A blog experiment by Brad Mills.



I'm not the best photographer in the world. For one thing, I've got this nervous tremor in my hands, so many of my photos end up blurry. For another, my vision of things just doesn't get captured the way I feel like it should. I'd blame the camera — but I'm pretty sure the problem is with the photographer, not the equipment.

Abandoned schoolyard

Anyway... here are a few pictures I took the day before my birthday. It was a cool evening and I felt restless, so I went out for a walk. I ended up in an abandoned schoolyard on the edge of the Kanawha River. As I looked around, everything seemed familiar, and I realized I'd once been there in a dream.

Basketball goal

The rim on the basketball goal hung at an awkward angle, neglected, the fence behind it covered in overgrown vines. Candy wrappers, pop bottles, and cigarette packs littered the edges of the playground. Clearly it had seen better days.

Kanawha River through trees

But out past the fence, the Kanawha River flowed as it had for thousands of years. The evening sunlight filtered through the trees and I knew it would be that way for a thousand more, even if humanity loses itself in nuclear disaster or some other self-inflicted destruction.

In some ways, we're not too dissimilar from children on a playground. We play with our toys and discard our empty containers, we build hollow little empires and form unstable alliances and teams. And then we move on, whether by choice or by force, whether or not we survive the process. We leave our legacy in boundaries and buildings. And eventually, even these are destroyed — borders overgrown with vines, goals left askew, buildings decaying and rotten.

Nature remains, and she is timeless.

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