This post will be completely different than any of my last post. This one is based on an experience that happened to me in Austin, TX.
I was on the hunt for new photos and decided to try to take pictures down by the river. The first two ways to get to it did not work so finally as the day starts to wind down, I find Turkey Creek Trail.
Quickly glancing at the map, I find that I can reach the river if I just follow the trail. I quickly rush off down the path. My first photo is a shot of the creek, shot with my newest lens.
I continue up my way quickly trying to reach the river, as today the clouds are perfect the sun is high and the weather is perfect for a hike. Quickly an hour passes and I have not yet reached the river. I get to a point that looks like I will have to stop as the trail seems to go down hill. I test it and I know that it would not be wise to go that way. As I am turning around I look up and see the trail. I find myself in a beautiful valley to take a few photos.
I keep trekking because I finally have the height to see the clouds over the trees. I look down at my phone and see I have no signal, but my photo opportunities keep getting better. I finally reach a point to where I realize that I will not be able reach the creek. As I reach my final stopping point, about 20 feet ahead of me, I see an animal run through the bushes. It is large enough to do damage if it charges at me, but it runs quickly across the path. Now fear builds because it is on the side of the path I am on. I decided to take a photo of the clouds anyway, but still listening for any potential harm.
That was my warning…stop going forward head back before you cannot see your route back to your car.
As I am heading back, I find I can take a better picture at one of the valleys that I stopped at. I stop to take a better photo.
Stopping for perfection, I lose more of my lighting for the trail back.
As I head back down the trail, I turn at what I believe I think is the path back down. I realize quickly it is not but try to make my way to the trail from that path. I am utterly wrong, and if not by shear will of God, I look down and see if I completed my next step I would step on a sleeping rattle snake. I skid to a halt, seeing my life flash before my eyes and run up the hill. I imagine my death, caused by the rattle snake biting me and being off the trail to where no one would find me. No phone signal at all to call anyone to assist me. It is at this point, in my mind I would of died.
I immediately start freaking out, I start half running down the hill and start being less cautious about my steps. At the peak of my fear, I see something flash by my eye. I stop thinking that I am in some immediate danger.
As I stop to look, I realize that it is a firefly. My mind slows and I have peace. My heart stops racing and I realize the beauty in their flashes. I stop to take photos on Instagram and Snapchat. I am no longer fearful but excited as this is my first time seeing fireflies.
I see them as my guide back to my car. I feel blessed as they show me that I am safe. I follow them back to my car. As I arrive I realize that I was shown the mortality of my life, death, and I was shown the beauty of my life as well in the same trip.
I did not fear death prior to this moment, because I knew I had taken the actions to save my soul. What I realized is that I found out is the reason why I was fearful this time is that, I found something that I still want to build. My photography. I had so much to learn and grow. I was afraid my photos would stop here. This moment showed me what truly was important to me. I may not be the best photographer, but this matters. Now matters. My life matters.