Travel Post From Atlanta: The Walk Outside Our Door

Last of Frost (Photograph: Ross Peters)

I have been thinking about travel recently.  What will be the next chance we will have to gather passports and itineraries? When will we make the leap to a new round of travel debt? Where will we go? The realization that it is likely to be awhile before we find ourselves wedging one more outlet adapter or pair of socks into a suitcase has changed my focus, however, and as a result this morning I grabbed the camera in order to find the destination outside my front door. My family and I are fortunate to live in a place that offers much to see. Today I took an early morning walk on the trail that circumvents the campus of my school.

Trail Start (Photograph: Ross Peters)

I have written before about how photography has given me a “way of seeing” that has purposefulness beyond the end result of a framed print on a wall.  I have not reached a level of expertise that has given me any right of expectation regarding how beautiful or successful the images I create are, thus I am in the position to use the camera as a tool which helps me see what is around me more clearly, more fully in the moment.

(Photograph: Ross Peters)

It is interesting to note how much this walk changes season by season. So much of the color has been pulled to the ground and made gray and brown by this point in December that I found myself paying more attention to what remains–its increasing rarity makes it somehow more valuable.

A Stretch of Nancy Creek (Photograph: Ross Peters)

Nancy Creek works its way through campus. Though it has significant pollution and water quality issues–you would need far more than iodine to make it safe to drink–it is also quite attractive, particularly this stretch near the summer camp.

View Across Nancy Creek to the Summer Camp (Photograph: Ross Peters)

I spent the year after college working at a summer camp in the mountains of North Carolina. I did everything from re-roofing a barn to chiseling out cracks in a dam and re-sealing them, and from raking leaves to helping in a select cut of White Pines. This time of year seeing the summer camp at Westminster takes me back to that experience far more than it does the hot summers I spent there as a counselor.

Looking Across the Ball Fields (Photographs: Ross Peters)
(Photograph: Ross Peters)
A church as seen from the trail (Photograph: Ross Peters)

At a point above our house the trail opens up to reveal the back of this church. I know nothing about it except what I can see from the vantage point of the photograph. It isn’t far from the marker below, which reminded me that I was just about to the end of my morning walk. I love having this path available to me where I live–it revealed to me this morning that I don’t have to go far away to get away.

Trail Marker (Photograph: Ross Peters)

8 thoughts on “Travel Post From Atlanta: The Walk Outside Our Door

  1. Margaret Peters December 18, 2011 / 2:05 pm

    Beautiful and so true! Using a camera in that way (and not to create perfect picture/images) but as a tool to truly “seeing” is a wonderful piece of advice. mtp

  2. Kate Cooper December 18, 2011 / 5:47 pm

    Absolutely lovely…

    • J Ross Peters December 18, 2011 / 6:53 pm

      Thanks, Kate. Hope you and your family are well. Happy holidays!

  3. Chris Harrow December 18, 2011 / 8:19 pm

    Nice to take a break and actually “see” the beauty that always surrounds us, even when we don’t take the time to drink it in….

  4. jmallan January 15, 2012 / 11:39 pm

    I have always loved this walk through the woods and feel so blessed to live and work in a community that has treasured and preserved this green space. When I was a kid I used to ride my horse around that trail. We had some jumps set up along the way and it was fabulous to charge through the woods leaping over fences! Back then, the church and the neighborhood served a black community where much of the domestic help for Buckhead lived. The church is still at work today. I remember vividly feeling self conscious as I rode by and saw kids playing stick ball in the street, while I was on my horse. We exchanged smiles across a fence that represented a pretty big gulf in society. This was the 70’s and that gulf was narrowing daily. Although our students no longer have the benefit of abutting neighborhoods that give them a view into economic and cultural diversity, we don’t have to travel far. I hope for our students that they will walk in the woods, and look over fences wherever they find them to see what’s on the other side.

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