I recently participated in my first family portrait session with a professional photographer. It was a gift from my lovely sister, given to us when our son was born.
To be honest, I was a little bit nervous about the event. The random thoughts that permanently rest in the ‘photography aisle’ of my brain started to emerge. Maybe I need a haircut, I thought. Or, maybe we should wait until I feel less tired.
Despite my procrastination, the day of the portrait session came and it actually turned out to be a lot of fun. Our photographer, Poppy, excelled in the art of making us feel relaxed and comfortable to the point that I almost forgot the camera was there.
The photos were taken along a park trail at Cattle Point against a backdrop of tall grasses and pale yellow hues. Poppy mainly captured natural and spontaneous moments as they happened. The hour flew by and left us feeling energized.
Two weeks after the portrait session, Poppy came to our house to give us a slide show presentation of the pictures she had taken. And, this is when one nice thing happened: I got to see love from a bird’s-eye view.
According to Wikipedia, a bird’s-eye view is
an oblique view of an object from above, with a perspective as though the observer were a bird, often used in the making of blueprints, floor plans and maps.
During the slide show, a map unfolded. As the photos faded in and out, they mapped a part of my life just as it was right then in that moment. My family. Two people I adore. Our son holding up a seashell to the sky. My partner examining something in the grass with a boy who has already been with us almost a year. Poppy captured smiles filled with so much glee I could cry. And I did cry a little. The feeling struck me suddenly and without warning. There they are, I thought. Wow, there they are.
It is in December for some reason that I tend to think most about the people who have come and gone throughout my life. This year, I am grateful once again for the miracles that have crossed my path and for everyone who touches a part of my world and is part of my map. Some of you are continents away and others are right here next to me. Some of you remain only in my memory, yet remain.
This is what a family portrait session with Poppy reminded me.
As Pablo Neruda in Sonnet XVII says:
I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where,
I love you simply, without problems or pride:
I love you in this way because I don’t know any other way of loving
but this, in which there is no I or you,
so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand,
so intimate that when I fall asleep it is your eyes that close.
This week and always, love is one nice thing.