Quiet Evening on Lake Moomaw
Quiet Evening on Lake Moomaw

Do you have a “quiet space?” It’s fascinating how an artful image can become that place. 

We’re having quite a strange summer here in northern Virginia. I made a resolution to get out more this summer and experience nature, but early July was blazing hot and muggy, which kept me close to the AC.  Then a tropical weather pattern decided to sit over the top of us, giving us almost daily rain storms. It’s been here ever since. I’m actually enjoying it though. And it hasn’t kept me from getting out. 

If you live in an area where the weather is intolerable this summer, I hope you’re doing okay, and remember that it’s only temporary. Winter is just around the corner.

There’s few things I enjoy more than heading to the Appalachians during the summer. In early July, my son and I went camping in the Bolar Mountain Recreation Area, way down in southern Virginia on the border with West Virginia. We both needed a break from the daily hubbub. And even though I had my camera gear with me, this trip wasn’t about making photographs as much as it was about enjoying our time together camping, canoeing, and enjoying the peace and quiet. 

Along the road to the campground was a turnout overlooking the lake and the surrounding mountains. “Quiet Evening on Lake Moomaw” is the only photograph I took during our trip, and it was taken from this turnout. We spent many hours parked on the turnout, usually just reading, watching the sky, and talking quietly between ourselves (there was never anyone else on the turnout with us). It was a great spot to really get to know the lake and see its many faces. 

Spending a lot of time in one spot is the only way to really know a place. I don’t sit still often enough. Usually I’m more anxious to capture a photograph and run off quickly to get the next one. Afraid I’m going to miss something I guess, or maybe it’s just in my nature to be a ‘spring butt.’ 

But, as I said, capturing photographs wasn’t my mission on this trip, so I didn’t feel compelled to chase the light. In fact, I didn’t feel compelled to chase anything. 

So it was that we spent hours up on that turnout overlooking the beautiful lake and mountains. During the day, power boats and jet skis were a constant threat to the senses. But something both I and my son noticed was, after sun down, this place became profoundly quiet. Not just human-quiet, but nature-quiet as well. Not a bird tweet or a bug chirp. Nothing but quiet; for hours. Both of us living in urban Virginia, we found the quiet to be almost surreal. And peaceful.

It was this profound quiet that I wanted to remember from our trip to Lake Moomaw, and that I wanted to share with you in “Quiet Evening on Lake Moomaw.” 

I hope you enjoy your August, wherever you live, and I hope you have a place to go when you need some peace and quiet.

Do you have a “quiet space?”  Art can often become that place. A quiet scene in your own living room, a “place” to lose yourself in and escape all the noise and stress, if only for a moment, can make all the difference. 

Until next time, best regards,