Wind in the Wings

I saw you today.

© Angelia's Photography

You soared over the treetops. Your sharp eyes locked mine as I watched the feathers on your breast ruffle in the wind.

You arced slowly above turning gracefully as you passed.

© Angelia's Photography

Entrancing me with your pose, you dipped, and paused for my gaze.

I knew you knew me. I knew you, too. Today, of all days, I wanted a sign. More than anything, I pleaded, let your spirit be known.

As it always is….in nature….in life….in everything wild and free.

And there you were, just as I hoped.

More majestic, and beautiful than I could ever imagine. But so perfect…so utterly perfect.

© Angelia's Photography

The wind called.

Greater heights beckoned.

You had to go.

© Angelia's Photography

Higher and higher to the heavens you must return.

I soaked in every moment with you. I watched. I followed. I wished for the wind to bring you back. Just once more by Dad, I have my camera ready now.

By then, you were just a speck in the sky.

I know, your spirit is like the wind in your wings. It takes you where you need to be.

© Angelia's Photography

You can no more deny your calling than I could stop the forces that call you.

But your beauty, your protection, and your message. It was not lost on me. And my soul yearned to fly with you.

I knew I would see you today.

If I just opened my eyes……and looked up.

Happy Birthday Dad. May your journey always continue.

I see you.

Gary L. Sims Dec 4, 1946-Dec 7, 2009

A place I return to……

I pulled through the narrow opening of the rusty swing gate. I steered the car carefully down the gravel path making the sharp left turn. I stopped and backed up going off-road, inwardly cringing I could be driving over a grave. I apologized in my head and straightened the car to face back the direction I came. The rusty white gate lay ahead in the distance. I briefly wondered if I could navigate the beast back through without a scratch…then pushed the thought aside.

I was stalling.

This is the hardest part for me. Getting out of the car and walking to the grave.

Most times I like to go alone because, with him, my emotions are raw. Too raw for me to share easily. Plus, I like talk to him. I tell him everything. Oh I know he is not there, not physically, but in my heart, I know he hears me. I know this is what I need.

I exit the car and briefly wonder if I should take my camera, then I think….no, I have my phone. The slam of the car door seems too loud in the small, quiet graveyard. I softly crunch through the yellow grass as I head towards the black stone. I glance at the other stones, and I smile sadly.

This place. Where so many cried, and yearned, and missed someone deeply. It’s not just their loved ones here, but part of them too. The part that died with them.

I approach his grave expecting the brick to hit my chest, and the burning tears to fly as my throat chokes. I wait and I smile my sad smile in remembrance of such a wonderful father and I realize………

I’m not as sad as years past.

In fact, I almost didn’t come this year. So many things to do, at home, and with the kids. Physical ailments – hives, hormones, and the stress of work on top of work.

I needed to get so many things done. I did not have time to drive six hours to Oklahoma and back to visit a grave. A stone. A stone in the ground and that is it.

Yet, here I am………because I couldn’t NOT come.

It was on a Sunday then too…..FOUR years ago……I hugged his neck for the last time.

I didn’t know it would be the last time. How could I? He was fine. He was my rock. He was always going to be there…..at least for many more years.

But in an instant. A blocked artery. A fateful night. He was gone. So suddenly.

So I come. I come on the Sunday I saw him last. I come to remember, and to thank him for all his years.

I bend down. Surprised by the peace I feel. Surprised that the years passing really do make it easier. My hand rests on the hot stone.

We talk.

And it ends as it always ends. My heart emptying out my thankfulness for his goodness, for his love, and for his shining example of strength. His handicap taught me so much about always pushing forward with your head up – no matter what.

My God, if a crippled man could do life so well. I could too. I could learn from my mistakes. I could love myself in spite of my failures….in spite of my anxieties…..in spite of my overwhelming stress of doing too much, seeking too hard, and falling over my dreams in a rush.

I feel his pride in my soul. My strength. The reason I keep my head up.

Maybe he is gone. Maybe he isn’t.

The tears drop as I turn away. In a blur, the dry dirt swallows them.

I turn to see his view and I think…how perfect.

A beautiful setting for a beautiful soul.

I whisper as I walk away….I’ll see you again…..real soon. And I smile.

Land of the Free

…because of the brave.

    Heroes
    By Jared Jenkins

    In war, there are lives risked and lives taken.
    Men and women giving their best to defend what they love.
    They defend their country.
    Their honor.
    Their people.

    Some call them soldiers.
    Others call them heroes.

    Our veterans have risked their lives for us.
    They have lived through hell and fought with honor,
    Many have killed,
    And regret doing so…

    For every life, there is a soul.
    For every soul, there is a life.
    For those who have died, we show great appreciation and remembrance.
    For those who live, along with them live the horrific memories of battle.
    Some, memories of defeat.
    Some, memories of victory.

    Our veterans were more than soldiers…
    They were, and still are heroes

Just a post of appreciation for our veterans as we honor them today.

Here’s Your Sign

I’m still here.

I’m still blogging.

I’m still desperately trying to follow my dream that shifts through the clutches of my hands.

Because of time.

Because of lack of know-how.

Because when it all comes down to it, I get insecure about my work.

Perfection is my enemy.

The dream of a photography business taking off. The dream of a photography business flowing smooth and operating productively – part-time mind you – while I still have time to spend with family and work 42hrs a week at my ‘other job (sha!).

And I wonder…….am I pouring all this time, and energy into the right thing? Do I really have what it takes? What does it take, exactly? Talent, drive, and fearlessness?

I imagined my photography classes I started this January would boost my self-confidence. I imagined my talent would take off. I thought the instruction would confirm my path. In fact, my heart jumped out of my chest and raced ahead of me on this, shouting, “Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!”.

Is that my problem? My heart?

Because, really?

It seems like I am just more aware of how little I know about this business. More aware of how much farther I have to go. More, more, and more aware of how much I still have need to learn.

And I still love it – the process, the learning, the people. I do.

I am just a little overwhelmed.

At this point, I am committed to classes through the end of August. My last class is geared towards product photography. Yet, another aspect to swirl my fingers into and see what comes out.

A lot of friends tell me that people are my thing. I’m good with them; families, children, couples, and babies. Some days, I am not so sure. If one of my last sessions was any indication……well, maybe it’s a sign?

Meet my latest newborn (14 days old) and my second newborn portrait session and my first CS5 processing (that’s Photoshop).

A peaceful Slumber

Living Angel

Two Sisters

Big Brother & Sister Love

New Love

She is precious, isn’t it?

There is such a delicate sweetness to newborns and their families. The wonder of a tiny miracle and how they meld into their circle of love.

I did my best to capture the pureness, but when the talent is done? Well, the talent is done.

Her Sign

Here’s your sign.

Is that my take a final bow sign? Like, hey lady, take a hike and go point that thing at someone your own size. Or is it a message to her mom? I’m the third. I’m the last and we go by my schedule. HA! What a stinker. This picture really cracked me up.

So there are days when processing is hard, when time is my enemy, and when I think I am not cut out for this. That’s when I think I should lock myself inside a product tent, taking photos of wine glasses, and bottles (empty?).

And there are other days when I wouldn’t miss these moments for the world.

What is in store for me down this road? I don’t know. I guess I have to keep going to find out.