Photo Challenge

I am addicted to my camera. Anyone with regular invites to our online photo-album knows that I take more photos than one has a right to be taking. There are some that think this habit of mine started when we had kids.

Not true.

I have more photos of my Siberian husky in the snow, autumn leaves, flowers, various landscapes and so on than you can imagine. Vacations? I need a roll per day. I am truly a candidate for a digital camera. I've been holding out until we can afford a digital SLR. Today at the movies we watched an ad for one such camera. Bruce leaned over and "Next you'll be wanting one of those huh?"

I whispered back "It'd sure be cheaper?" It took him a minute to realize I was speaking about film and development costs for my addiction.

All that, just to say it seemed natural to play along when Carmi issued a challenge of sorts (maybe "encouragement" is more appropriate?) to
"Please walk through a neighborhood - your own or a new one - with a camera and post an image to your blog. Feel free to share in words what you were thinking as you took the shot."

This is a photo I took when we brought the kids to see the lighthouse last weekend. We were walking together on the long spanse of beach when I saw the surf breaking over a smattering of rocks beaten smooth by the pulsing tides.

I grew up at the shore. My childhood home and now my children's childhood home is about 2 hours from the lighthouse/beach in this photo. Yet this beach is not all that different than the one we frequent quite often - the one that is less than 5 miles from our house.

Certainly one's childhood home does not always resonate. Some can't wait to escape theirs. For me, though, it's very comfortably and completely home. When I saw the water rolling over the rocks last week I had to take the photo. It just called to me on so many levels.

I remember the first time I was laid off. It sucked. I was heartbroken and steeped in self-pity. Everyone in my little world had headed off to work and I was left alone, unemployed and bummed. My car seemed to just know where to go - to the beach. The particular beach I stopped at was dotted with jetties. I climbed up on one of the huge rocks and walked out far enough to be surrounded on three sides by water.

It was the first time it really sank in - the power the ocean had over me. I closed my eyes and I suddenly felt so connected. Not just to the water, but to the God that sometimes seemed a bit abstract to me when I sat in church. Here, surrounded by this awesome raw power that could give life and take life, I felt at peace. I felt whole. I felt connected to the One that created it. That peace stayed with me when I left that beach.

Last week I watched the surf roll in and out over those rocks a few times. I bent down and retrieved a few of the nicer stones for my son's growing rock collection. I held one of those stones in my hand, rubbing a finger over it's smooth surface still glossy with salt water. I started to feel a bit introspective, even, dare I saw, a bit philosophical. This water was like life. Those rocks were like us. The surf could beat the living daylights out of those rocks - pounding it, brutalizing it, wearing it down. But, and it's a big but, at the end of the day, those rocks were beautiful. These once simple, unimpressive stones shone with a unique beauty when the pounding was done.

The rocks in the photo are at various stages of life. Some are still rather insignificant and unassuming. Others are starting to glean in the sunlight. Then there are those, perhaps not quite done justice in this image, that make a young rock collector want to grab them up as a prize - simple, pure, delightful beauty.


Star said...

HI Sandy. Thanks for dropping by. From your posts and pictures I am guessing you are from the east coast. I am from Philly and was one of those suummer "shobees" that invaded the shore. Your children sound precious. It's great that you have written down those little antecdotes so you can always remember them.

Ally said...

Nice picture and nice post!
Here via Michele's.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

BEAUTIFUL! I am here from Michele..sort of...Just a bit earlier tonight on someone elses blog I commented on a gorgeous photo or two of the ocean, and said, this, kind of...'If someone is unsure if there is a God, just walk on the beach and watch the ocean move..Someone with GREAT GIFTS had to have made the beauty and power of that!' or words to that effect.
You said it so very beautifully.
Glad I stopped by....

Zee said...

What a lovely, moving post. Thanks for sharing, Sandy.

I loved what you wrote about the rocks mirroring the different stages in your life. I usually think about rocks the same way too, and I collect them. They all have a story they tell, don't they?

expatmama said...

Beautiful post!