The Darker Path

“Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this, too, was a gift.”  - Mary Oliver.

It was morning. The winter sky was spitting snow buds, and the whole world seemed to be painted in shades of black and gray. I felt restless. I wanted to go somewhere I hadn't been in a while.

Back when I last lived in town, the little house I rented was within a few minutes' walking distance of Walnut Springs Park and the Thompson Woods Preserve. They, along with Lederer Park, were places we constantly visited, walked, and ran. I couldn't tell you when I'd been there last. So I decided to make a quick visit. You know, for old times' sake.

I parked in the small parking lot at the top of Walnut Spring Lane, just a few minutes from the intersection of Easterly Parkway and University Drive, grabbed my camera, and set out, heading down into the woods. I have to admit that being here felt just a little bit like coming home.

This is a view of one of the paths through Walnut Springs Park, and I was not by any means the first one to walk it on this morning. The pathway was covered in snow buds and foot prints belonging to both people and dogs.

In contrast, the woods seemed dark and mysterious. I took a lot of monochrome shots like this one. It just seemed the right way to shoot it. (Come to think of it, this is apparently my time of year for monochrome winding pathway shots - see also here and here.)

When processing this shot later, I liked the contrast between the dark woods and the white pathway, and I wanted even more. So I boosted the contrast and gave it some more darkness. The result is what you see above.

In honor of the extra darkness, here is the soundtrack for this image: Leonard Cohen, with You Wanted It Darker.

P.S. For those who may be interested in learning more about this area, here's a link to an article written by someone I know, about Thompson Woods Preserve, Walnut Springs Park, and Lederer Park.

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