Thinking about the magic circle and the safety circle, I realized that over the course of this winter, I've been emerging from hibernation and getting ready to leave my comfort zone and find some new magic. While reflecting on this, I realized that it had been a long time since I took a photo walk around my neighborhood. These walks can be as short as just to my backyard or as long as many blocks away from home. On a sunny afternoon, I fitted my 100mm macro to my camera, popped in a fresh battery, and set out. My goal: to notice something new. It could be small or big. It could be something that has just appeared or something that has always been here.
My first discovery was that my one lonely hellebore isblooming. I adore this plant - the rose-and-cream sepals, the fibonaccian whorl of the tubular petals, the fuzzy anthers. I took a moment to gather all of the wayward garden gnomes into one spot where they could wait for spring planting. I breathed in the hybrid tea aroma of the blossoming mahonias and admired the bees on them, wondering if there would have been more bees in less climate-changey times. My four-year-old joined me and we took to the alleyway, finding seedpods and fertile mosses. I noticed cracks on the faces of cupids on a neighbor's planter. I made mental note of milkweed that needs to be removed from our fig tree and admired its curling dried vines.
None of this was earth-shaking, but it was refreshing. Sunlight, cool air (but not too cool - this is, after all, Virginia, and our winters are mild), nature, companionship, and the comfort of dials and the shutter.
Perhaps what I noticed most of all was a sense of peace and wholeness. It's good to come out of hibernation.