While sorting through my file cabinet the other day, I came across an old paper; it was a one-page article on Freeman Patterson, an interview of sorts with him, published in Reader. Can’t even recall what the ‘Reader’ was! But I always loved the conversation with him that they published.
Here’s the opening excerpt:
“I went to Europe one summer like millions of others. And I had to take a camera. That was my first camera. I knew right then. It gave me an opportunity to focus on things that matter to me. As a kid on the farm, everything had to have a functional purpose; anything attractive or beautiful was not important to life. If I was interested in the beauty of a field of daisies and lilies, well, they had to be mowed down. My mother loved flowers; she never had time to have a garden. But she would notice the rustle of brown grasses, the glint off a bird’s wings – she knew that these things had value.”
The rest of the article is wonderful, too, but that opening paragraph really grabbed me the first time and grabs me now again. In our busy days of working and functioning, it’s easy to forget that things can have a value beyond just being functional. I grew up with a Dad who was structured, (read regimented, in some ways!). He was always busy, had a plan, and had plans for us – i.e. to work in the yard – “rake those stones away, mow the lawn, rake up leaves, weed the garden”, etc. But thankfully in his own way he appreciated the outdoors, too, and mom – well, she loved gardens and had time for them so we had lots of flowers around us. Our little plot of land was part woods, part gardens, part lawn; it drew in the birds, and some pesky possums and racoons; and it was my outdoor world, and that laid the foundation for my love of nature. I’m so grateful for that. I’m certain it was the foundation for my passion for outdoor photography.
The image above is from Rockport, Maine – the infamous Belted Galloway cows that live there, seen one foggy morning. It was appropriate since Freeman spoke of growing up on a farm!
Made with a Canon camera, processed with Nik Software.