Tree Puddle | Mark Lindsay

The other morning I looked out the window. Rain. I wondered how the tree in the park was. The rain was falling straight down—no wind. That probably meant that the tree (and all the trees around it) hadn't suffered wind damage. It was simply wet and cold, good for trees, not for walking.

I have come to discover that days that are bad for walking are good for photography. It hardly matters why. Getting up and out when it's the last thing one wants to do almost always equals great photos. Maybe I make better images when I'm cranky. Maybe uncomfortable conditions or getting up before sunrise show me my metaphorical shadow. Maybe it's a simple matter of great light always being present in adverse conditions. No matter. Whenever I don't feel like going out with my camera is the exact time when I know I should.

On this given day I yielded to my inspired side. I bundled up and went to the park. The tree just stood there like, well, a tree. It was wet. The sky was gray, the light was drab. It was raining. I grumbled. There was nothing there. My camera was getting soaked and so were my feet. Once my feet get wet I figure the only cure is to go back to bed. Cold, wet feet never recover for the rest of the day. I decided to make quick work of this with a few, perfunctory shots.

Leaving the tree, I looked down to avoid the driving rain. The tree's reflection shimmered and danced in a tiny puddle. Asphalt transformed into dream—a minor miracle. I gasped and took out the camera from inside my raincoat. I made a picture. My heart sang with delight, proving once again that showing up is the biggest battle in any art project. Then I walked home, hardly noticing my wet feet.