“I wonder how life will surprise me today”
~India Arie (A Beautiful Day)
I have always loved the idea of photography as being a way of taking an instant out of time, and preserving that moment forever. By freezing time in this way, a photograph can show something that may not normally be seen in day-to-day life, and can make an ordinary subject extraordinary.
January 22. I looked out the window and my world was covered in hoar frost. I looked up the definition of hoar frost, a deposit of ice crystals on objects exposed to the free air, such as grass blades, tree branches, or leaves. It is formed by direct condensation of water vapour to ice at temperatures below freezing and occurs when air is brought to its frost point by cooling. That may be the scientific explanation but to me it was another day to get out my camera. A magical world preserved forever in a photograph. My brain was exploding with ideas and bubbles…
Was it cold enough out for the bubbles to freeze? I had already discovered that the colder the weather, the more the snowflakes danced inside the bubble snow globes. Temperature wise the air was warmer today. What would happen in the hoar frost?
It took a lot longer for the bubbles to freeze. There was a breeze that morning, so the bubbles broke before I could capture them. The frost patterns and shapes were different that morning. Then life surprised me again and I captured a bubble exploding. My photograph showed something that happened so quickly that my mind couldn’t capture it (1/640 of a second) – a soap bubble with one part completely intact and the other part made up of separate swirls of liquid as it burst.
With every new day and every new bubble comes a unique new pattern and shape. And then your camera freezes that one moment, an extraordinary surprise.
“I wonder how life will surprise me today
Early in the morning
It’s the dawn of a new day
New hopes new dreams new ways
I open up my heart and
I’m gon’ do my part and
Make this a positively beautiful day”
New Year’s morning. With the windchill, it was -46 out. We had been in a deep freeze for too many days and with no end in sight. I can only stay inside so many days so I needed a reason to get excited about life. Not that my life was terrible. I had my family, friends, great books to read and a warm fireplace to curl up by. Some days, though, you just need to wake up in the morning with new dreams and a few challenges to conquer.
Then I remembered a picture I’d seen several days earlier. Bubbles. Frozen bubbles. I had everything I needed. I could practice making bubble mixtures and I had lots of cold, frigid cold, air just outside my door. The colder the better. It seemed like such a simple project. Who knew that there were so many different bubble mixtures on the internet. Looking for glycerin when all the pharmacies were out was an interesting trip in itself. And I knew it was cold out but I never realized how cold until I was trying to blow bubbles, and focus my macro lens all within a very short time and with an even shorter depth of field. It took about 10 seconds for each bubble to freeze. There was a lot of trial and (mostly) error on my part and frozen fingers.
With every new bubble comes a unique new pattern and shape. The bubbles spin and dance as they react to the cold. Geometric crystals flutter across their surface like flakes in a snow globe.
So for the past several weeks this has been my challenge, my new hope and dream. To capture the bubbles as they suddenly freeze in motion, overtaken by the cold, but still so incredibly beautiful.
She danced into my life when she was six years old. Fast forward twelve years… it was a perfect June day. You know the kind of day you dream of…when you can feel the warmth of the sun on your face. You can smell the blossoms in the air. Clouds were chasing each other across a deep blue sky. Not only was Chloe still dancing, but it was her graduation day.
“Dream” by Priscilla Ahn is one of the first songs she danced too.
“I was a little girl alone in my little world…I had a dream that I could fly.”
“Dancing is like dreaming with your feet.”
“Sometimes it amazes me
How strong the power of love can be
Sometimes you just take my breath away.”
There is something about a newborn child that just takes your breath away. And his Mom would be able to tell you all about how strong a mother’s love is for her child.
“If you ever find yourself stuck in the middle of the sea
I’ll sail the world to find you
If you ever find yourself lost in the dark and you can’t see
I’ll be the light to guide you”
“You can count on me like 1, 2, 3
I’ll be there
And I know when I need it
I can count on you like 4, 3, 2
You’ll be there”
Five days old, so sweet and so loved.
Image the adventures these three will have growing up together.
And may you always count on each other to be there.
They say yellow is the colour of happiness, wisdom and imagination. People who love yellow have sunny personalities, are cheerful and fun to be with. They are creative and happen to have their heads in the clouds much of the time. And yellow also just happens to be my niece, Nicky’s favourite colour. Nicky is all of these things and more.
Nicky is yellow!
“Look at the stars,
Look how they shine for you,
And all the things that you do.”
In my life, weddings and rain seem to go hand in hand. It rained on my wedding day. I remember my grandma telling me I would have a long, happy marriage. The logic behind this belief is that a wet knot is more difficult to untie. (Getting married is often referred to as “tying the knot”.)
I love weddings! July, 2014…we left home on a bright sunny morning to attend my niece’s wedding in the same little church where I was married. And I had been asked to capture the little things, the wedding portraits and the special moments…so that years from now they could look back on their wedding day and remember.
About an hour from home, the skies opened up and it began to rain again. By the time we reached Eyebrow it was pouring! Not the kind of day that you would choose for a wedding, especially as the bride had dreamed of an outdoor reception.
Her parents will remember the month of rain that fell before the wedding and how they tried to get the yard ready. We will all remember how the sun broke through the clouds just as Darren and Vanessa walked out of the church. And the beautiful evening as we all celebrated their wedding!
We wish them much joy and happiness as they begin making new memories together…like wearing rubber boots to get around the farm.
“Do you remember when we first met? I sure do.
It was some time in early …
Do you remember?”
“These boots are made for walking, and that’s just what they’ll do
One of these days these boots are gonna walk all over you.”
She loved the pearls. But once she saw the boots and put them on, there was no way she was taking them off. So who says you can’t wear tutus and boots!
“Are you ready boots? Start walkin’!”
Sometimes people come into your life for a SEASON . . .Because your turn has come to share, grow, or learn. They bring you an experience of peace, or make you laugh. They may teach you something you have never done. They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy. Believe it! It is real! But, only for a season.
And sometimes it’s only for a week. But in that week, her art touched many of the people who found their way to that part of the beach. For some, it reminded them of the beauty of life. For others, her art lifted them up when they were down. It inspired all of us to become better people.
She came in the quiet of the early morning, before the tide came in. I spent some time with her most mornings and learned a bit about the fine art of creating in the sand. It can’t be too wet or too dry. It has to be the right texture and maybe if you are lucky, there will be some black sand running through the gold. She left her art for all to see until the waves gently took it away. And then the next morning, she began again.
You can see more of her work on Facebook “Posts by Post”.
“Then, I am still and wait here in the silence,
Until you come and sit awhile with me.
You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong, when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up… To more than I can be.”
Christmas is over and it’s cold outside. And as I sit here, I think about my family. A week ago we sent Amanda and her husband, Tyler off on a new adventure. Sometimes it’s hard to see our kids grow up. And, honestly, some days I don’t feel blessed. But as a friend told me the other day, “It’s hard to watch our kids grow up and leave on their own adventures, but it’s so wonderful that we can wave goodbye knowing that we have raised them to be strong and independent.” And so, today, instead of feeling lonely, I am sitting here thinking about how blessed we are every day.
These pictures remind me of Amanda and Matt when they were young. Matt is everything to his sister. These images bring back some wonderful memories of my kids. And so yes, I am blessed. I hope these two are everything to each other. And when their parents are wondering if they will ever get another full night’s sleep, I hope they too will feel blessed.
“I get kissed by the sun each morning
Put my feet on a hardwood floor
I get to hear my kids laughing
Down the hall through the bedroom door…
I have been blessed
And I feel like I’ve found my way
I thank God for all I’ve been given
At the end of every day.”