Chickadees in the Snow

“All substance is soon absorbed into nature, all that animates it soon restored to the logos, all trace of them both soon covered over by time.” – Marcus Aurelius

I was helping Bodhi down the stairs last night and noticed a set of chickadee tracks in the snow.  I thought to myself that they would make a great picture for the right photographer (I’m a pale alternative).  Bodhi proceeded to step into the snowy tracks, forever changing the image.  And yet there were still a couple of other tracks in the snow that I opted to leave well enough alone.

This morning the tracks were still there.  Not a complete surprise since the temperatures remained below freezing and there was no snow overnight.  But there will be tonight and these tracks will disappear in time; a memory for me and anyone else who happens to see them before they’re forever lost.  So I took a picture to capture the moment.  I’ve done my best to capture as many moments as I can with photography.  I recognize that sometimes you have to live the moment instead of constantly having the phone out, and I’ve tried to keep the phone in my pocket most of the time.  Perhaps InstaGram has suffered for the omission, but I don’t believe the 20-30 people who look at my pictures felt the lapse.

There is only today after all.  We’re told to make the most of it and generally I live that way.  Capturing a moment in time with a photograph is a blessing for only the last eight generations or so.  We all see time flies by too quickly.  Footprints or castles in the sand are typical analogies to this rapid passage of time and our fragile place in it.  But I think I prefer the chickadee footprints in the snow as my analogy.  Chickadees are fragile creatures, and yet they find ways to deal with the harsh New England winters.  Chickadees are social creatures, as much for survival as anything else.  Humans share similar survival instincts, and the same fragility.  Time marches on.  Best to focus on the day at hand.

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