Some things never change no matter how many years drift by. An apple ripened rosy red by the sun from God above or snowflakes falling gently from the sweeping grey sky. Hummingbirds flitting from feeder to feeder, or a tender mother’s love from one generation to next. This is what I’m thinking of.
I’ve been in the process of sorting out family pictures to paste in fat, full albums. It’s something I’ve put off longer than I should. There are stacks and piles in all shapes and sizes around my office space. Some have names in my head while others don’t. Time passes so quickly it’s difficult to remember a few of them now.
Hundreds of pictures, some worn, torn or faded are spread out on a table before me. I seem to be searching for something, not knowing what it is. Suddenly, a photograph is pulled from the bottom of the pile, quite by accident, one that I had forgotten long ago. Yet, as soon as I see it, my eyes are smiling, crinkling from outer corners while lifting up towards the brown of my brow.
This photograph was taken years ago while living in our little Arizona ranch home. My sister and nephew were visiting from Chicago soon after my oldest son was born. Like many boys seem to do, my little nephew wanted to be a cowboy on that particular day. So my sister and I did our best to make him feel that way. We looked up and down, searching all around for any cowboy finery that would do. One or the other of us found a black felt hat from a closet shelf before digging up a red bandanna from the bottom of my husband’s drawer. Discovering a feathered headdress of multi-colors, I stuck it on my baby’s head to snap a quick picture in order to stay with the theme of imagination.
A few minutes after finding the first image, another treasure is uncovered in the stack. A photograph of my father, nearly eighty years back. Ironically, he’s dressed much like my baby son. On the reverse is my grandmother’s neat and wispy handwriting, looking as if she wrote it yesterday. It reads, “Paul, 1 yr. old. 1933.” The forefront depicts her shadow with curly and unkempt hair. I can see her holding an old-time camera, standing there. She’s taking this snapshot of her cherished young boy, the only son of a brood of nine she’d eventually bear.
The lens of two different cameras, over fifty years apart, capturing intangible feelings. Two different souls, two separate hearts, four generations apart.
Some things never change…..