Nothing puts things in perspective faster than realizing it is the second week of December and yet again I haven't started on the family photo calendars. It wouldn't be so bad if it was just our family's calendar I had to make, I could milk that out for another week. But I also make one for my dad every year filled with photographs of barns, covered bridges and rural landscapes, my side of the family's Christmas party is Christmas Eve. So it was time to sit down at the computer and get it done.
Going back through the year in my Lightroom catalog tends to be a painful process for me. I am always a better photographer by the end of the year making me love everything I took October through December and
This year as I started at January 2016, I tried to keep an open mind and an open heart and look for the photographs that spoke to me each month. It was interesting to see the change in my work over the course of the year. January through March (the cold, snowy months) I spent a lot of time indoors working on still life projects.
April brought the arrival of a new furry
May saw the weather finally warm up and a return to day long photographic adventures for me.
June the Farmer's market was in full swing and our favorite stop every Wednesday and Saturday was Lemonjello's coffee stand and our visit with James, the man behind the airpots. Many meaningful conversations involved books, photography, jobs and job searches while pumping Six One Six or San Sebastian into our to-go cups.
August saw a return trip northward. My husband had business and I had freedom.
September signaled an end to the unbearably hot summer we had, finally I was able to explore the fields and meadows with my camera.
October brought heartbreak with the loss of my beloved Scout.
November found me committing to a 52 week photography project that is setting my creative world on fire.
And here we are December, the last month of 2016. The return of snow and cold couldn't deter me from spending a morning at the beach.
Each of these photographs is my personal favorite from each month, none of them made it into the family calendars. While each is different, they collectively tell the story of my year, my life, my journey.
Yesterday I finished my book club book a week ahead of schedule. There is one book I have been meaning to read all year, but something else always distracted me, yesterday I couldn't stop thinking about that book, so I plucked it off of the huge pile of unread books on top of my bookcase and settled on the couch with it. On the last page of the introduction I read these two paragraphs...
"Ten years ago in my Harvard lectures, I tried to listen to a single day of my life in such a way. What I propose to do now is to try listening to my life as a whole, or at least to certain moments of the first half of my life thus far, for whatever of meaning, of holiness, of God, there may be in it to hear. My assumption is that the story of any one of us is in some measure the story of us all.
For the reader, I suppose, it is like looking through someone else's photograph album. What holds you, if nothing else, is the possibility that somewhere among all those shots of people you never knew and places you never saw, you may come across something or someone you recognize. In fact -- far more curious things have happened -- even in a stranger's album, there is always the possibility that as the pages flip by, on one of them you may catch a glimpse of yourself. Even if both of those fail, there is still a third possibility which is perhaps the happiest of them all, and that is that once I have put away my album for good, you may in the privacy of the heart take out the album of your own life and search it for the people and places you have loved and learned from yourself, and those moments in the past -- many of them half forgotten -- through which you glimpsed, however dimly and fleetingly, the sacredness of your own journey."I want this last part to be my mission.
The book is The Sacred Journey by Frederick Buechner.