Thursday, June 02, 2011

Another time, same place

I’m hoping that today’s perfectly clear morning sky will not be a one-day wonder in between another week or two of rain, storms and fog. The odds look favorable, for once this spring, that I might have at least a few days of nice weather ahead.

After I took this photo I wondered why I was seeing Roundtop’s buildings on the right side of the frame. I didn’t remember that any of the buildings or that parking lot were visible the other times I’ve taken pretty much this same shot. So I rummaged through some of those other photos and then I saw what the difference was. Trees used to hide the view of that roof line, at least in summer, but those were trees downed by the recent tornado.

One of the reasons I’ve always enjoyed photography is because memory is such a tricky beast. Changes that occur to a landscape or a friend of long-standing happen slowly usually. It’s only when I see photos of friends and family that are now 30 years old that I see just how much we have all changed. When did that happen? In my mind’s eye we are all pretty much the same, perhaps with different glasses or a different hairstyle, but then an old photo shows me that we’ve changed a lot more than just with those minor things.

The landscape around me has changed a lot over the years, too. This week the trees are goone.  Over the years the farms give way to housing developments and bigger roads. Businesses sit where I used to run through the fields as a kid. Yet in some part of me, I still see those fields and those farms. I carry them with me, perhaps nothing more than the baggage of age. Certainly, people who have moved to this area recently don’t see those invisible landscapes that haunt me and fill my memories. Even these changes didn’t happen overnight. One farmer sold his land, then another; one new house was built and then others. It has taken a whole lifetime to get to this point.

A photograph reminds me that it wasn’t all a dream, those seemingly endless fields of childhood. But it was another time, and in many ways it was even another place, one that now exists only in memory.

1 comment:

Sabine said...

There was a time when I - stupidly? arrogantly? - believed that I can take the best pictures in my head, that my memory would retain what matters and that what gets forgotten must have been superfluous in the first place. Thanks for your insights and the gorgeous view.