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Being: Conscious, mortal existence; life.
Every month we welcome two families, two people, two voices to share their stories in whatever way they chose. We hope that you find joy in their daily lives, and their simple habit of just being.
When my son Thatcher was just a baby, I was visiting with a friend and inevitably found myself talking about the joys of new motherhood. His fingers! His toes! So tiny and delicious! This friend of mine, older and far wiser, said to me in return, “And I hope you’re busy taking pictures of those tiny fingers and toes.” Way back then, as the mother of one baby (we have a little girl now, too), I was indeed busy taking pictures, but standard look-at-this-adorable-face sort of photos (the type of which I still take plenty, fear not). From that moment on, I started looking with my camera not just at my baby’s face, but at all of the other bits. The not-so-obviously-great-picture bits. The hands grasping a toy, the toes wiggling in the fresh green grass. The arms reaching out to grab hold of something new.
As Thatcher has grown, the tiny baby hands and feet have grown into the tools of a toddler and now a child. And as my boy has grown, I’ve become more and more aware of the speed of this growth, and of the great pleasure it brings me to stop time, just for a blink, through the magic of photography.
I love my camera for the ability it gives me to capture a particular moment in time, to remember all of the minuscule details that otherwise fade away, to remember these silly times spent with my children, my small children who grow and change and unfold every minute of every day.
Although I am envious (I can’t help it) of big fancy cameras, mine is not. It is a very middle of the road digital SLR, with one good 50mm lens, perfect for my somewhat rough-and-tumble farming life. I am learning how to use this camera on manual. I cannot recommend this pursuit highly enough. I have not yet met a person (a parent, especially) who bemoans or begrudges the purchase of a good camera and the time spent in learning how to use it well. I have a great friend who is the mother of two daughters, one nine and the other three. After using my camera to take pictures at a party, she decided to ask her entire family to pitch in together this past Christmas to buy her a similar model. Her reaction? Should have done this years ago…
Back in the day when I used a film camera, I was a stingy photographer, always aware of the cost of the film and the cost of the developing. I took few photos, mostly dull. With digital photography, I’m freed from the constraints of one roll’s exposures. What fun! Now I can happily take hundreds of photographs and then pare them down to just a few keepers. If I were a really good photographer, I might be able to nail every frame, but I’m not, so I don’t fret. I just snap away, changing settings, checking the photos in the display (instant review – such an excellent aide!), changing more settings, checking again until I feel content with what I’ve got.
What I’m creating at home and on my blog is a priceless-to-me record of this time, these days of raising up a family on our farm, these days that do indeed fly by, these children who will never again be just as they are today.
These are the golden moments of a magical childhood, and they’re captured, held in time to be savored a week from now. A year down the road. Five decades from today. By me. By my husband and by our entire family. By friends. By these very children someday grown and gone from home. And in turn by their small children, again bursting full of new life and the wonder of it all, amazed that Dad’s hands were ever so small.
This month we welcome Sophie to the blog as a guest contributor. You can visit Sophie in her own internet space, The Joy of Farming, where she writes about her life as a farmer, wife and mother. You’ll notice that Sophie’s photographs are especially lovely, and we are so happy to have her sharing them with us this month as a part of the Being series.
Rhythm of the Home is an online magazine for families that focuses on creating with children, nature explorations, seasonal celebrations, conscious parenting, and mindfulness in all that we do. To learn more about us, please visit us on Facebook,Pinterest, and Twitter.
We welcome new submissions for our upcoming seasons. To learn more about submitting, please visit our magazine.