Enjoying the journey at Mill Creek Falls


“Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Today I learned a bit of patience, gratitude, strength, and kindness. All of this while walking in nature. I ventured to Mill Creek Falls, located near River Rd., Airville, PA.

The trip took me about an hour to drive there, but just a few minutes after arriving, I was on the trail along the Susquehanna River and viewing the falls from the trail.

I find that I would see a photograph but the challenge was how to make it happen, how to create the image. As I’d look at where to place my feet, where to put my camera, attempting to “cheat” by holding my camera, and realizing that when I actually “nail” the photograph, the time spent getting to the right spot, taking the time to compose and frame, and refocus, that time I spend, makes the image worth the time.

Mill Creek Falls-13web

When I visualized the image, and then saw obstacles in my way, I would turn back, and rethink my steps, and each time, I found a way to get to the place where I wanted to be to make the image. But it took time, one step, one foot in front of the other, sometimes sliding, sometimes falling, sometimes landing just right. But in each instance, I doubted that I could get to the spot where I wanted to make the photo. I would back up and say, “Yeah, right. There’s no way.” Then I would turn around and talk out loud (Yes, I was talking to myself in the woods) and say “If I could get my foot to that tree, then turn around, and put my other foot on that rock, while balencing on the other tree… And then after some careful thought, I made it to my spot.

My legs were shaking at times from crouching for extended period of times while I tested my angle, placement of the camera, composition, and exposure. My skin felt itchy because I realized that at some point while on the mission to get to this spot, I had walked through spiderwebs, and had my feet in or near water and mud because my shoes were partially covered with it and my socks were wet.

Mill Creek Falls-8Web

I forgot about all of that when I was creating these photos. It’s as if none of those things bothered me. When I’m making a photograph, or really trying to get the right light, the right composition, the right timing on the water, all of that is more important than the small uncomfortable feelings at that moment, they don’t matter.

Why can’t I look at life like I look at making photographs? Why can’t I see the end results from staying the course and ignoring the uncomfortable parts of the journey?
Or what if the Journey is the whole point? What if the “challenge” is what I need to finally find the life that I really want? This year it’s time to appreciate the journey by taking intentional steps towards self awareness and to live a life with purpose and value. That kind of life makes the journey worth it all. So from this trip, I realized yet again this year, that if I stop and enjoy the journey in this thing we call life, I may just “nail” it. And if I don’t, at least I’ll have some great stories to tell. And that makes it all worthwhile.

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Check out all the images from my trip here.

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