We (all the people) have missed out on quite a bit in the past three months. Really special milestones, opportunities to say hello and also goodbye. Our relationships have been challenged, our priorities rocked, finances may be scary, even traditions uprooted. But I wonder, as many have, could we also note a few things from this season that we wouldn’t mind keeping around? For one - time. “I just don’t have time to____.” Fill in the blank: read that, explore that, figure that out, hold you, go there, address this, face that, take a nap, roast the veggies. I know this much time in this teacher household won’t literally stick around forever. But what a worthy challenge to be so careful with how we choose to spend time from here on out.
Last weekend I had the incredible opportunity to photograph a beautiful family taking advantage of just such a time together. Charmaine, the lovely momma in pink, inquired about these photos several weeks back, but it took a while to get all of her people safely home. (What does it even mean to have GROWN children who don’t live in your house or even your state? In the midst of diapers, I cannot imagine this.) With hopes of great weather and an outdoor space to keep a bit of social distancing in place, we set out to the VMFA. It could not have been a more perfect session. It was obvious that Charmaine and Ed were soaking up every second they had with their kids.
They were loving, and funny, and strong all at the right moments. Somehow, nearing a cloudless, direct sunlit, almost noon hour -yikes!- we even found a few places that made our photos look like they have a golden sunset glow. I’m not sure I can give credit to luck or to skill.
I’m just counting this session as a huge blessing. I know that these photos will hang on Charmaine and Ed’s walls and remind them of a really rare weekend during a really strange time when everyone chose to come home, to love on each other, and stand together.
Later that same evening, fueled by all their weekend represented, I hustled to complete their gallery in hopes that they would be able to view it together before everyone parted ways again. It’s a great honor to share some of their moments here. This little slideshow includes a recap of my very favorites.
Whatever you choose to prioritize right now, whether it be one or hopefully combinations of working, listening, reading, marching, watching, praying, meditating, exercising, napping, or folding your laundry - may you fill your time with what keeps you moving forward. This is good, and this is work. While I pray for healing in so many areas, I do also pray that we continue to look up and care and learn and be together for a long, long time.
Last thought, if your mom calls on you to take pictures, get dressed and go take the pictures. :)
Thank you, Cowells! Y’all are THE best.
With so much gratitude,