Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Breathe {inspiration for Wednesdays}

I realize I didn't do a {Breathe} post last week.  Sorry...I guess I was just trying to catch my breath as this school year was winding to a close!  And this week I was going to do something fun and my summer reading list...but I got a call yesterday that stopped me in my tracks.

On the other end of the phone was a woman whom I have photographed her little one a few times and I assumed she was calling about setting up another appointment for that.  I was all ready to let her know that I am booking into August now when she explained with a nervous chuckle for me not to roll my eyes at her.  She went on to tell me a story {I love stories!!} about how her brother was in town and it would be a great opportunity for family pictures if I had time in the next couple of days.  

I was about ready to say no.  Having traveled for a wedding last weekend, done a family shoot a couple of days ago, kids at home that need to be directed in creative (and productive) endeavours  and heading out for some summer holidays soon, I am pretty swamped.  But then she shared the clincher in the story....her dad, who has been battling cancer, is not doing well and this is possibly the last time they will all be together.  They want some pictures because the end looks near.

Well, that did it for me.  I rearranged some things and am going to photograph them this evening.  It doesn't matter how busy I am....those are pictures that must be taken.  Those are images that matter.

And more than a job to be done, it reminds me that imminent death gives us a different perspective.  It teaches us to see differently, stripping away all the frivolous stuff and getting down to what really matters.  It teaches us to laugh more with the ones we love; to hug more and linger over conversation instead of worshiping efficiency.  When death becomes real, it reminds us that relationships and people trump everything else we think is so important.

And couldn't we all use a dose of this reminder as we move into the summer?  Maybe if we keep this in the back of our minds, we'll spend more time swimming with friends or walking barefoot in the sand with the one we love instead of worrying if the house is clean or checking our email.  Let's play more, giggle more, wrestle more, lay down and look at the stars more...because the truth is none of us know when the end will come.

When my dad died years ago, I found a quote written at the front of his bible:

When death becomes becomes rich.

The family I am going to photograph tonight knows this to be true.  My dad knew it.  And I want to know it too.  I want to see the richness of life and to create moments that matter.  
And that starts now!

May we all have many rich moments this summer - with family and friends.  May we really enjoy them and leave all the peripheral stuff behind.

Breathe, smile and go slowly.

1 comment:

Lisa Lombardo said...

Having just gone through this experience with my husband's family, I know all too well the importance of those moments of reality and richness. Thank you for making the time to photograph that family. Those images will be invaluable to them. You are a treasure.