I started driving my daughter to school each morning with great ambition. I wasn’t going to be that mom in her pj’s. I woke early, ran, showered, and dressed in something that wouldn’t embarrass a teenage girl. My Jeep joined the parade of parents, as we smiled and mumbled about one another’s driving.
Then it got colder in the mornings. And darker. And rainier. Exercise happened after I dropped her off. And I wasn’t sleeping well. By October I stumbled into jeans, a sweater, and slip-on shoes in time to squeegee the windows and haul teenager to school.
Eventually I will make friends and worry about being recognized, but for now, I go to school with a mess of uncombed natural curly hair. My neighbor, Sandy, calls it Chia Hair because when curly hair gets moist, it grows like a Chia pet. And it’s always moist in Seattle.
My stylist (OK, my daughter) tells me to never, ever, EVER comb curly hair, but I’m never sure what to do when I don’t have time to shower, use product, and let it dry naturally. If I comb it I look like Roseanne Roseannadanna. Without combing, it looks like a mop, or so my dear Daddy loves to tease me. Why, yes, I did write a whole blog post about my family making fun of me.
The fog and fall colors were too beautiful to be ignored. I dropped off teenager and went home for my camera. I drove around my beautiful city stopping to bend, sit, and squat in attractive photographer’s poses, then hitch my jeans back into respectability. After seeing about the 50th person I remembered I hadn’t even fingered through my hair to straighten out the morning snarls.
But on this particular day, my hair didn’t matter.
I drove a few blocks up the hill to see my neighborhood cottoned in fog. The Cascade Mountains jag the horizon.
On a precariously steep drive, with only guard rails between careless drivers and houses below, branches point downward to the beauty they frame.
From the ant’s view, a sunbreak silhouettes strands of grass and illuminates leaves.
No need for a life guard. At the bottom of the hill, the fog chose various destinations. Puffy bits tucked into cedar trees and other masses wrapped around homes like the overprotective mom who mummies her child in a a scarf before sending them outside. Blankets of fog covered all the homes on the west shore as if covering all manmade glory to display only the natural beauty.
A morning chat on the walking dock. The first rule of photography I like to break is the “don’t shoot into the sun” rule. I love the starkness it creates.
Wait for it… wait for it! Most of the time on a photo shoot is spent waiting for something interesting to happen to add spark to a setting. This isn’t as thrilling as a drug-deal I captured in downtown Seattle and have been too scared to publish, but the jogger provided movement and a touch a humanity.
Framing a picture using naturally occurring “frames” is a fun photo challenge. This walker posed the fog’s calm, pensive mood.
The same thing, only different. I love the street view. Sometimes I even set my camera on the ground. I wasn’t a great student in Geometry class, sorry Mr. Twaddle, you tried hard to get it through my head, but I am drawn to shapes and lines in my photography.
The fog gave way to blue skies and the promise of another beautiful fall day.
Since Horace first wrote those magical words “carpe diem” in 23 BC, we’ve all heard motivation to “seize the day.” My mind rebels and says, “But, I don’t have time to seize a whole day. I have too much adulting to do.”
I missed Horace’s point. He didn’t say “Take a whole day off and relax.” He didn’t say, “Ignore your duties and pamper yourself.” He said “Seize the day.” Whatever your day holds, enjoy it. Embrace it. Make the most of it.
Make your life extraordinary.
I have to admit, during times of great sorrow or physical suffering, I wish the days away. I don’t want to get out of bed, let alone live the day to the fullest. When we view the day as a gift from God our hearts and minds are changed.
It’s a gift that needs to be used well.
We seize the day by controlling the attitudes and actions we can and accepting those we can’t. For me, it’s making time for my loves, the Creator, creating, and being in creation. It also means fulfilling my daily duties so they don’t pile up and overwhelm me.
After seizing the day with my camera, it was time to go home and seize the adulting. And deal with the ‘do.