It is so good.
My number one reason for taking this class was that I knew I needed a little Andrea energy in my inbox a few days a week. Her writing deeply moves me and I appreciate the way she pairs fun and joy with truth and realness. Yes. So as February gave way to March and the rain rain rain would keep drip drip dripping around here, I knew this class would inspire me, and I anticipated that Andrea's words would speak right to where I am on my path. (I was right. So so good.)
When I signed up though, I knew that I wouldn't have much time for solo photography adventures, so my plan was (and continues to be) to tuck Andrea's tips and wisdom into my creative toolbox to pull out when I have more time. Still, I hoped and planned to get a few photo walks on my schedule and take Ellie with me on a few walks near our home and at Point Defiance Park.
However, the last few weeks unfolded differently than expected as our babysitter's schedule changed a bit due to sports and I found myself needing more rest than an adventure or two and on days when we could have gotten outside, the rain rain rain came down. Then, just when the weather turned warm and sunny and I was so hopeful that we would get out to the park or take a walk in the woods, Ellie's needs and "I am almost two" ways became such that we needed to stay home and dance out (or nap out) the grumps.
Last week as I sat on the floor with Ellie "playing" (one of her new favorite words), I looked at the blue sky through the window, and honestly, I began to pout in my head just a bit because I knew the day would not involve me heading out into that sun alone with my camera.
At some point in the midst of "What does the cow say?" and "Be gentle with Millie. Thank you," I remembered what I have so often told others to do when they say they don't have time for a photography date and thought about what Andrea would probably say to me: Just take 10 minutes and go on a photography adventure in your backyard.
Ellie and I bundled up and grabbed some snacks just like we were heading out to the park, and I gave myself the assignment of finding as many shades of green that I could see because, honestly, I knew this assignment would be easy on an almost Spring day here in the Pacific Northwest. Capturing the green might not be the easy part, but finding it would be. Sometimes the easy assignment is the way to go when you just need light.ness and fun more than anything else.
I almost always have my camera with me when we go outside, and we go outside almost every day...but I needed this shift to see it as an assignment of sorts to refill the well. Of course it is all in how you look at it, but the woman in toddlerland that I am most days needed this reframing.
Ellie sat contently in a chair snacking while I snapped away. And for those few minutes, I really was on a bit of a solo photography adventure. Then she joined me for some exploration of the different textures on the trunk of our maple tree.
And somewhere out in the backyard as I snapped these photos, I began to think about how Ellie Jane and I have quite a bit in common in the stages we are navigating in our worlds. She is in that toddler stage where her will and desire are greater than her abilities and understanding of the world. And in many ways, my desire to create and write and share is so much bigger than the time I have to actually do these things.
This afternoon, as I take a few hours to write and work on the to do list, I am giving myself this blessing that I plan to write on my bathroom mirror so I will see it each day: May I be as patient with myself as I am with her...