Seeing in Silence

Great Blue Heron in black and white walking in water

I am a morning person.  I love the stillness of the morning.  I love the way the groggy silence envelops me. Everything slows down.  Without the noise that fills every other space in the rest of my day, I can see so much more clearly. I can hear my own voice so much more loudly.  My favorite mornings are the cold fall mornings when the earth is on the verge of waking up.  The air is crisp and cold. A veil of fog hangs from branches pelting my cheeks. My breath billows and clings.

This is the perfect time for me to shoot. Without all of the extraneous noise, I see things I would have surely missed. Distracted by screens and ringtones even conversation, I miss so much.  It’s not just the silent animals miraculously camouflaged in their habitat that I would miss.  It is fully appreciating the scene unfolding before my eyes. Frost painting the last golden leaves.  The crunch of soil wet just the day before.   A pallette of golds and greens fading subtly to brown.  Sharp sunlight sneaking through without its heat.

Seeing the world in silence is seeing from a completely different perspective.  I am keenly aware of the fleeting beauty that is nature. The impermanence of life that is the cost of the gift.  When I see in silence, I see the magnitude of capturing a unique moment in an ever-changing life.

The photograph below was taken one fall morning.  I was watching a Great Blue Heron hunting in the low tide backlit by the rising sun. Shadows of abandoned pilings reached across the water.  One stray branched curled behind the bird.

Perhaps you are not a morning person. I encourage you to find that place and time of day you are most relaxed. Go off the grid. Unplug.  Even for a short time, see the world in the silence.


Early Bird
(1/640 sec. f/6, 800 ISO, 420 mm)

Copyright Catherine Matthews 2017.

Posted by

Catherine Matthews is an educator and author living north of Seattle. She is currently querying her debut novel, Becoming Benny. Catherine shares her life experiences on her blog, Life Through My Lens. As an educator, leader, parent and human being, Catherine shares her adventures in child-raising and teaching, as well as the childhood stories that shaped and molded her. She, like all of us, searches for meaning in the mundane, contemplating the lessons she’s learned along her journey in life. Whether it’s recollecting the follies of her youth, remembering those who have come and gone, or simply musing about life, she is drawn to share rich and vivid stories that will make you laugh, cry and maybe even learn. Carefully weaving photos into her tales, she paints a picture of life that often acts as a mirror into our own.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s