I was really excited about this week’s lesson. The assignment was to pick a starting point and walk 100 steps, 3 to 5 times. At the end of 100 steps, stop, and frame photos from varying perspectives right where you are. I also took along my iPhone to see what different perspectives I might have with a different type of camera.
The writing assignment to go with it was on gratitude.
Turns out, I had a bigger lesson in gratitude than I expected. Three days in a row I started from a different spot – day one from my front porch, day two from my back porch and day three from William’s grave. I set out from each of my starting spots with a hopeful optimism that I would end up somewhere beautiful and take photos that just might win a prize in an art competition.
As my journey into motherhood, where I ended up was not even close to what I expected or hoped for. My first day took me to the middle of my backyard, with a view of wilting peas, a slowly rotting porch swing and an overgrown stack of logs. My second day took me to a suburban sidewalk next to a stone gravel drive. The third journey was so uninspiring I started over, and ended up no more inspired than in my first spot.
Staying true to my assignment, I had to start looking about me for things that could be beautiful, even when all I could find were weeds and vast expanses of grass. That is exactly the lesson I’ve been learning about gratitude as I’ve walked through the days since William. While it would be easy to sit and feel there was nothing to be grateful for in my situation, there is no growth and no joy in that sort of life – indeed there is no future. I won’t pretend that being grateful has been easy. You’ll remember my thoughts on the popular book 1000 Gifts, which weren’t exactly my most gracious sentiments. But every day I’ve found so many things to be grateful for. And on my 100 step walks, I found that there were some beautiful things to be found in the mundane places I found myself.
In the end, all of these photos came from my camera. I wasn’t happy with the quality of my iPhone photos, as I found that from the locations I found myself I needed more zoom capabilities than my phone could provide. All of these photos were edited with Picasa.