I’ve been meaning to blog about my experience in Normandy since returning from Europe but as much as I want to be able to put it into words, I’ve not been able to process my feelings in order to do it. I think I’m afraid of not being able to adequately put you inside my head and heart that day.
It could be that it will just take some time to filter through the pictures and the thoughts.
I thought perhaps this week at the beach would give me the time and space but instead it is blurring and at the same time intensifying the feelings and making it harder to convey that day. I think perhaps the flurry of seeing so much in Europe, the long flight home, another flight to our east coast and now the glaring way that this particular beach town is such a contrast to the beaches of Normandy has made this even harder.
I think I will have to let it go and trust it will come eventually. I wonder if maybe I need to see or hear or experience another piece of the puzzle before the blog is written.
This week we’re staying at a beach house that has many things left behind by previous renters. I haven’t wanted to take my Kindle down to the sandy beach so I found a book by Anita Shreve on the bookshelf, knowing that it would be an easy story to read, and fast. Strangely enough, it’s set in winter, in a New England town. Rather odd reading for a beach vacation but for those of you who know me well enough, that setting is much more to my liking than the heat of summer in South Carolina. Perhaps that is what drew me to the book but I was also drawn to the title….Light on Snow. The photographer in me liked that.
Oddly enough, although the book is not about photography at all, one of the characters, a 12-year-old girl, simulates taking pictures by making a frame with her fingers and a clicking noise when she feels compelled to record a scene in her life and key photographs make their appearance in the book quite often.
The girl, Nicky, has lost her mother and a 1-year-old sister in a car wreck two years earlier. Although completely different, I somehow associate her loss with the losses of all of those families who loved the men who buried at Normandy. In both instances, the fictional and the real, people left home and didn’t come back. I am more aware of the people in my life who are gone and I am really wishing I could gather my entire family and all of my close friends around me during this week of rest. I’m thankful for those who are here with us this week and missing those who are not.
All of these things are jumbled up in my head…..beaches, loss, love, photographs, family, France, home, snow, sunshine…it’s quite the cacophony in there!
And so I simply leave you with a line in the book that stood out for me.
“She’s a good person to hug, because her body fills up all the empty spaces.”
Isn’t that wonderful?
I hope all of you are regularly hugged by just such a person!
I also leave you with a photo taken two nights ago of my in-laws. They’ve been married for almost 58 years. Just think about how many hugs those years have encompassed.