Ferns have always been among my most beloved woodland finds. They’re so elegantly organized, each frond curving politely out of the way of the one below. In drifts, they can transform a dark wood into a golden parlor, sunbeams bouncing off that emerald carpet, softer than shag, and back up into the canopy above.
A few years ago, I happened upon an exhibition print of “Ferns, Mount Rainier National Park” by Ansel Adams. I knew then that I had to make my own fern image, one that does it justice. I’m getting there.
Most of us are immersed in “stuff”, both physically and mentally. Our limited time is spent not on what we’ve chosen but on what we’re confronted with. We dilute our lives with so much of everything that the overall effect is to mire us in indecision and make everything just mediocre.
It occurred to me recently that so many things in life might be made better by the simple act of culling. Of making decisions between and among things, of picking what’s most important and shedding the chaff, even if there’s only a hair’s breadth between the two. Perhaps this often-painful process can make enjoyment of what remains – the carefully chosen – so much sweeter. Perhaps our possessions, how we spend our time, the words we use, the art we make and even our thoughts can all be honed and subjected to the same meticulous process of separating the true gems from the mere minerals.
Culling takes courage, but I believe it refines our ability to be decisive, to take risks, and to discern true beauty or value from a steady menu of mediocrity. The result could be a simpler, more focused and more meaningful experience.
For me, 2015 will be about culling.
[Photo culled from 200+ images taken last Saturday morning at Rainbow Springs State Park, Dunnellon, Florida]