I took the Littles to the park this week to capture pictures for the annual Christmas card. It had been several years since I had even taken my camera out of the bag. It had possibly even been since the above picture, which was taken about 5 years ago, right before we moved to Oregon (and back). I strolled through the pictures left on the memory card and found countless snapshots of various ages and stages. One picture of my Grantman in a onesie, accessorized by a scarf that his beloved Granny made – I could almost hear his toddler giggle, and could feel his little arms around my neck and I remembered the way he would nuzzle in when I picked him up. Another picture of a birthday party at our last house, where Emmabean was helping 2 year-old Grant blow out the candles (because surely ALL Birthdays belonged to her;). I remembered the way she would purse her lips to blow, and inevitably create a shower effect for a half-mile radius. “Fo ME?” she would say. Yes, my sweet girl, the world is yours.
Holding the camera in my hands again, and capturing my beautiful babies from different angles and perspectives, made me fall in love with them all over again. It’s a (mostly;) daily phenomenon for me. It also reminded me of how much I enjoy breathing in the beauty of life through the lens. Maybe it’s in pausing to notice Emma’s eyelashes, or to rediscover the few faint freckles on Grant’s cheeks. This week in the park, it was all about the vibrant fall colors and the way the trees were breaking up with the leaves, literally, before our eyes. I was at peace, and absolutely in the moment (frame by frame) with that camera in my hands.
While getting re-acquainted with my camera, I was reminded that life really is a series of snapshots. Some moments leave you in awe of the beauty that this world can hold, and others leave you breathless at how sharp the edges. Obviously, I’ve recently been revisiting the sharp edges of my early years. Trust that I know – I’m not defined by those moments. Those moments were chapters in my book, but they don’t get to create my title. I’m not still stuck in that grief. I’ve handed the moments that I can’t make sense of, over to God, but I can’t just erase or bury those snapshots and pretend they didn’t exist. I am entirely aware that I am holding the camera. I get to create and choose my snapshots for the future. I don’t have all the answers, and I haven’t planned every frame, but I know without a doubt, my snapshots will be beautiful. They will be good.