Monday, May 11, 2015

Life by a Grain of Salt

I look at this picture and I feel the warmth of the moment. The sunlight fills the air with an assurance that all is well. A salt and pepper set rests on a plaid tablecloth that somehow just feels grounded, classic, and timeless. 

Reflecting back on this image, I realize that the camera captured what I failed to see. I was preoccupied with a messed up double order of orange juice, the nasty taste of my sandwich, and unconsumed food on my children's plates. The unimportant noise of the day received my attention as a symphony played at my table. 

Quiet, simple moments are the memories that will linger. I remember bulky photo-albums that held pictures that were intentional. Memories were captured with effort with film loaded, wound, flash connected, and finally film dropped off and picked up a week later. Everyone smiled, collars were smoothed, and the memory was fixed into paper.

Pictures are cheap now, but our time is no less valuable. I take a moment today to remember those things like sunlight silhouetting those I love and the permanence of salt and pepper resting on a dinner table. Such quiet symbols that remind us of memories as powerful bits that shape our future.

I remember the salt and pepper shakers that sat on the small table of my Grandpa Harry and Mammaw Mack. My family spent many dinners there, centered often around corn-bread or biscuits. I can envision the salt-shakers of my home growing up, on the tables of my university, and even on the tables of Russia, China, and Guatemala. Each place comes with powerful, life-shaping memory.

I want my children to have these sorts of meaningful, warm memories that link their lives. There must be some sort of consistent thread that roots us into identity as we set out to explore the world. So what must be the salt of our lives? What captures our days and our moments? 

It's time today to dismiss the noise and pay attention to the symphony of life that plays at our table. 
11 years ago today. A moment captured in film.
The day we received our daughter in Orekevo-Zuevo.

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