I met this girl 8 years ago when her big brother went and stole my heart and made me part of his family. I always loved the little sister I got out of marriage, and she's practically all grown up now. The gorgeous lady she has become makes me so proud. I'm proud of her for being so much spunk and passion and humor. I'm proud of how hard working, intelligent, independent and adventurous she is. I'm really proud to have watched her learn to love herself for the beautiful girl that she is. She got back up when life kicked her in the face. She showed the world that she's strong and that she's courageous enough to believe in herself. She makes me so proud of how far she's come and where she's going.
"There's a light that shines when I'm on the road There's a brand new sky where I need to go I'm reading signs and I'm seeing patterns in the snow As I walk into the great unknown." --Rachel Platten
It's Spring here in Wisconsin, and in spite of a mild Winter, Spring has become harsh and cold. I hate cold so bad that I tend to avoid it all costs. But the way the setting sunlight filters through the woods at the edge of our yard on sunny days always beckons me to come and capture it.
It was a windy Sunday, and I had foolishly strained a muscle in my leg doing some calf exercise the day before because sometimes I pretend I'm an athlete. The simple ability to walk was highly restricted and there was a breezy expanse of cold and a yard to hobble through to get to these woods where the poison ivy is abundant and radical even before it begins to grow.
But the light!
It danced and flickered in the breeze, teasing me and taunting me. Light in all of its glory intrigues me to no end. Staring at it for any length of time makes my shutter finger itch. I needed to capture it. I wasn't even sure how I would, because how much beauty is there really to be found in the dank, dead, snow-trampled overgrowth of last Summer's poison ivy? I knew I would find something though, if I overcame the obstacles that were my excuses. The only thing worse than the cold, wind and a strained muscle in that moment was not breathing in this beautiful thing that was making the woods glisten with my camera.
As I put the brambles in my viewfinder and aimed towards the sun magical things started happening. The light. It pierced rays of rainbows into the colorless forest floor and made the burrs and ugly scraggly weeds sparkle. Moments like this is where I find myself.
My best work somehow happens when I'm weak, which leads me to believe that you can never underestimate your powers. Even in your darkest moments, you can find the light that makes your soul breathe. When life kicks your butt, let it ignite your passion. Find the light, ignite the light, be the light.
"We are all broken, that's how the light gets in." --Ernest Hemingway
My brother Zack came to spend the day with us. What better way to spend it than visiting the Govin's Lambing Barn on the last weekend of the season? We had a great time and everybody got their fill of baby cuddles and even a few kisses.
I'm a mom. 5 years and some odd months ago when I obtained said appellation, I was also awarded this big heavy medallion that comes with the territory. Intricately etched deep within this glorious pin that was stabbed into my heart there's a huge word. It starts with a W, ends with a Y, and in between there's a vowel, two consonants and a long line of anxiety.
And like probably all females of my maternal status, my biggest worry is always that I'm not enough for these sweet rambunctious things who are in my charge. I'm not present enough, I don't always know how to be gentle enough, I'm not listening enough, I'm not organized enough, I'm not disciplined enough, I don't model enough kindness and compassion, I never have enough time to be everything that they need me to be... Also I don't know enough about airplanes or slaying evil with butter knives to know how to answer all of their detailed questions about those hot topics.
But then I look out the window and I see them trying to rescue a worm who has presumably lost his way and is suffering in the cold Spring rain. To (now this is totally a wild guess here)the rest of us, it is just a worm. Just. Like you don't get any more decumbent than a worm. Who really even notices worms, much less cares if that spindly little pathetic slimy one drowning in the drive way makes it back to his home in the cold dark world beneath the grass before the frost sets in again?
As I watch them trying to tenderly guide this small uncomprehending, bane-of-the-earth creature back to safety I realize that they understand what it means to care for and respect even the "least of these". Somehow, somewhere along the line, we are getting something right. In spite of my failings, I see them changing their world with compassion, one worm at a time. I am enough.
That reality alone is empowering, and perhaps I could learn how to be as gentle with myself as they are to the little lost worm that nobody cares about.
He makes her feel like dancing, and her infectious giggle entices him to hold her close as their fingers intertwine. She hums as they rhythmically guide each other, creating their own special dance. The wrinkles in her nose when he makes her laugh tell the story of her adoration for him. She loves adventure, and he loves her love of adventure. His gentle strength keeps her calm and focused. Together they choreograph the sort of love story that will last. As their feet tap the pavement, moving each other and dancing together they breathe in the breathtaking moments that are the stepping stones to a joyous ever after. They are best friends. There's a wedding coming in October. There will be dancing and laughter, and their love will sparkle in all of the glitter. When the final flecks of glitter have been swept up and all the messy details of wedding and planning are over, there's two hearts with one love and the tenacity to dance forever.
It was so much fun to hang out with this fun couple as we clamored all over Eau Claire to capture their love in some spectacular ways. They take their love of adventure seriously, even in a photoshoot. From the rocky ridges cutting out the river along Phoenix Park, to Grand Avenue Cafe where the barista served up a gorgeous pair of their "prettiest drink ever", then we were off to one of the named coldest places in the U.S along the Putnam Park trails, and tried not to get lost in the confusing maze of the UW campus.