Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Finding this moment

The post with way too many pictures.

Last week the blog was silent.  However, the same could not be said for my home.  It was glorious, having all the kids home for the week, we enjoyed every minute.  Since I was pulled into the rhythm of having everyone home, my writing routine was thrown off and happily so.  But we're back!  Our children are happily back at our beloved school with the white picket fence.  I loved their enthusiasm last night as we prepared for bed and the next morning as they realized they were returning to school today.  I do believe they were more excited to be going back to school than they were about having a week off.

I've worked out a rhythm of sorts for the blog, something to aim for but not live by.  Part of that is the Friday posts "This Moment" where I share a single photo without words of a moment from the week that I want to pause and remember.  Here, these moments are usually about my children or the school because in this season of my life that's what I want to be sure I take time to savor.  It's easy to get buried in the business that goes with having and caring for children and I don't want to miss those special moments in all the "organized chaos" of our lives.

I used to scrapbook.  I imagine I'd still enjoy it but time and space to spread out are seriously limited so my scrapbooking supplies sit mostly untouched.  Digital photography makes it easy, snap a picture and if you don't like it, delete it, if you do like it, keep it.  As a result I have thousands of photos.  The problem is they are primarily from times I thought to bring the camera, mostly special events.  But I want to remember the daily, the simple, ordinary, extraordinary moments in our lives.

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.  If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

The idea came from Soule Mama, the popular blog by Amanda Soule though I first saw it over at Waldorf Mama.  I started it on my personal blog some time ago and then moved the ritual over to here.  When I first started I really just liked the idea of having a simple photograph post every week and focusing on something I wanted to remember seemed so simple.  What I didn't expect was how much it would tune me in to my family.  Thanks to this ritual I'm looking for moments.  Slowing down long enough to appreciate them happening, being grateful for the gift each moment brings.  The moments themselves may be fleeting but they leave a lasting effect in not only my memory but in the specialness of our daily lives as a family.  Because I'm looking for moments to photograph I am catching glimpses of love, connectedness, joy, playfulness, sweetness, happiness, tender expressions, creativity and so much more.  Moments that if I weren't looking for them I may miss.  Worse, I'd probably take them for granted.

Now every week I look forward to finding those moments.  Collecting them like treasures to be pulled out and admired from time to time.  Each week knowing I have a "deadline" of sorts to share a moment I'm more aware of them unfolding around me.  But more than the pictures I'm collecting and sharing is the whole presence of being aware, of taking the time to look for and cherish such moments.  Noticing those moments has changed how I see our lives.  I am more aware, tuned in and grateful for so much that is precious and beautiful all around us, happening all the time.  I smile more too just because I notice more things to smile about.

I'd like to challenge you to look for moments in your week.  Keep your camera handy, doesn't have to be a great camera, your phone camera is fine, and be on the look out for those special moments.  They may surprise you, there may be far more than you thought.  Pick one to share, which may prove to be difficult, and savor the moment.  Your moment.  Then share it with us here, comment on the thread of my weekly Friday "This Moment" with the link back to your own so we can share it with you, or just post it to the wall over on the Bayou Village School Facebook page.  You never know, you may help someone find the hidden moments they've been taking for granted in their lives too.
I've posted below a few moments that I've loved but weren't selected to share until now, and these are just a few.  The pictures aren't quality photography, just what I happened to snap with my little Canon PowerShot or my iPhone (love the Hipstamatic app) and often in a hurry with someone pulling on my arm.  But they are special moments none the less.

How do you hold on to special moments?  What keeps you tuned in and aware of the beauty filling the ordinary? How will you find and remember moments?

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