On New Year’s Day we took a long hike down in the valley below our home. We were tired when we started out, discouraged from an argument, wearily determined to turn the tide for 2013. I hoped the blue-sky day and the outdoors would refresh our souls.
And, amazingly, that happened. I guess sometimes you don’t know how soothing an afternoon will be to your soul. How quiet hours can reset you when you spend them lying in the grass and eating oranges… and talking or not talking… and just being still.
I love these photos because they capture a moment in our lives, a moment that will soon be past when our little boy arrives in just a few weeks. They also capture so much of what we enjoy right now, from the Sicilian oranges hanging from the branches to Lena’s complete fascination with bugs to the hugeness of my belly to Lena’s love to snuggle on top of us whenever we lie down.
They also capture my husband in so many ways as a father: the way he is completely at home in the outdoors, his playfulness with Lena, and the quiet way he encourages her to explore creation: to hold bugs, touch amazing plants, pick olives straight from the trees, and sit peacefully in the grass watching bees buzz from flower to flower.
Our lives are so complex. Yes, there is eager anticipation. Yes, there is crippling sorrow. And always there is deep, abiding joy.