Papa gave him his first dandelion.
She picked this delicate bouquet and brought it inside the house at Gousty. “Let’s leave it as a surprise for Grandmommy,” I said.
“No, Mama,” she said. “I picked this for you.”
Picking dutch man’s britches in the evening light — wearing her boots, her jammies, and “mama’s cloak.”
Why does she call it a cloak? I love that she calls it a cloak.
I find myself taking an extra lot of photos of her lately. Is it my way of meditating on her? She seems to be wanting something more from me. Always wanting. Wanting.
I am trying to hold the space.
Letting her want.
Wanting to give. But not always to give what she wants.
The first bouquet of the season.
Her little hands. Not so little any more.
One of the most difficult parts of adding baby Wallace to our family has been telling her to “be quiet” so often. I don’t like to tell her to be quiet. I like her voice. Even when it is loud — which it often is. But babies sleep a lot. And our baby is easily awoken by high-pitched squeals of delight or dismay.
There was a lot of waking up today. And a lot of . . .
“Use a quiet voice.”
“Please talk softly.”
Oh, I don’t like to be a broken record, hushing my child again and again. I want to hear her voice. I want to hear her thoughts.
Here is the very same Queen Anne I took a photo of last week. Now she is laden with ice crystals, bending under the soon-to-appear morning sun. February has arrived and with it the light. Sunshine makes many things that felt just too heavy in January feel possible again. I love the promise of this month.
It’s gray and colder than I thought it would be when I was inside looking out. I really wanted to go outside to take photos today, but now that I’m outside I want to go back in. I’m longing for sunshine or at least a little more light and warmth, but I am standing in the midst of the front meadow among familiar shades of gray on white.
I think about Garen’s beautiful photos of dead plants. Plant skeletons bathed in light. He has a couple images of Queen Anne’s Lace flowers that I particularly like. I love Queen Anne’s Lace in all the seasons; the tips of the faded flowers are just visible now above the level of snow. I bend down to look closely.
January is nearing its end and I know that February is usually a month of winter light. Here in northern Michigan we really notice the shift in February. Even the chickens start laying eggs again. But I remind myself that we’re still in January and I don’t want to wish this month away. I want to be present here; that is a big reason for this 365 project. So I take photos with my cold fingers of naked Queen Anne’s Lace against the white landscape.
Some of my favorite photos on instagram are scenes of everyday life taken from above. Meals, projects, books, desk tops (the old fashioned kind), crafts — I love to see what other families are creating, reading, cooking . . .
Inspired by this view of the world, I’ve been documenting the tops of our busy tables — capturing a visual reminder of what occured before one project was cleared away to make room for the next. And I’ve found myself with a growing series of these images.
Most of my photos “from above” include little hands, which puts everything into context. These wonderful little hands were here, doing all these interesting little things.
Documenting helps me to notice the details and pay attention to the creative process unfolding every day all around me. And they notice when I notice. They notice that I’m interested in their projects and because of that, they delve more deeply into them.
Also, the view from above doesn’t look quite so much like a mess, does it?