My husband’s family owns a cabin in the woods and by the lake. In the past three decades, there have been many family gathering events held there. Occasionally we also invited our friends to go there for weekends. It is surely a nice get-away place. I don’t get tired of looking at the clear blue water and the surrounding mountains and I particularly love to gaze at the starry sky at the night. On full moon nights, moon reflection on the lake is stunning. It is high at 5000 ft elevation, peaceful, and secluded. Friends and family love it but I have not been too crazy about it.
The cabin is small, but it is fully furnished with essential amenities. It is convenient but more on the rustic side. When we invited our friends, we like to inform our guests, just be prepared like you are going camping, but kitchen and shower are provided, and you have beds and sheets to sleep in.
I always like nature, but not necessarily camping. Since I became an Oregonian, I have learned to like camping, but I would only go to the campsite where there are fresh running tap water, shower, and electricity. I grew up in the city and for a long time, I was very spoiled with five-star hotels while I was traveling for work. Lodging condition is one thing that I tend to fuss about. For this reason, I seemed not to have a good night’s sleep here.
As I got more serious about photography more than a year ago, I began to explore photo opportunities around the house, wherever I go elsewhere, and whenever I find the time. Coming to the cabin is aimed for some kick-back time. Doing nothing is what we usually do. But it gets boring after many repetitions. My mind is always full of thoughts and ideas, and my brain is constantly stuffed. I am not a good conversation partner to chat about husbands and kids forever. And, I cannot just meditate all day long. I have been here hundred times and everything looks the same, nothing is exciting anymore.
This was just three weekends ago. I woke up bright and early and for the first time I walked down to the beach by myself. The water level is pretty high and fallen trees are everywhere. I have not gone beyond the first large down tree for years, but I made my way to climb up the tree, and cross over to the other side of the beach on this day, and I found myself immediately clicking my shutter away. There were logs, twigs, snags, reflections, and rocks, and I have not felt that Diamond Peak looks so accessible until this moment.
And shame on me, this was the first time when I noticed that almost every cabin has a launching dock for their boats. Why didn’t I notice that in the last two decades when I have been coming here?
In the past, I would stand outside the cabin facing the lake, take one shoot with a fleet of trees, walk down 30 feet, and take another shot of the beach water line, and the third shot with Odell Butte and ponderosa pine. That was all. There are so many photo opportunities around the cabin and the same shot can be taken during a different time of the day and generate varying results.
On the way back from my walk, I saw morning sunlight reflecting on water that I have not paid attention to before. Instead of taking my same old shot, I picked a different ponderosa and aimed my subject from a different angle. I did not notice the churning cloud in the sky till I have the image right in front of me.
Owners of the three adjacent cabins built this dock which was a great spot to rest once we were out in water canoeing or swimming. However, we don’t come to the cabin often enough and the dock is loaded with debris brought in by the seagulls, sea seals, and such.
I don’t swim and don’t like to get wet, that is not what city girls do. Believe it or not, I have not even been on that dock once since it was built 7-8 years ago. I feel bored because I have not attempted to do much. I created the boredom myself that I am not even aware of. Now my passion for photography has secretly opened my eyes. I am thankful that the dock is there. Without the dock, this image won’t be as interesting.
Towards the end of this weekend, I have at least taken 150 shots around the cabin, along the beach, and the nearby campgrounds. Compared to what I did in the past, I feel that I have suddenly discovered my Acadia.
I have completely underestimated what this cabin can do for me and what it has contributed to my recent discovery, rejuvenated my spirit, and triggered my inspiration.