One Morning {Thirty Minutes in the Life, November, 2013}

I am so happy to join a group of lovely photographers from all around the world to capture just 30 minutes of time.  It may be just thirty minutes, but I’ve found when I really look and see, there are endless treasures to be found.

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Tuesday afternoon the girls and I were in the kitchen and I was mashing potatoes with the electric mixer.  The girls were sitting at the table, but I could see Chanelle eying me out of the corner of my eye.  I knew what she wanted.  As soon as I turned the mixer off she made a beeline for me and held out her hand.  I removed the beater (is that what they are called?) from the mixer and handed it to her.  By the time I had the second one out, Meadow was standing at my feet like a puppy awaiting it’s precious treat.  The girls sat down on the kitchen floor, side by side, and licked warm mashed potatoes from their beaters as if they were a decadent dessert.  Between licks they clinked their beaters together like they were wine glasses. 

It was a simple moment, but it somehow jarred the place in my brain that had gotten lost in the chaos of everyday life.  It took a few minutes to wade through the cobwebs of my brain to figure out what that moment had touched, but after some time, I remembered.

Simplicity. 

Over the previous year, I have been so caught up with SummerK and various projects (you know, like moving) that I forgot why my heart was so pulled toward photography and documentation in the first place.  I had forgotten that this all started with our simple everyday moments.  The simplicity had somehow gotten lost in the the business of creating images and studying composition and figuring out business. 

My mind needed jarred.  As Oprah would say, I had an ah-ha moment.  So, I made a decision.  I was going to force myself to slow down and see.So that’s what I did.
Just this morning, I skipped my run so I would be ready to take it all in.

That’s just what I did. . . I took in our morning. . .

. . . which begins with our early riser.  Thankfully, she gets up in a phenomenal mood and greets me with a hearty, HELLO!!!  Typically, I’m on the treadmill when I hear that HELLO!!  On most days, she destroys our basement while I finish my run.  However, this morning we made our way into the kitchen together. 

. . . after she disrobed. 

While I emptied the dishwasher, she, um. . . cleaned?

Our pace was slow and the room was quiet.  While she babbled, I watched and I listened.  I required myself to be more present. 

I didn’t even hear Chanelle come up behind us, but when I turned around, there she was. . .
I wish I could say there was something extremely monumental about our morning.  You know like I made a gourmet breakfast or that we all sang Cumbaya or something like that.  Nope, it was a typical morning.  A morning when Chanelle agonized over what she would eat, Meadow taunted everyone, animal friends joined us, and I sucked down coffee like water. . .

It was a morning like most mornings, but I was more present.  And you know what I noticed?  I noticed that the when I was calmer, so were they. . .

I wish I could say that this was easy.  I wish that I could say that I didn’t have to fight the urge to hurry them along or make everything an emergency.  (I’m pretty gifted at that.) I wish I could say that it came naturally. . . but it didn’t. 

Instead, I forced myself to be present and take in the tiny little moments that I often overlook while looking for the bigger ones.  Maybe it seems silly, but it’s true.  As I watched them do what they do every morning, I realized just how blessed I am.
Simplicity. . . I’m directing my sails back toward it–as much as I can. 

In the end, I’m pretty sure it will have been worth it. . .

Please take a moment to visit Naples, Italy Photographer, Amanda, at Amanda Voelker Photography and see how she spent Thrity Minutes in her life. 

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