Seeing the World…No, I mean, REALLY Seeing the World!
I am not talking about traveling around the world, I am talking about seeing, really seeing, where you are today, what is right there in front of you right now, in a new and different way. You know, the way you did as a child when you would sit for hours in the sandbox with no distractions and play with your trucks or your dolls. The rest of the world “fell away” and the only picture in your reality was what was right there in front of you….Or when someone comes to visit your town for the first time, and you walk them around to show them all the interesting things. You “see” your town in a new and different light. Beautiful and unique things you were now taking for granted, you see in a new way. It gives you a new appreciation for your town. For a little while, you take off your “hustle, bustle, hurry up and get from here to there” blurred vision, and you see the beauty of your surroundings for maybe the first time in years.
When I was in Northern Maine a couple of weeks ago, a brought several single-use cameras with me for the kids. My sister and I took 5 of my great nieces and nephews ages 2-9, her grandchildren, on a photography “walk-about.” Each child was given a camera with the only instructions being, “hold it with two hands, look through the little window, and when you see something you like, click the button.” For the next hour, we walked up a country road and played with the cameras. The kids photographed the trees, the leaves, the flowers, the dogs, each other, themselves, and then they moved on to the sky, and the setting sun. They were excited shouting to each other to “come look at this,” or “come take a photo of me doing that!” I loved just listening, watching and enjoying seeing the world through the eyes of these children. My dream hadn’t been to create budding photographers (although that would be an thrilling side effect), my dream had been for the children to see, really see the world….every color and shape, the tiniest of things on the ground and the big gorgeous things in the sky.
Later that evening after dinner, all 12 of the plastic cameras were lined up ready to head to the developer. I picked each up and checked to make sure all the images had been taken on each. One camera still had 5 or 6 shots left not taken. I asked 5 year old, James, if he might like to take it home with him, finish taking the pictures in the morning, and I would pick it up from him then. And when I got home, I would send the cameras away to perform the magic. He loved the idea. It was dark out as he, his brother, and parents left for the night. About two minutes later, the door flew open, and I heard James hollaring… “Aunt Nan, Aunt Nan! Come out here!” I ran to the door. He shouted, “You have GOT to come out here and see this huge, bright moon!” It was a sight to behold and HE had noticed it!! Then he said, ‘You can have the camera back now. I finished taking the last pictures on the film!”
I went back in the house so happy he had seen, REALLY seen one of the many breathtaking and awesome beauties to behold in this world, if we just take the time to “really see!” I am in hopes that day all the kids “saw” things they might not otherwise have seen. I know I did!
The plastic cameras have now been shipped out to “do the magic.” When the photos come back that the kids shot, I will be sharing some of them here. I can’t wait to “see” them!
If you, or you and your children, are interested in doing a “photography walk-about” with me to see the world differently together, please let me know! We are never too old or too young to enjoy “seeing” this world! firstname.lastname@example.org
Until next time,
Lots of love,