While we wait for this tropical storm to make its way up our coast, most people are settling in their homes for the holiday weekend. The roads are quiet. The beaches are vacant. There’s this overwhelming sense of nostalgia that passes through me… this feels like winter. It’s homey. The warmth fills me up and my eyes become heavy with tears.
I don’t know why I’m crying. There’s something about the emptiness that cuts through me. I feel alive today. My first morning away from the hospital, from my studies, from friends and family. There is only me. I take the opportunity to reunite with my camera.
Photography is different for me. I don’t aspire to become the next big shot. I don’t enjoy shooting weddings. I don’t feel right charging people for a portrait session because, for me, this is a hobby. I am terrified that the minute I turn it into a career that my passion will become lost. For all of my art (photos, drawings, paintings, etc.), I do it my way. Structure and boundaries only frustrate me. I’m not doing this to be graded on my results. I do it because it makes me feel whole. It brings me the joy that I have never found within sports or academics. It’s my own form of expression. The world through Ashley’s eyes and nobody can take it from me because it is only mine.
The luck that I have to live in a small speck of this world that is inhabited by so much beauty baffles me. Days like these remind me that this is home. My heart is here, in this impossibly salty water, sweeping in and out of the shore.
The beach today had no children laughing, no lovers playing, no daredevils getting screamed at by the lifeguards. Only me and my camera, left to capture the silence. I prefer catching the kind of moments that are so minuscule that they could easily slip away from you. Those moments between the moments. The beauty you overlook if you aren’t paying extra close attention. The bugs in the grass, the birds in the trees, the weeds waiting to be made into the next bouquet. Life is a miraculous thing.
For the record, that carnation above isn’t a weed I found. It was left on my windshield this morning by my husband (I’m guessing). I took it along with me because why not?
Also, if you want to get the real feel for this post, click this and play it while looking back through these photos:
I’ve had it on repeat the entire time I’ve been typing this because I’m pretty sure that was the song being played along my heartstrings today.