Fishing Tree at Dawn

Martha Nance


(click to enlarge)


Every morning, a surprise awaits—small rustlings and peeps and clicks, the rising breeze and evaporating dew, intense colors, the appearance of an unexpected companion. From these small wonders, this daily renewal, I extract the energy and optimism to guide my patients through the courses of their incurable neurodegenerative diseases. I am humbled daily at work daily, but restored each morning. I need the world around me to be healthy and balanced. 

I took this photograph on a marvelous misty morning while on the White River (Arkansas) in May.  I was struck by the juxtaposition of the timeless and mysterious rising sun with the not-so-subtle hint that humans had been there before, conducting some kind of minor battle with nature, and that nature had won at least one small part of the battle. A happy trout had lived another day or perhaps become breakfast for a happy heron. That morning, in this spot, the river's edge seemed like a place where humans, and the ecosystem that supports us, could be at peace, that maybe there was yet a chance of sustainable equilibrium.


Martha Nance is a neurologist in Minnesota whose iPhone gets her out of bed early in the morning on weekends and vacations because it likes to look at sunrises.