When someone you love dies, the world becomes very beautiful.
You see the light—you see it through leaves; sliding through cloud to slip over ridgetops; flickering on water.
You hear air through the wings of kereru and watch them swoop high over the forest, to hang, tip, and fall.
Driving up the valley in the early morning you see a pheasant run across the road; you slow down and as you pass by you see its brilliant, frightened head staring at you from the long wet weeds.
Alone in the mountains you feel the wind on your skin. The same wind carries the sound of the river to you from far below; it fades and the sun goes behind a cloud.
These things become the most important things in the world. You wonder what they mean and decide you can’t make sense of anything.
This is what happens when someone you love dies.
1. Pheasant trying to hide. Countryside near Bristol, UK, 2007. I only got one chance for the photo, at ISO 1600, and ended up with a blurry and overexposed image. After some heavy post-processing I decided this would do. Sometimes technical quality isn't crucial.
Photo and words © 2008 Pete McGregor