I’ve just gotten back from a visit to Seattle. No visit would be complete without visiting Mt. Rainier National Park. It’s been a dream for a long time to see the Pacific Northwest, even long before I was photographer. This area just appealed to me. There was something about it, that I just couldn’t pinpoint, but no need. I knew. When my best friend asked if I wanted to go to Seattle, there was no thinking…YES! I anticipated for a month, what is this going to be like. I agonized..oh my…all these what if’s! But the day finally came and I got myself out of bed at 4am to make the drive to Rainier from our hotel in Issaquah. I knew the morning sunrise wasn’t going to be good. There would be no oranges and pinks for me this day. Rainier didn’t give herself up that easily. No, I would have to work for it. There were no wildflowers, no lenticular clouds. But that didn’t matter to me. As much as I wanted to be a ‘photographer’ I also wanted to live, wanted adventure, wanted peace. No on this day, Rainier had something much more in store for me. I was searching for something and spending time with this restless giant, early in the morning, before many people were in the park, lessons were to be learned there. As I was taking my first shots of the day, I knew. Today wasn’t going to be like the rest. No, today was different. As I stood there, slowly looking on at the clouds and blue sky that Rainier gave me this day, I heard it. I heard this buzzing in my ear. I was startled, I turned and there it was, a hummingbird. It buzzed around as curious about me as I was it. I swear if I stood still it would have landed on my shoulder. So what did I go to Rainier looking to find? A piece of me, maybe. My connection to and with the world? I’m still figuring that out, but in the presence of this jaw dropping, awe-inspiring beauty, one can’t help but look inward! Those quiet moments in the park early morning or late evening when it’s just you and Rainier. The volcano speaks. What it says, well that’s your quest. It’s different for everyone. For me, it was to be free. It allowed for deep soul searching. What is my meaning of free? What draws me to you?
Solitude is such a potential thing. We hear voices in solitude, we never hear in the hurry and turmoil of life; we receive counsels and comforts, we get under no other condition – Amelia E. Barr