In Immortality’s Light,
– Sri Chinmoy
I went out yesterday with the intention of photographing this old church. It has seen it’s better days. The chimney bricks are falling down. The steeple is disintegrating. After years of vandalism the front doors have finally been boarded up and the only residents now are the pigeons who flutter around the church to stretch their winds and coo quietly when inside.
Instead of getting up at the crack of dawn like I usually do when shooting color I have found mid-morning or mid-afternoon are best for these black and whites.
This church like me is getting older and one day the only thing left of us will be memories. While driving for an hour to get to the church the mind has time to wander and imagine. I got to thinking that over forty years ago I would be up before the crack of dawn with one of my brothers or a friend, lunches packed, thermoses filled to the brim with hot coffee and driving down this same highway to go duck hunting. I haven’t touched a rifle in all that time and hunting like this old church is a distant memory.
The air was fresh and cool, just above freezing when I finally arrived at this spot. As I walked around the church the silence was peppered with the distant pop pop pop of hunters. Duck or goose hunting I am guessing. It seems that almost no one hunts anymore. There was a time when every pickup truck seemed to have a rifle rack above the seat against the rear window with a few shotguns in it. Store flyers would have shotgun shells on sale and we’d make our way to Woodward’s (a long gone department store in western Canada) to stock up on shells.
Times have changed. For better or worse? I dunno. Like this old church nothing lasts forever and sometimes all that’s left are the memories.