I'm not the creepy guy lurking around; I was here first!
A couple days after Thanksgiving, I strolled alone in the pre-dawn light, on Maine's southern coast. I'd already taken a number of photos over the prior few days. I was wandering along the beach before finally finding an area in which the water of the outgoing tide was still just deep enough to reflect the sun once it crested the horizon. Plus, the large rock in the middle of a tidal pool might catch the soft glow of the early light or reflect off the water.
Liking this spot, I sat on a boulder, waiting patiently for the sun to make its appearance. Just a few people scattered themselves up and down the beach, mostly alone and giving each other their space. But, I noticed one couple gradually moving closer. Eventually, I realized our paths would cross, and worried it would impede my photo.
However, when the couple reached the water seeping seaward from that small tidal pool, they paused. I stopped lining up my photo on my iPhone, instead studying them through the screen.
The man let go of the woman's hand and looked at the water a moment. He picked his route, tiptoed quickly and delicately across, and turned back to face her. She hesitated, and turned to look at the ocean as if contemplating whether to enjoy it on opposite sides of the receding tidal pool. That's when I snapped a photo.
She then followed his path, where he waited to again hold her hand. Reunited, they resumed their casual journey down the beach. His finding a safe route across and to waiting patiently for her, her trust in following, and their holding hands all were small acts. But they also were insights into their relationship: a couple in love, each better because of the other; willing to help and to trust. In its own brief way, it was a much more intimate and beautiful moment than the sunrise that quickly followed.
Mourning the loss of beach season for the next few months
Sometimes, change is only recognized afterwards; you look back and see that you'd crossed some line or you suddenly realize something's different. Other times, you can understand that you'rein a moment of change.
I had a great summer this year. Every Friday off of work, telecommuting on Mondays, more time to enjoy photographing sunrises and to de-stress from work with friends and family. Amid some bigger challenges going on, there were so many little moments that were really great.
As we walked our dog, hunted casually for beach glass, and walked seemingly forever in our shorts and flip flops, we sometimes chatted and sometimes allowed ourselves to get lost in our thoughts. It was a great opportunity to reflect back, to appreciate the moments I had, was having, and to get closure on a wonderful but brief chapter in my story. Walking off the beach into a captivating sunset, it seemed easier to now seek out new moments as we soak in the beauty offered by autumn in New England.
One of my favorite pictures of my girls and their friends... This picture, to me, captures the essence of childhood summers.
Summer still has weeks to go. On this picturesque day, after hours of fun, the crowds have largely left for their evening barbecues or dinner at a local restaurant. But my kids were still going strong. Each was simultaneously part of a group and alone with her thoughts. The sun cascading across the tidal pool, leaving them as a silhouette seemed fitting - the details are much less consequential than the bigger picture.
I didn't call for their attention and tried to blend in with the background. Other than taking this picture, I tried to just appreciate that these kids were pleasantly lost in their own heads, sharing a good experience, and that I'd helped create the environment for this moment to happen. It felt intimate, sharing this group moment, and aware that each of my daughters and their friends were having their own version of it. I'll relive this moment, and believe that they'll look back on this photo in the years to come and will do the same.
The Good Life...
is filled with little snippets of time that can disproportionately impact our days. This is a chance to capture and share them.