15 March 2011

In the Backyard

It's becoming a part of the routine. After Lily wakes from her nap, I pour crackers into a bowl, hand her a cup of water, and we head outside until it's time to make dinner. We are fortunate to live where we can be outside almost every day in the middle of March, a fact I remind myself of often in spite of wishing we were further north. Sometimes I pour myself a glass of wine. We sit in the backyard -- she inspects the terrain and I grab my camera and start shooting. 

The yard always feels the same, and sometimes I convince myself there's nothing new to see there. It's how I often feel. I spent two years taking a photo every day, inspecting every inch of our home inside and out. There is nothing new to see. 

And then I have a hard day. And another. And I'm suddenly in a flurry of hard days because, let's face it, when it rains, it pours. We make it to four o'clock and head for the backyard; the only solace I find is in snapping a few photos. There is still so much to see.

What I didn't know in those two years of photo taking is that taking photos would become such an integral part of my daily routine. When, at the end of a rough day, I lift my camera and click-click-click, somehow all the bad is erased. A slim and finite moment of clarity emerges from the blurry mess. One photograph replaces the hours of hardship. 

Who knew?

Who knew that the changing seasons would mean so much, that a backyard from day to day would reveal something new, that this life, which can feel so dark, can be filled with so much beauty? Who knew? Not me. I didn't know what this would mean or that, two years ago, when I started down this path, it might repair the brokenness in my daily life. I like that. And I'm grateful.

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