Solitude Found at Chibana Creek

Women need real moments of solitude and self-reflection to balance out how much of ourselves we give away.

Barbara De Angelis

An afternoon without the kids, what to do? Hmm. After running my “To Do List” errands in no time flat, I found myself driving aimlessly around Kadena. Going on a real off base adventure was out of the question, since I had to pick up the kids from a birthday party within the hour, but I knew I wanted … Scratch that… I needed to go on an excursion that had nothing to do with the commissary, shoppette, or the BX.  A few circles around the block and a 1980’s classic on the radio led me to a destination that I’d been meaning to photograph for the last few years.

2013©Jennifer Martinez

On the drive to Chibana Golf Course, under a barely noticeable bridge, flows a creek (at least that’s what we call ’em in Kansas). I first drove over this bridge in 2009 and again in 2010. Each time thereafter I’d tell myself “Someday I’d like to stop and shoot whatever’s down there below the bridge.” Time flies and life’s more important issues take precedence over a photo shoot at a less than ideal location. Honestly there is nothing special about this bridge and I’d bet that most who drive over it to reach the golf course don’t know or care what lies beneath.

While I had a trunk full of gear, I lacked the time to mess with more than a monopod and my telephoto lens (minus the ever so helpful ND Filters that only fit my smaller lenses… someday I’ll spring for extenders…”Dah! stop gear dreaming and get back to story!”)

More important than the images, I found the solitude that I had unknowingly desired. For a few short minutes I was my own, sharing myself with no one. For a while I just drove; I rocked out to that 80’s song that took me back to childhood; and ended up parked on the side of the road, flashers blinking; strapped with my Nikon; hanging off the side of a bridge to get the shot (not endangering myself… but photographers will understand).

With very little post production, shot in RAW, here’s what I found:

When I picked up the kids I heard their lively explanation of the “Nerf War” party and I told them how unexpectedly pleasant my day had been. My son said “Sounds like everybody had a great day today!” I said “You know what?… We really did.”  It seems rare these days, but everyone went home wearing a genuine smile.


I Love Quotes

So, I found a few on the value of Solitude that I want to share. Words could not be more fitting to my story and I hope that others will be inspired to find a moment like this.

What a lovely surprise to finally discover how unlonely being alone can be.

Ellen Burstyn

Without great solitude no serious work is possible.

Pablo Picasso

Women need real moments of solitude and self-reflection to balance out how much of ourselves we give away.

Barbara De Angelis

View all quotes from this article and so many more at:


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