Saturday, June 29, 2013

This day

Let us ignore the elephant in the room that is my long absence from this sweet little space of mine.  Instead, let's think of today.  Well, how about we think of today and this day last year, the year before that, and the one before that?  You may remember some of these images from an earlier post.  Ever since Twila has been a wee little baby I have taken her photo... lots of photos actually.  And even though I have a few shots that I intended to take every day, every month, or every year in the same spot...the only one that stuck is the one I never planned on.

I remember the day we took the first image.  It was 2010.  She had turned one two months prior and was filled with firsts.  Her personality was starting to shine.  On this day she was introduced to the smell of roses, the swimming of Koi fish, new bugs, and smells...  We were enjoying a nice stroll when she became very excited about the little pebbles and rocks in the pathway.  She would dig one up, study it, show me, and put it back into the ground.  Occasionally she would find a special one she would hand me for safe keeping.  We frequently visited this spot.  It's a beautiful place for the senses.

2010 quickly rolled into 2011.  Looking back it feels quite like a blur.  In those moments I remember feeling that life for her was just one big moment.  For me I was feeling like it was constantly evolving.  Constantly.  More so even than now.  Twila had just turned two and we were visiting the UT Gardens often.  Now she was able to play with others, join in a weekly story and dance time.  She loved it.  We loved it.  It's a coincidence that this image was taken on the exact day a year later.  It wasn't until I saw it on my computer that I recognized the image from a year earlier.  I felt really amazed that it was the same day, the same spot, both not posed.  I hoped I would remember to shoot again the following year.

It was nice to see the path change and age along with her.  I remember when I first started to garden I heard or read something about how a plant really starts showing it's true potential, it's true nature {no pun intended} on the third year.  I've witnessed this in all the gardens I have put in since.  It's true!  And now that I have just typed those words it dawns on me that I suppose the comparison could be made for people too.  She has just turned three in this photo.  I didn't ask her to pose... I just thought we would walk down the path and see what happened.  I was shooting, she found a spot and here we are.  I don't remember what she was laughing about here.  I am thinking that she just made a joke or was laughing at something silly one of us did.  This is one of my favorite images of her.  She seems like her own person... maybe this is a special glimpse of who she will become.  This time she picked out the roses, she remembered the names of some of the kitchen herbs by scent, she nicknamed the Koi fish.

I've been thinking a lot about photos lately- in particular, photos of someone when they are little...  About looking back.  When, for example, we saw a detailed ultrasound image of her we could see facial details, expressions, movement.  Back then, staring at those images, I still couldn't imagine what she would look like.  At all.  But I look back on those images now and see her.  It looks just like her.  What's that about??  I was given the pieces but still couldn't put them together.  Now I look back and the puzzle is one.  It was always together.  It's odd to me that it takes some sort of life experience to put very obvious puzzles together sometimes.  So, here she is.  From the other day...FOUR.  We haven't been going to the gardens very much this year.  In fact, I remembered when flipping the calendar for June about this image.  The photos have a nice spot in the Family Room and I am happy that a spark occurred and we still had a couple of days to plan.  I showed Twila the photos and we reminisced about the last four years.  She was looking forward to going back and to taking the next photo.  This day she picked out her own outfit {as she does every day- whole other post...} and we were off.  We looked at the ponds and laughed at the fish.  She pointed out the Roses and mentioned how she loved them because her middle name is Rose.  We talked about the vegetables and herbs, bugs, and landscape design. On our way to the Kitchen Garden we strolled along the path.  I stopped in the only shady spot so my camera wouldn't catch any glare.  Again, I didn't ask her to pose.  She stopped because I stopped and instantly found those same pebbles she's always been keen on.  I have a few photos without smiles but she happened to look up for a second after thinking something funny and I caught it.  I was so happy to once again get a natural photo of her and feel like this spot, these shots, are meant to be.  The story continues.

Oh!  Those rocks...  She hunkered down {as she's done all years prior} to scoop up the rocks.  Now, reading her thoughts before they go into motion I forecast and say, "Hey Twila, do we throw the rocks outside of the path?"  "Nooooooo" She says emphatically.  "Where do they stay?" I question.  "In the path!!" She sings loudly.  I could have read the situation wrong as the next thing she did was build a swamp with a volcano.  Same day, same path, same girl... but very little of it really felt the same.


Clare B said...

Great yearly collection! It's been so fun to watch Twilla and her personality grow from a far... feel like I still am, only through Instagram now. Nice to see that you're back in this space every now and again. I've just started my own project with E - a monumental challenge of a photo a day... of her (or her things). It's going to push me but I feel like me and my photography need a bit of a push.

StageSoul said...

I love this:). Beautiful, Anika. I already understand what you mean about the pieces being there from the start, but needing the time/experience to put them a new mama, I am so excited and honored to watch my own little puzzle take form. May we find our own magical time machine garden...;)!

Anika said...

Thanks so much Clare. I feel the same way about E! They are the best motivators to get a photo project like that underway and to keep inspiration going :)

Anika said...

So sweet as always Tia, thank you :)

Yes, so much to look forward to!!