One of the earliest memories of my life, nearly 45 years ago, is of my mom and I singing along with The Carpenters, Peter, Paul and Mary, and John Denver. To this day, I love to listen to them and even my kids learned to love John Denver when they were young. The song Rocky Mountain High has always been a favorite of mine, connecting with a part of me that belongs to the mountains I've called home most of my life. But it wasn't until the Summer of 2016 that song became a revival for me.
Now he walks in quiet solitude the forest and the streams
Seeking grace in every step he takes
His sight has turned inside himself to try and understand
The serenity of a clear blue mountain lake
I was in my kayak in the middle of Hyalite lake having just gone through a major life event that made me re-evaluate who I have been for the previous 18 years of my life. I'll spare you the details but somewhere along the way I had traded in Me for someone others wanted me to be. I was no longer authentic and I had forgotten who I really was. So, I'm on the lake, floating along listening to John Denver on my portable speaker. As the sun fell below the mountains to the West the sky turned shades of orange and violet unlike I have ever seen - the water, reflecting the sky, became a deep blue sheet of glass. Those words resonated within me and I realized that, along with being a child of the God who created this amazing place, I am a man who was born to be in the mountains.
There is something about being raised in the Rockies that has created an identity deep within my soul. The mountains, forests, streams, clear blue lakes and the wildlife the inhabit them are a reminder to me of the goodness that can be. Every chance I can get to spend time in them delivers me to a place of peace. I love the quote by John Muir, "Between every two pine trees there is a door leading to a new way of life." Getting into the mountains, or into whatever natural space you have available to you, affords the opportunity to experience a personal renaissance from the daily grind of life. For me, that evening on Hyalite Lake was a reawakening for me.
A couple of songs later, it was Zach Brown's turn to have an impact on my spirit. Life is Good Today completed my renewal so I decided to get my first tattoo - a mountain scene with Life Is Good Today written at their base.
I have never considered myself a creative person. I am a numbers guy - analytical, and somewhat of a linear thinker. My grandfather was an accomplished amateur photographer, and a self taught (and licensed) engineer who could speak four languages. My mom, also an accomplished amateur photographer, was a CPA and County Auditor in the local government. Photography has always come naturally. I have been told I have a good eye - I'll leave that up to you to decide. I love photography, but there is another form of expression that I have also learned to love over my lifetime, and that is writing.
I just completed Ansel Adams Autobiography and I was struck by his amazing ability to write - how his writing complemented his photography. His writing was not a description of his images, nor were his images a description of his prose. He wrote what was in his heart, influenced by the beauty of the natural world around him.
My hope is that this blog in some way imitates that form of expression, working in unison to illuminate the world that I see around me and love so much. I hope you enjoy.