Lethbridge Alberta

I’ve heard about Lethbridge Alberta my entire life. My mom used to constantly tell me about this place and that she was born there. It’s always been a place of mystery, yet familiarity to me. The name rings a bell, but only in my imagination could I ever picture what it was like. It was only through my mother’s vague memories, that have been fading for over 50 years, that I had any inkling about Lethbridge.

I finally had the chance to visit Lethbridge just the other day. It’s funny, my mom was born in Lethbridge, then partially raised in Calgary… I almost seem to be retracing her steps in my adult life!

There is a train bridge that connects two high hills and at the foot of it is a beautiful nature park. Unfortunately I was in town on business, so I had little time to explore the town itself. I figured I’d head straight for the train bridge one early morning to retrieve a landmark memory with my camera before heading out to the job site. When I parked at the parking lot nearest to the bridge, was when I discovered the nature park! It was a beautiful walk along the ‘Mini Bow River’ to the foot of the bridge itself. You can walk along the water, as I did, or explore the many paths that eventually lead to the bridge.

I walked along the water to the bridge’s base and found a reflection of the hill and the bridge in the only still part of the river. The sun had just peaked over the hills behind me when I took these shots, so my timing and lighting were perfect! After becoming completely amazed and astonished at the sheer beauty of the scene I was now immersed in, I realized that I was in town for business! I couldn’t stay to contemplate the immense size and complexity of the train bridge… I had work to do!

I chose to navigate the trails back to the parking lot in hopes of spotting one of the hundreds of birds that I could hear singing in the surrounding trees. As I emerged from one of the trails to a slight opening in the landscape, I soon realized that I had infringed upon the breakfast of about 30 white-tailed deer that were all staring at me in alarm. I calmly took aim and photographed the crowd in 15 degree increments, before having to continue on back to the parking lot and scattering the deer in all directions.

I’ll never forget that magical morning. I’ve never forgotten Lethbridge. I never will.

  

Wabi-Sabi

Wabi-sabi (in Kanji: 侘寂) represents a comprehensive Japanese world view or aesthetic centered on the acceptance of transience. The phrase comes from the two words wabi and sabi. The aesthetic is sometimes described as one of beauty that is “imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete” (according to Leonard Koren in his book Wabi-Sabi: for Artists, Designers, Poets and Philosophers). It is a concept derived from the Buddhist assertion of the Three marks of existence — Anicca, or in Japanese, 三法印 (sanbōin)), Impermanence. Note also that the Japanese word for rust, is also pronounced sabi (the borrowed Chinese character is different, but the word itself is of assumed common etymology), and there is an obvious semantic connection between these concepts. Characteristics of the wabi-sabi aesthetic include assymetry, asperity, simplicity, modesty, intimacy, and suggest a natural process.