, or sheer dumb luck, the branches were spaced perfectly and it was easy to climb to the top, at least 20 feet or so. At the top, half a dozen sturdy branches shot out from the trunk (the trunk was still thick as the top 20 feet of the tree had been zapped off by lightning) so it was easy for three or four of us to climb up and sit there for hours...especially on summer nights. It was a great place to hang out.

Charles Gramlich said...

I like the one with the tree's belly button showing. Definitely an outie. I played in and around trees a lot when I was a kid. I had particular trees that I considered friends. One time I was in the woods and saw a small cedar tree crushed down under the weight of a oak limb that had fallen on it in a storm. I pushed the limb off and watched that tree for years as it recovered and grew, and grew.

Lu' said...

Good post Anndi. I liked them all but fav' is the looking back :) Most vivid childhood memory, The first to pop into my head was, two Sisters (me and mine) playing at a friends house, we were 9 and 10 yrs old. Our Aunt comes to the house and interupts the very joyful horse play to inform us our Father is dead. He suffered with lung cancer for 6 years. Not a pleasant memory but my most vivid aren't pleasant. No abuse, just drama.

Akelamalu said...

Lovely post Anndi. I liked all three photos but the second one is my favourite.

The smell of tar always invokes the memory of when I was a child sitting on the pavement outside our house popping tar bubbles amongst the cobbles in the road. Yes I am old enough to remember cobbled roads! ;)

Dana said...

Anndi!! These are wonderful!!

Patti said...

Interesting photos. I love the second one, looks like a painting!

We had a big oak tree in the backyard that had a flat rock sticking out of its massive trunk. My father used to say the Indians put it there as a marker. Maybe he was right..

Ralph said...

The tree may be 'thanking' you for its great memories as well.

If you read the book 'The Giving Tree' by the late Shel Silverstein, the tree gives at least memories after its passing. And sustaining life, as you say.

Poignant, but trees can be fun when growing up. And shade to a overheated grown-up as well.

Dianne said...

small world anndi, I shared a vivid childhood memory in my Ruby Tuesday post.
Great minds eh? ;)

I think I like the middle shot the most but they each have something to say.

I used up all my creative juice yesterday so I didn't enter this week.

Chica said...

So beautiful, in writing and images. Thanks for your Creative Photography submission! :)

Daryl said...

Neat shots


Slyde said...

youve got a great eye.. i say, keep it up!

Meribah said...

Hard to say which I liked best...maybe the middle one with it's theme of "life from death."
It's wonderful how trees can make us feel good, isn't it?

Raven said...

Wonderful close-ups of your old friend. I just lost a big old 60-foot pine to lightning. There's something very painful about the death of a tree - especially one with so many memories attached to it as your friend here. My tree came down yesterday and I am still mourning it's passing.

Ron said...

First of all Anndi...what a beautiful story you share here!

It actually brought tears to my eyes.

I have this "thing" about trees...I actually love hugging them.

The energy that comes from trees is amazing. I find great strength in spending time with them.

Whenever I feel lost or confused, if I spend some time sitting under a tree...I always feel renewed!

I love all these photographs, but my favorite is the second one.

Because it's so symbolic of the life-giving force of trees!

Thoroughly enjoyed this post, Anndi!

Just beautiful!

And thank you!

Travis said...

I like the first one.

My favorite childhood memory is strapping on my football gear for the first time.

the teach said...

I like the middle one. It is very abstract and colorful, Anndi! Thanks for all your comments on my blog! :)

CrystalChick said...

A nice story! And terrific photos too. You're really doing great with the creative photography!