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Walking through Centennial Park, on a cool winter morning, I could see my breath. More surprising to me though was the whispery breath of the trees.

It had been raining for a couple of days in Central Saanich, so the old trees and their rough corrugated bark were wet. Between the shadows, where the morning sun warmed the tree trunks, wet wood began to steam. The forest and I were both breathing.

Connecting with the moment, I exhaled and watched my breath float away in the morning light to blend with that of the trees. A crystalline moment, perfectly captioned by a quote from Emily Carr, ‘a breath that draws your breath into its breathing’.

I first read about the concept of crystalline moments from Patricia Donegan. In her book, Haiku Mind, she describes haiku poems as crystalline moments of heightened awareness. I think of my nature photography in the same way, a visual expression of a crystalline moment.

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