Nature as metaphor
This may be one of the most photographed tree trunks in America. It’s on the Trail of the Cedars in Glacier National Park. Despite it’s popularity, I can’t help making pictures of it each time I pass. The texture, the soft curves juxtaposed with the sharp edges of the bark, the range of tones when dappled sunlight strikes it, I just can’t help myself.
Later that same evening, we were standing along McDonald Creek, marveling at the tremendous force, the tumult, the turmoil of the creek as it shot out of the mountains, bouncing off of giant boulders toward the serene Lake McDonald a short distance away. It made me think of life’s periods of anger, fear, uncertainty, and how they often lead to placid and peaceful places not far away.
Finally, there’s this waterfall. This is St. Mary Falls on the eastern side of Glacier. Waterfalls for me are a giant contradiction. From a distance, a contrast of the incredible movement of the water against the incredible stoicism of the rock. I can see the flexibility, the adaptability of the water, finding a way to its destination. I can see the consistency, the strength, the stubbornness of the stones, unyeilding to this ever-present, annoying force. And yet I know it is the water that will one day win and turn the stone to sand. And waterfalls are at the same time terribly scary — I definitely don’t want to swim over one — and refreshing, even calming — on a hot day, even the air around waterfalls is cooler.