I get up early because I find solitude at dawn, more so than any other time of day. The energy is fresh and going for a walking or doing something alone informs the rest of my day.
Like this picture, I think each day we have some place to go. For me, having quiet time is setting aside the space to contemplate my next steps and put in motion a direction of travel for the remaining hours.
Sometimes I don’t go very far in a day, but that’s okay. I might look back and think I didn’t accomplish much and then feel stressed or disoriented because I’m not where I thought I’d be. But my thinking is that I learn from my missteps or detours just as much as anything else. That’s part of growing, learning to take stock and continuing to persevere. So even if I don’t reach the far end that day, something was gained in the journey. That’s what I tell my self, and in truth, that’s what I believe.
I took a picture of this lady walking along the beach in Fort Lauderdale just after dawn. I could tell she was enjoying her alone time and I felt compelled to capture it. However in my minds eye I thought of this dreamscape as a metaphor for solitude and what that means to me; that we each must find some time alone to set and / or readjust the course of our day, and possibly our lives.
On my last day in France I went for a morning walk on Carnon Beach. Like the beaches in Florida this stretches for miles in each direction. Unlike the beaches in Florida the shore is carved into large semicircles on account of the breakwaters that are built to prevent erosion. You can see them here and if you look at the scene from Google Maps you’ll see what I mean.
In Florida, we have quite a bit of beach erosion from storms each year, at least on the gulf side. In fact the local government repairs the beach every few years. By that I mean that they dredge up the sand from a couple hundred meters off shore and deposit it back on the beach until it erodes again. In France it seems they take a different, less costly approach. The result is mile after mile of these large semicircle beaches. It creates more shore line and perhaps accommodates more people.
Both approaches to maintaining beaches have their pros and cons. However I’m more interested in taking pictures than trying to figure which is better. I spend a lot of time at the beaches in Florida so I have ideas on how to take pictures there. The beaches in Carnon however present new ideas and challenges that I only began to explore. Next time I go back I’ll explore that a little more.
These are the Manatee River Crossings between the towns of Bradenton and Palmetto in Florida. The furthest bridge is for cars and the closer one for trains. I am standing on a taller third bridge looking down. The river is so wide here that I think before these bridges were built, the two towns must have been quite different, as they were only accessible to each other by boat. Now the towns are in the same county and we cross the bridges without a thought. As the towns grow a new bridge is under construction up stream from here.
To take this shot I walked to this spot atop the third bridge using the bike lane. I then stood here with my tripod taking in the scene as the sun rose and the thick clouds hung in the air. These along with the still morning surface of the river created an ethereal quality that I wanted to capture. After taking the photo I walked back down off the bridge against the flow of early morning commuters. At about the same time the upraised span of the rail bridge lowered for the first train as it crossed the river.
These are the moments when the day begins. Many things happen during the day as we live our lives in close proximity, passing each other going this way and that. Then, at the end of the day, the crossings empty of trains and cars, and below them the calm waters of the river return.