At the end of one of the most appalling emotional weeks of my life, under yet another heavy and threatening sky, after almost a month and a half of seemingly relentless rain and cloud, an emotionally worn out wife and I found a few hours to escape the sadness and isolation of recent human relationships.
For me I needed this trip out for other reasons too; the lack of time in an incredibly busy month has also meant few opportunities for personal photography. I have shot architectural AND portrait commissions, which I've really enjoyed, but it's never the same as shooting purely personal, mentally escapist imagery. I've said before that the simple act of getting out into the landscape with my camera is therapeutic, and I was missing my therapy!
There was just the vaguest hint of light over Snowdonia as we travelled along the top road towards LlanfairPG and all around the cloud base looked low and heavy. In fact as we headed out past Plas Newydd towards Brynsiencyn and Newborough the sky was blackening more rapidly. We parked at the end of a long narrow lane which wound it's way down to the huge boulder-like stepping stones across the Afon Braint. I've been here before but I love its isolation and the whole physical concept of crossing something impassable. As I removed my camera from my lovely new, refreshingly light rucksack (another simple delight this last few weeks) Carol gently stepped out across the stones. She looked very small and slightly lost as she disappeared across the river and soon vanished into the darkness of the far shore.
A family of swans gently approached our pathway but didn't get too close. Two powerful white adults protectively accompanied two young cygnets, but as I moved closer to see them they hissed in distinct warning! I watched Carol re-appear from the darkness of the trees. She joyfully danced back across the stones, her pocket full of delicious yellow plums from a long lost garden of Eden she'd discovered, which we shared at the water's edge. We walked back hand in hand, our strength in our unity, no matter what other darkness and sadness is all about at present.
We ate in a campsite café and whilst we drank hot coffee, the sound of heavy raindrops increased outside, battering the roof. Visibility was obscured and the outlook was not good for the day. We returned to the van and the security of its warmth and dryness, and headed for home.
© Glyn Davies 2009
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