The Reaches of Nature

Strada’s Barbecue
saintpeg (From Detroit’s Sacred Places Flickr Photo Contest)
When I first moved to Detroit twelve years ago, I would spend weekends driving the streets of my newly-adopted home, trying to find my bearings and learn the neighborhoods. One thing that struck me then repeatedly, and continues to impress upon me now, was that one could always find nature thriving amidst abandonded and decaying structures. This photograph of a tree reaching out from a shuttered building seems to me to reaffirm the resilience of the natural world. I can almost imagine a seed landing inside the building gate, sprouting and growing with the available sunlight, its slender branches finding openings in the gate and escaping the confines of the building, until the tree appears now an integral part of the structure.

Among Kenro Izu’s haunting photographs of the temples of Angkor Wat are images that show mammoth trees invading, and sometimes toppling, ancient stone structures. Here, the power of nature seems more gentle, but no less assertive.

I enjoyed seeing this photograph and reading your thoughts about the sacred moment. Thank you for posting it.


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