My two latest trips to the ice-cave under the Mendenhall Glacier have failed to yield a single useful photograph despite hours of effort in the cold and wet environment. As a result, I’ve discovered new reasons (some are really rediscovered old reasons) to be grateful. For one thing, I have a burgeoning appreciation for the previous trips of the summer, where seeing the location after a lengthy hiatus resulted in a prolific creation of new imagery. I also find myself savoring my ability to make the trip to the ice-cave over and over again. This is the result both of health and my incredible proximity. Multiple times in the last couple weeks, I’ve been able to hustle home from the Mendenhall in not much more than an hour (just in time for dinner).
I love that I can look back on the “unsuccessful” trips with nothing but fondness. Even the process of failing to create is not in itself a failure. I eagerly anticipate the next time my fingers are numb and my hood is keeping ice cold water from dripping down my neck and my rain pants are keeping my backside dry while I sit atop a wet boulder with my legs cramping from trying to hold my precarious position above the stream. I fully experience one of the most unique and glorious facets of God’s creation in precisely those moments, and I wouldn’t trade them for a thousand pretty pictures.