My neighborhood installed a nature trail a few years back. At the time, I remember being annoyed that my HOA dues were paying for something we weren’t even given the option to vote on. This year, however, I have seen the value of it.
It’s not a big space. I can walk through it in less than two minutes. But I can also take my time. I can observe. I can breathe deeply (not too deeply, mind you – it’s basically a swamp) and feel the stress begin to melt away.
Have you ever wondered why we take pictures of the hard stuff? Or do you find that you actually don’t take pictures of life when it’s painful? I’m somewhere in the middle.
When it comes to my own hardship, I tend to let my camera collect dust, unwilling to create any tangible reminders of what I’m going through. Sometimes, photography can be cathartic – a way to focus my mind on something other than my difficulties. But when pain is overwhelming, it’s almost like I don’t want to taint something I love so much and so I have to process and work through the hurt/anger/frustration/etc. before I can pick up my camera. That process may last a day or a month.
And that’s okay. I used to feel bad about leaving my gear on a shelf (it’s not cheap, after all) but it’s always there when I’m ready to come back to it.
Yet, in my efforts to document the childhood of my little vultures, I think nothing of photographing the broken arms, allergy testing, tears, etc.