Is death another life?

I have been photographing "Two Trees" in all four seasons on Mount Pollux, Amherst Massachusetts for over 20 years. Two Trees were stalwarts: sturdy, reliable sources of beauty and cooling shade, together on a mountain overlooking the valley below. I met a woman, we fell in love and she showed me this sacred space for the first time. Those days were magic. 

A few years ago, after being diagnosed with a debilitating disease, she took her own life by jumping off of the Mount Hope Bridge. She didn't want to stay, so she left. I like to think that is the way of things with Two Trees. Now there is One Tree. Perhaps a reminder the 'terrible events of life are great eye-openers. They force us to learn that which it is wholesome for us to know, but which habitually we try to ignore — namely, that really we have no claim on a long life; that we are each of us liable to be called off at any moment, and that the main point is not how long we live, but with what meaning we fill the short allotted span — for short it is at best.'

Nature’s first green is gold, 
Her hardest hue to hold. 
Her early leaf’s a flower; 
But only so an hour. 
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief, 
So dawn goes down to day. 
Nothing gold can stay. 

~Robert Frost


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Photography by David Lee Black Studios. All images copyrighted.