Saturday, June 05, 2010
The view from the open road
See the forest for the clouds
Oshawa, ON, October 2009
Highway 401, which runs for over 800 km from the Quebec-Ontario border in the east to the Michigan-Ontario border to the west, is the busiest such road in North America. Since we moved to London, it's played a huge role in our lives as we've driven it countless times to visit family back home.
As with everything in life, some of these drives are planned and happy occasions. But with aging parents, a ringing phone sometimes prompts a drop-everything-and-drive-now moment. And when it does, I strangely find myself reaching for my camera. Keeping it close by during moments like these brings me comfort.
I shot this picture from the passenger seat of the car as my wife drove westbound near Oshawa, just east of Toronto. We were on our way home from our first Montreal trip since my father had died. My mother-in-law was still in the hospital, and we were still numbed from a life's inflection point that continues to shape us. I quietly fiddled with the controls, idly figuring out how I could freeze the world outside as we cruised through it at 120 km/h*.
This particular scene stuck out, because it managed to combine the dark and the light, the ominous shadows of silhouetted trees and thick clouds with the brilliant hope of sunlight breaking through. It was just the kind of dichotomy - in two dimensions - that I found myself wrestling with every time I closed my eyes and thought about what we had lost. Somehow, I needed to focus not on the dark clouds, but on the light trying to burst through
Your turn: What is it about being on the road that prompts deep, personal reflection?
One more thing: This photo supports our latest Thematic Photographic theme, Into the Clouds. Please click here if you'd like to participate. All are always welcome.
* For more out-the-moving-car images, click here, here and here.