When I travel I can’t help but spend some time thinking about how I fit into the world. Being out of my normal environment reminds me that the world is huge and when I think of myself in that context I can’t help but think that in the grand scale of things, I am but one person among billions.
A dot in a grand landscape.
Forty days is a very long time if you’re waiting for something. Forty days is forever if you’re in a hospital bed. Forty days is much too long if you are a family waiting at home towards the end of a long deployment. Forty days and forty nights for Noah, on an ark with all those animals? An eternity!
But forty days are transient when it comes to blueberry season at Shuqualak Farms, a short window of time when the berries are ripe for picking at the start of a hot Louisiana summer.
The farm has been there for a very long time, an institution in Frierson, offering years of memories to local families, who return year after year to pick the berries and enjoy the complimentary and decadently delicious blueberry popsicle offered while the berries are being weighed and paid for. The farm itself is the opposite of transient but that window for picking….you have to be aware and go when the berries are optimal.
Yesterday did not disappoint.
Besides coming home with a full bag of delicious plump blueberries, this image presented itself towards the end of my visit. It’s what I enjoy the most about photography, finding that one fleeting, transient moment in the middle of all the others.
And that free blueberry popsicle….on their FB page someone asked what the secret ingredient was, that made them so amazing.
Their answer was “love.”
The older I get the more I like order in my life.
The clothes in my closet are grouped according to what they are. I eat the exact same breakfast every morning. When I make my bed the pillows are always arranged the same way. I say the same series of prayers daily. I write this blog every week.
And I post an Instagram every single day.
What started out as an exercise that forced me to be more aware of the world around me and the art that’s always present in it, has become so much more than that. Six years after I posted my first Instagram on June 11, 2011 the process is ingrained and second nature to who I am. It has become part of the order of my life.
Today I share with you some of my favorite images from among the 2300+ photos I’ve posted, grouped, of course, in a sort of order.
First up, the green theme:
Our lives are made up of millions of evanescent seconds, most of them going by unnoticed in the flurry of our days.
Every now and then one of those seconds, one of those moments in time, stays with us, perhaps due to the weight of it’s significance but perhaps simply because of the joy it contained.
This is one of those seconds, captured in a photo.
An autumn night, a fire pit on the driveway, good wine, good friends, carved pumpkins and bowls of candy, trick-or-treaters roaming the streets, eager to see what their efforts will produce.
A moment of time captured in an image that conveys a perfect night, made even more special due to a sense of time passing and the knowledge that moving vans within a year will rob us of being neighbors.
This is why I pursue a photo every day:
To capture one second from among the many.
To commit it to memory in a way that defies it’s evanescence.
To elevate one seemingly ordinary moment.
People are often surprised to find out that I’m an introvert at heart. After all, I spend much of my life engaging people through my Instagrams and am often energized by learning people’s stories. Recently a high school teacher that I’ve kept in touch with for decades told me I was a connector.
And I really enjoyed hearing that. Because I have to work hard at it.
There was a time when I hated to call a pizza parlor to order a pizza and I often still have to talk my self into picking up the phone to make reservations or engage a stranger in conversation. I suppose all my years as a military spouse forced most of that out of me.
I’m an extremely connected person, through my photographs, through social media and through this blog.
For a year and a half I’ve paused at this tree next to this creek bank in these Virginia woods, wondering when it was finally going to fall, what storm would prove to be too much for an ancient root system, which wind gust would push it over. I’ve also wondered about its history. How long has it been standing here, how many birds has it harbored in nests, how many generations of children have attempted to climb it? Has a rope every been tied to its branches so children could swing out over the water? How many winters has it been covered in snow? How many springs saw it leaf out into a cacophony of brilliant new green leaves?
The trees here grow very tall and very strong. They tower above me for as far as I can see, testimonies to strength and the ability to weather many storms and weather conditions. For decades on end they go from seed to sapling to mature trees, the strongest among them bending with the wind, firmly rooted in the soil beneath them.
Sometime in the few weeks since I last walked this trail that final wind gust came along or perhaps the day simply came when nothing was left to hold it up anymore. I like to think that it went down in a mighty gust of wind, with all the noise and fanfare it deserved on its final journey back into the ground it emerged from as a tiny sprout.
Although it now lies fallen, it still speaks loud and clear about all the years it stood, tall and resilient to nature’s forces.
Long before this week’s photo challenge I started seeing life through a frame.
Being a photographer will do that to you, perhaps not always in a good way, because often I tend to not pay attention to the “big” picture when I’m experiencing something. Instead, my photo mind is always framing what’s happening and thinking about the image that will result, as opposed to simply being in the moment.
I had the privilege of observing an Honor Flight this week and since I really was there to document the experience for a friend and her dad, I felt I was justified in seeing it all through my lens. I also added this week’s photo challenge into the day by looking for frames within my frame.
This is what I came up with throughout my day in Washington, DC.
A perfectly blue sky above me as I exited the Metro:
A group of Veterans framed by Honor Guard Sentinels at the Tomb of the Unknown at Arlington National Cemetery: