Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit – Edward Abbey

I’d been waiting two years for snow at Chorlton Ees. I’d captured all the seasons, including winter, but without much snow. There was sufficient this day for road and school closures, flights disrupted, car accidents in the news. Traffic lights were inoperative on a major route. I approached slowly like everyone else and took my place easily. If it’s free, go. If it’s not, wait. I felt a slight echo of freedom. I wondered about the need for the lights. They are needed to control people incapable of sensible negotiation with greater complexity. For a few seconds I was interacting with people sensibly, where lights usually take that place.

Snow interrupts normal life and that’s part of the attraction. The fields at Chorlton Ees are transformed. I like it too when a police car speeds up behind and you cross lights, pull over, or race ahead, brake, then pull over to assist their passage: which I did a few years ago. Beep, they said in passing thanks. You break the rules and feel enlivened. Then go back to sleep, forgetting the moment of energy.

I sometimes wonder about what might be called the vegetative habits of society. So did the Wachowski brothers. You live like a vegetable. If it’s light you grow here. If there’s food you grow over there. Mental fire is absent from your life, questioning the social environment, and if others wield it, like Prometheus, you either get burnt or chain them and punish them.

I have several books written by Edward Abbey. He was a defender of and philosophiser about the importance of wilderness. We need to know it’s there, apart from anything else. It has symbolic power.

I like this shot. My advice is if you find something simple and beautiful, take it. The two ultimately go together. Black, white, matte green and a flash of coloured subtle sky: that’s all you need.


Snowy Chorlton Ees

Saturday March 5, 2016