Last week we headed off into the Northwoods of Maine with our fully expanded Seedlight production crew. Our intention was to document the wise and gentle spirit of wilderness guide Ray Reitze in his element amidst the whispering pines, singing crickets and croaking frogs.
Half the crew departed on Sunday afternoon with canoes and kayaks in tow for the seven hour drive to darn close to the Canadian border. The other half of us skidded onto Round Pond by float plane with enough film and photo cameras and audio gear to nearly sink the plane. Once reunited we strapped all onto our backs for a short portage and then a long paddle with the wind against us through a string of remote streams that eventually connected us to our final destination: Poland Pond.
Our tiny island campsite was a spot of heaven in the middle of a pristine lake in the middle of (what felt like) nowhere.
We settled in for an all-too-short and slightly soggy stretch of time with Ray and his fellow guides Jen and Bennett who cooked us gourmet meals over an open fire, helped us to perfect our J-stroke canoeing technique, gracefully poled their canoes about, and generally kept us content, entertained and inspired.
This was one of many trips into nature that I have made with Ray and Jen. The first of which was in 2005 when making the Wildness Within book. I knew back then that Ray’s ancient, quiet ways would captivate me creatively for years to come, well beyond that book project.
So this summer I set about to begin spending time with Ray again, only this time with the objective of creating a film that will make people want to go outside in a meaningful, intentional way. We at Seedlight hope to compel our viewer to seek experiences in nature as a means of listening to their hearts, and reconnecting physically and spiritually to the planet. Ray, and his philosophy of how to live in health and harmony with the natural world, will be our guide, our example and our inspiration.
Stay with us out there in the wilds as we follow Ray on various trips throughout the fall in pursuit of our vision to tell his story!