Friday, August 28, 2009

Happy Place

It was one of those mornings.

The kind where your gears are all mixed up and somehow you’ve managed to get yourself stuck in reverse accomplishing very little. Nothing goes right. Everything is wrong. And no matter how hard you try to fix it you still end up like a mechanic trying to get a bolt off with a screwdriver.

Not the type of morning you want people showing up at your door. Especially, not your 10 year olds new fifth grade teacher. We were excited and felt very fortunate to have Ashton placed in Mr. Zimmerman’s Fifth Grade Class for the coming school year. He was spoken of very highly and the kids in my ward who had experienced him as a teacher loved him as well.

And there he was on my front porch.

I surveyed the scene.

Ashton’s hair hadn’t been combed. The neighbor kids had showed up early, thus preventing my kids from wanting to complete their jobs including the front room which now had either cereal or crackers crushed on the carpet. Some of the furniture had been moved to make forts and I can’t remember if I was still in my running clothes or just yesterday’s makeup. All I knew was that I was embarrassed.

The purpose of Mr. Z’s visit was to introduce himself, meet Ashton, and give us an envelope containing various forms to be filled out and an assignment to be completed before the first day of school.

Not wanting to do homework when it was still summer, Ashton eventually got around to working on the assignment which happened to be a scavenger hunt around Mr. Z’s class website. What a great way to learn. With each new quest on the scavenger hunt he was playing games and watching videos, all of an educational nature, and gaining more and more excitement for what Mr. Z’s actual class would be like.

One of the quests asked you to follow a link to a site named “Backroads Photography.“ This piqued my interest, so I took a seat next to Ashton at the computer. A grid of squares appeared on the screen and one by one the computer popped in photographs to fill the blanks.

They were AMAZING.

Incredible images gave life to simple objects and restored beauty to architecture of yesteryear.

The scavenger hunt simply asked for us to visit the site, view the photos, find a favorite, and tell why. Simple.
We scrolled down the page pointing out ones we liked or thought were “cool”, just enjoying the art before us. We came upon a particular print named “Farm Morning.”

I stopped.

Something inside me clicked and I declared, “That’s it. That’s my favorite.”

We finished scrolling through the rest of the images, many of which I really enjoyed looking at, but I always returned to “Farm Morning” as my favorite. My mother told me not to influence Ashton’s decision, so I left him to finish the hunt on his own.

In the weeks since then, I still visit the site, view the images there, and take in one in particular. It has become my new “happy place”. A place to go, even if it’s only visually, when I have one of those days where I am the mechanic with all the wrong tools.

But I haven’t finished the assignment. The hunt for me is incomplete. Why was “Farm Morning” my favorite was still unanswered?

That was a difficult question for me to answer.

I could give you a hundred reasons why I liked the other photographs. But that photograph, that one, single image….

It spoke to me.

And perhaps, that is why it is so hard to express why I like it the way I do.

It appeals to something more than just the eye.

Something deeper.

More private.

That was it. That was the reason for liking it.

Somehow the artist and his camera had captured an image that represents the people, places, experiences, and dreams that make up a patch in the fabric of who I am. A patch that mends the holes and rips that the wear and tear of everyday life leaves in the body of my fabric.

A patch for those days like the one when Mr. Z appeared on our porch.

A patch made with beauty, serenity, and contentment.


You may have noticed there are no pictures in this post, but I hope by now you are anxious to see some. So, I invite you to visit
to view “Farm Morning” and accept the quest to find your own favorite by viewing the galleries and prints offered there. And then please, leave me a comment telling me why.

Happy Hunting!


Rachel said...

I liked Autumn Window. I liked it because Autumn is my favorite time of year and I also like it because I feel like that is where I am in my life right now. Looking out of a window. I want to be out "in it" but right now I'm looking out the window. I did like the print you chose as well because it reminds me of home. The mountains, the rustic rural life.....

Teachinfourth said...

I read over your post and am flattered by your words. I hope that Ashton enjoys this school year as much as I have so far.

Just for the record, I don't remember any 'mass chaos' if there was any...just for the record.