Wednesday, February 08, 2006

An encounter

Conigar Point looking toward Emsworth

Absorbed as I was in photography on the early morning walk a couple of weeks ago, I didn't hear the elderly man's approach and was not aware of him until he spoke. Tall and white-haired, with his upper middle-class accent and casual country clothes, and accompanied by a dog, he could have been a retired accountant, or maybe a former solicitor or GP.

"Wonderful morning", he said.

"Yes, isn't it", I responded and then, partly to make conversation, added: "I'm just trying to figure out how my new camera works".

"Ah", he said. "Well, when you come to look at your photographs later on, somewhere in there, in one of them, I guarantee you're going to find God. He lives here, you know".

This totally threw me. I didn't know if he was joking or not. "Really?", I said. Did he mean in this area exclusively? Or here, but also everywhere else?

Then I decided to go with the flow and follow my instincts. I felt I wanted to make a connection with him, and wherever he was coming from I admired his lack of small talk and willingness to tackle the big subjects.

"Yes, I'm sure you're right", I replied.

He said something else I couldn't catch but his tone remained cheerful. I wished him a good day and we both moved on. He took the path to the shore and I headed back across the fields, clutching the camera.

The photographs I took that morning are here.

17 Comments:

Blogger MB said...

These are really lovely, Mary! Your man was right. For some reason I can't articulate, I'm particularly drawn to this one. Along with, of course, the bird on the wire and the moon in the tree and the.....! Thank you so much for sharing these.

3:30 pm  
Blogger MB said...

And I should add that I really enjoyed the story, too. What a wonderful encounter.

5:32 pm  
Blogger rdl said...

Nice pics! and don't you just love when things like that happen?

6:09 pm  
Anonymous beth said...

Of course he was right - including the one with your shadow, dont'you think? I love the one you chose here, the closeup of the reeds, the old tree. But they are all wonderful.

7:49 pm  
Blogger Sonia said...

So beautiful photos, Mary!
The bird on the wire is amazing!
So nice also your conversation with the old men ...

And thank you so much for your gentle comment on my blog. I always appreciate your visit and your stimulus.

9:45 pm  
Blogger leslee said...

I don't know if I saw God, but it sure looks like God's country. Great shots, and great story, too.

12:23 am  
Blogger Patry Francis said...

A big wow--to both the encounter and the photos. I agree it's so refreshing when someone breaks through the barrier and talks about the big subjects.

2:26 am  
Blogger Mary said...

Thanks for your comments.

Mb: Yes, I like the reeds one too.

Rdl: Yes, t was one of those occasions I think I'll remember for quite a while ...

Beth: Ah, it hadn't occurred to me to include the shadow photo!! Now there's a thought.

Sonia: It was a rather amazing, surreal encounter. Thanks for your visit :-)

Leslee: It's a beautiful part of the world, you're right. Actually some of the photos you have posted of the coast and marshlands in your area remind me of it.

Patry: Yes, I'd like to have the courage to do what he did a bit more often ...

4:46 pm  
Blogger zhoen said...

God doesn't want to be seen, at least not by me. Took 6 tried to get the comment section to work, and my flash blocker (for the new improved flash pop-ups) is not helpful.

Well, the universe is there, whether I see it or not.

So so love those moments of connection.

3:19 pm  
Blogger Mary said...

Zhoen: sorry you've had difficulties and thank you for your persistence. I'm always pleased to get a visit from you.
:-)

7:03 pm  
Blogger LJ said...

If God doesn't live there, I'm sure she keeps an apartment. The best messages sometimes come from strangers.
Beautiful entry.

12:45 am  
Blogger herhimnbryn said...

Hallo from Australia,
Oh you have made be very homesick!
Your images are stunning. The old chap was correct wasn't he?

9:32 am  
Anonymous Apples said...

That's a beautiful pix, Mary! Keep it up with your photowork. I luv them all!:)

...and yes I couldn't agree with him more!;)...reading what he said reminds me of Gerard M. Hopkin's "God's Grandeur" poem...

1:10 pm  
Blogger Mary said...

Lj: your comment made me laugh out loud. Welcome, and thanks for visiting!

Herhimbryn: Welcome. Thanks for your comment. Yup, I think he may have been.

Apples: Thank you. Now I need to find that poem ... it's not one I know. ;-)

5:24 pm  
Blogger Mary said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

5:24 pm  
Blogger Gemma Grace said...

Mary ~ I love the rich tones of brown and the gorgeous textures of the picture. It mirrors, for me, the depth of the encounter.

6:37 am  
Blogger Mary said...

Thanks Gemma Grace.

7:57 am  

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