I shot this a few weeks ago at a cemetery near my home-home (as opposed to school-home). I was clicking through some of my images today, and when this one surfaced it stopped me, because death's a subject I've been thinking about recently -- not in a morbid sense, but more of a contemplative one.
My mom always went to this cemetery when she needed to "check perspective", to use her words. After accompanying her on a walk to it one day, I figured out what she meant.
You can't be in the presence of the dead without thinking about your own life. And, in thinking about mine... there's so many more things I want to do. I want to be so much more of a person than I am now. How much time do we spend thinking about ourselves? That's not the way to making anything better. Maybe societal improvement begins with self-improvement, but that doesn't begin with selfishness.
This is the only life we've got, and it's precious and terrifying and exhilarating and wonderful.
Like Stephen King said, "Get busy living or get busy dying." One day all that's left of any of us is going to be a headstone so old it has to be supported against a tree.
I had a valid reason for it -- when I was seven, my house was hit by what was probably a tornado that hadn't fully descended. After that night, any cloud cover I saw swelled in my mind to something monstrous, and I spent a lot of rainy evenings following my dad around the house and quite a few nights dragging my blanket and pillow out in front of their bedroom door to sleep any time I heard thunder.
Now, I think storms are glorious, awesome examples of God's power. This is a good paradigm shift for me, because there's no shortage of rocky weather in southern Illinois.
Tonight, my older sister called me while I was at small group, telling me to grab my camera because there was a gorgeous cloud being lit up by lightning from within.
I was too late to catch that particular system -- at least as the late evening light illuminated it perfectly -- but I did run home, grab Audra, and then drive out to a reservoir near town, where we stayed for about ten minutes, me shooting and both of us enjoying the light show.
I don't have a tripod (it's on my list), so I used my shoes to steady the camera on a couple of the shots...and almost all of them have crooked horizons. They're not excellent examples of weather photography by any means, either.
But I can honestly say that I look forward to the storms coming this summer, and I already have a couple locations in mind to shoot from the next time I see a front rolling in.