From England with love

Dawn over the Arctic

Dawn over the Arctic

My biography begins here. This visit to my country of birth has reminded me of this in a visceral, heartfelt way.

Standing in an orchard, after a summer rain shower (the kind John Lennon claimed you can get a tan from) smells arising from the damp earth and vegetation transported me right back to innocent days of childhood — romps through Black Cat Wood, daring climbs of oak and hawthorne, mischief in ancient, abandoned farmhouses.

My chest filled with emotion and salty tears joined the cool raindrops on my cheeks.

Though I have lived away from this land for over 50-years, this cathartic experience brought home, literally, that the roots of my life, embedded in the very environment that I was born into, can never be erased.

The English countryside inspired Romantic poets (Wordsworth, Byron, Blake, Keats) and painters (Blake, Constable, Turner) and fostered in my young mind, growing up at the confluence of green bucolic fields and grimy factories, a similar idyllic disposition toward the mysteries of nature and melancholy at the havoc wrought by dark Satanic mills.

This will be a short visit — to celebrate a family marriage and mourn a passing — but emotionally full.

Both occasions are, in a way, bounded by photography; one creating new records of family bonding, one causing us to pour over 8-decades of photographs documenting the life of an extraordinary woman.

Of course, I’ve had my cameras (Fujifilm X-Pro2 and iPhone 6S) at the ready, documenting another chapter in my family’s lives and the places, familiar and new, that I’m passing through.

The gallery below represents a few of the hundreds of images I have to edit upon my return to Canada. These rough sketches are mostly downloaded to my iPhone from the Fujifilm X-Pro2, via WiFi, edited in Snapseed for instant use on social media, then sized on the Macbook. This is not the ideal solution for travel editing, but will have to do until I consolidate my tools.

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Raymond Parker Photo
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