Tucked in the southwest corner of Minneapolis, amongst the chaos of the city, is a place where the rest of the world disappears. Perhaps I’m the only one who sees it that way, but I would venture to guess that I’m not.
It’s a place where trails weave in and out of urban greenery, amongst gorgeous mansions and homes as they curve around one of the city’s many lakes. Runners run. Bikers bike. Walkers walk. Sitters sit. Readers read. Artists… art. You get the idea.
I’ve written about this place before; about how it’s where I started an incredible life-changing journey and where I still go to retreat and reflect. There’s one specific spot along the trail that is my refuge. No matter what else is going on in the world around me, when I’m there, everything just makes sense. I’ve never shown anyone that spot, although many people waltz right by it all the time. And to be honest, I don’t know that I ever will share it, not unless I trust that person an awful lot.
Everyone should have a place like that. I hope you do, too.
But I digress.
Twelve months ago, on a cold January afternoon, I headed out with my camera and no real plan. The temperature was well below freezing and snow covered every inch of the metro area. I was bored and out looking for something to do. As I tend to do often, I gravitated towards my favorite city lake.
The lake was frozen over and the trails were nearly empty as the sun glistened off the white blanket of snow. There were diehards jogging on snow-covered trails or cross-country skiing over the solidified water, while fishermen huddled up around holes drilled in the ice. There was a game of pond hockey in one corner and I could hear the kids shouting “Goooooal!” whenever they sailed a puck into the net.
I took a deep breath and saw it freeze as I exhaled. It’s impossible for me not to smile when I’m there. Impossible.
I took a bunch of random photos that frozen afternoon and one shot in particular sparked an idea that would play out over the next year. I decided to take a photo from the same spot once a month during 2012 and put it all together to see how it changed throughout the seasons. (And no, I didn’t shoot these photos from my secret spot. 😉 )
The video below is the result of that idea. Sure, I could have done a better job at remembering what settings I had used from month to month. And I probably could have lined up the shots a little more similarly. But I still think it’s kind of cool to see how the seasons here change. You can see the lake come to life as summer graced us with its presence… and how it slips back into quiet hibernation with the arrival of winter. I hope you enjoy this 60-second peek into why I love this place so much, as much as I enjoyed putting it together this past year…