LAST WEEK THURSDAY EVENING, I hurried down the sidewalk in pursuit of horse-drawn wagons along Faribault’s Central Avenue. I hoped to catch a few photos, realizing the challenges of night photography with a moving target and a new-to-me camera.
I try to be in the moment also, noticing details so I can convey the experience in words. But mostly on this evening I focused on catching up to those horses without falling on occasionally snow-packed and slippery sidewalks. It wasn’t easy. Hurry with caution.
And while I hastened, I felt the cold nipping my exposed fingers. Another hazard of winter photography in Minnesota. I own mittens that flip open to reveal partially-gloved fingers. But on this evening, those were stuffed inside my coat.
In the end, I got some photos. None clear. But I rather like the blurred images, which convey a sense of movement. At one point during the chase, I was nearly slammed into by a man exiting a restaurant. It wasn’t intentional. I was walking close to the building to avoid snow and he happened to exit at the exact time I passed by.
The whole chasing-the-horses episode seems a misadventure. I should have prepared better, planned ahead, given myself more time to photograph this Winterfest event before I had to be elsewhere. But I didn’t. I expect many of you are feeling like me, somewhat overwhelmed by all you need to get done during the holidays. Shop. Bake. Write out Christmas cards. Attend holiday events. It’s a lot.
But too often we put this pressure on ourselves. We don’t have to do it all. We can choose to slow down, to hear the clomp of horses’ hooves on pavement, to hear the jingle of bells on harnesses and, yes, even to feel the bite of cold on our fingers.
Enjoy a slow-paced December weekend.
© Copyright 2022 Audrey Kletscher Helbling