A dozen years ago I worked with Bill, an attorney whose office was lined with his photographs of animals he had seen on his worldwide travels. I asked him about the photo of a soulful-eyed mountain gorilla. He had gone on a Rwanda trek, had seen the gorillas. Bill took some pictures and as the guide led them onward, a young male gorilla rushed out of the leaves and brushed his knuckles against the back of Bill’s hand.
A few years ago in this season, I turned into my driveway and caught a glimpse of pink where there had been fresh green the day before.
Every year I forget that gentle surprise, until the next May when one day I enter the driveway and there it is again. Never one or two blossoms: the whole thing is green one day and the next covered with delicate pale flowers. As with most wild shrubs, the flowers won’t last long before the plant withdraws once again into green anonymity; that’s part of the blessing.
So many natural events are visible for just a moment. My photograph is not a good one; I took it through the rain, through the open window of the car. But it will recall to me one ephemeral vision of spring.
I don’t know what this is about.
Is it about the joy of a momentary contact with a wild creature through whatever sensory means, or about the wonder of the memory of such moments? Is it about the useful tool of photography to recall a memory?
Annie Dillard wrote the way you live your days is the way you live your life.