I am extremely sensitive to both visual and auditory stimuli and as such, I find much of life to be messy – filled with distractions, temptations, and disturbances. Sometimes they are sparkly or melodic and while distracting they are at least also pleasing, but even this can become overwhelming. And too often, they are dirty, disordered, screeching or wailing and I find myself longing for a pause, for a way to quiet the constant cacophony, to still the chaos.
Although I am not fond of being cold, a fresh, clean, early morning snowfall offers me exactly this sensory escape. With the world blanketed in snow, complex scenes become simple and sounds are buffered by and absorbed into the cushion of soft snow. This white veil, draped across the landscape, rooftops, roadways, trees, fields, grasses, fences, paths, bridges and shrubs, allows me the luxury of focusing only on what I choose, without being pushed and pulled by so much else.
Up early and alone in this clean stillness, I find a huge amount of personal contentment. My inner thoughts dance gracefully across this open stage of quiet white, with only the sound of my own footsteps and a few brave winter birds. The air tastes cleaner, my mind feels clearer, and I am embraced and fortified by a soothing sense of calmness. These are treasured moments for me – a gift from nature and I try to share this gift through my photography. My hope is that these snow images offer a small tidbit of quiet and calm to others as well. Breathe it in, let it flow through you and then face that world of chaos again.
Athena Carey, December 2014 (website)