Beautiful Things That Are Gone.
A thing is not beautiful because it lasts. It is beautiful because you witness it and know it will pass. It is tragic that the moment we call a thing beautiful we accept, even bestow upon it, an expectation of expiration even if we do not know how ephemeral the pronouncement we make is. A moment or a millennium; it does not matter, a thing is not beautiful if it is not in mortal danger, in a precarious pose, or on the lip of some precipice.
This green tangle to the right is where the Tree of Fire once thrived. Like the magical tree in the photograph, First Light, a winter storm destroyed this marvel. A massive tree was toppled by heavy winds earlier this year.
Now, the location is almost unrecognizable. If it weren't for the pump house in the back I would not believe we were speaking of the same place.
A LIVING SCULPTURE Tree of Fire was quite an old Japanese Laceleaf Maple, nearly 80 years old and likely imported from Japan. Two words meaning "autumn-colored foliage" are “koyo” and “momiji”, both written with the same two characters, “紅葉”. “Koyo” refers to the phenomenon of changing autumn colors, mainly when it occurs to the leaves of deciduous broad-leaf trees before the leaves fall to the ground. At some point in time, the word “momiji” became synonymous with the Japanese maple tree, the most beautiful of the autumn trees.
I thought I'd be able to return to this tree to capture different exposures and compositions for years to come.
I remember sitting for this exposure, patiently waiting for the breeze to give me a window of stillness Experiences can be unexpectedly brief sometimes.
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