It was an unusual weekend. This will be an unusual post for Bountiful Healing.
My oldest son, daughter-in-law, and granddaughter (the Exquisite Emma) came for a visit this weekend.
Normally when they come for a visit we go out and do something that might appeal to a 2-year-old girl. The zoo, the county fair, and in the case of this weekend, the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.
Also normally, during the course of the weekend I take about 300 photos of Emma, out of which I get about 8-10 great shots. Emma is a wonderful subject and very photogenic, but she’s a 2-year-old who is almost constantly in motion. Plus I prefer candid shots over the posed variety. Posing has its moments and its purposes, but the best photographs are usually candid shots. Occasionally (twice so far) I put together a little booklet for Emma with photos from the weekend. The first booklet was A Visit to the Zoo where there were shots of the animals as well as Emma and her parents. The second was Emma Goes to the County Fair, again with shots of the animals as well as Emma, her parents, and Grandpa and me (<–Grandma).
Taking that many photos means I spend a lot of time following Emma around as if she’s Miss Hollywood with me playing the role of the paparazzi constantly snapping and flashing. Taking that many photos also means I’m not really spending good quality time with Emma.
On Friday our youngest son left for a geology field trip in West Virginia. It involved camping, hiking, and mapping some mountains. Because it is the time of year for leaf-peeping(TM), he asked if he could borrow my camera for the trip.
The idea of loaning out my camera for the entire weekend was not the least bit appealing to me. I was worried my son would lose the camera or break it as he was climbing around on some mountain. I already lost the lens cap on our last great hiking adventure. It broke off the strap and popped off the lens during a rough stretch of hiking when I was paying more attention to my footing and my own safety than that of the camera. I haven’t replaced it yet which meant another worry.
But the main thing was that I’ve gotten so used to carrying the camera around that it’s almost become a part of me.
Who knew that taking photographs could become so addictive?
Not that it’s a bad addiction to have. Realizing that I didn’t want to let go of the camera for even a few days was a sure sign that I needed to do it.
So, I’ve been without a camera all weekend. I don’t have one photograph taken by me of Emma’s first experience with the circus. I don’t have one shot (taken by me) of the incredibly colorful and entertaining circus clowns or other acts. There will be no Emma Goes to the Circus book from this weekend. Or Emma Meets Izzy & Bella (the kittens).
I briefly (and vocally) lamented the fact that I was sans camera when we arrived at the Q to find that for most of the hour prior to the show they opened up the floor (or rings, since this is a circus) to the audience so they can interact with the performers, get autographs, take pictures, etc. I missed many up close and personal photo ops.
We had fantastic seats. I missed many more up close and personal photo opportunities. Emma was enthralled. I could have taken a lot of good shots of the look of wonder on her face as the trapeze artists went flying through the air or the smiles when Bello was performing. I missed a few good photos of Bello, for that matter.
Even so, I don’t regret the decision to spend a weekend without the camera hanging around my neck. It was a good decision with ultimately good consequences.
Main lesson learned from the experience: I enjoyed being in the moment rather than trying to capture and save the moment.
Instead of photos, I have a weekend filled with playtime, tickles, hugs, kisses, giggles, and lots of laughter, all shared with Emma. Instead of photos, I watched the circus performances and the various looks on Emma’s face. Instead of photos, I participated in the experiences of the weekend. Instead of photos, I have the gift of time spent with some of the people I love most in this world.
So, in case you’re still wondering what it is, the unusual thing about this post is: the lack of photos.
It might well be my best post yet, as far as I’m concerned.
Not to worry, though. Regular posting of photographs will resume tomorrow.