Reflection of times past

I made my annual trek to Glenwood Springs for my vision check-up again earlier this week. As I was starting my return to the east side of the divide I had a demanding urge to stop in Glenwood Canyon to visit a very personal area.

Grizzly Creek is an easy trail that winds north from the rust colored waters of the Colorado River. The canyon walls ascend nearly straight up in portions to the southern area called the Flat Tops. The at times rocky path flows alongside the creek filled with boulders, fallen trees and the clearest cool waters I have felt in a long time.

This place is very dear to my heart. I spent countless hours either hiking the trail for fun, for photographs, pedaling a bike, or for personal solace while a student at Colorado Mountain College. But the last time I was in this place I was shouting at the expense of my lungs and vocal chords in rage about the cycle of life. I had lost two souls very dear to me in a very short period of time. That was over 10 years ago.

So with cameras and fixed lenses in tow, I hiked. Wearing flip-flops that have bottoms as smooth as the sands of Cancun. I didn't care really. I knew there was a reason for the urge to walk through the canyon of memories. As I walked I felt lost, as though I had never been to this place. With the cool spring breeze blowing and cotton candy clouds drifting by I noticed a tree exploding with blossoms about 25 yards up the east side of the trail below a scree field. It's early in the spring season and the weather has not been very kind to plants. Staring at the electric white blossoms against the neutral browns of the canyon cliffs above I wanted to make a photo. But I had only brought two lenses. A 14mm and an 85mm. The flip-flops made footing a little dicey. But after a couple rocks rolling over my toes and ankles I made a handful of photos as best I could.

After surfing my way back down to the trail I continued wondering up the trail. Trying to think back to all those times I had been there. All the while just snapping photos of this and that. These were a style of photographs I had not made in many years. I've been shooting journalism, abstracts, promotional and industrial photos mostly the last few years. I nearly had forgotten how to approach nature with a camera. I didn't make many great photos, but I sure had a lot of fun and a lot of peace in my mind.

As I arrived back at my white land rocket I looked over to see a sign stuck between the monolithic canyon walls. It was a metaphor for the thoughts racing around in my mind just as the clear spring runoff was cascading near the trail. Life keeps on moving and you must as well. I have learned much since those naive days, but not nearly enough. It's good to touch base with your past and reflect in a way that allows you to learn and grow. Screaming at those walls 10 years earlier was mostly because I didn't understand the cycle of life.

Just like the cycle of seasons– things are born of spring, they grow to fruition in summer, age with the change of autumn and return to the earth with the weight of winter– we experience cycles of emotion and persona.

It’s spring again.