From Both Sides


Let me tell you about this photo. Taken in August of 2013 on the northern Oregon Coast, it’s one of my favorites of my son, here at almost 10 years old. This was before he was afraid of the ocean. I honestly couldn’t tell you what exactly created that fear in the five years since. He’s always used the moniker Soren the Viking, and I tell him now that he can’t be much of a Viking if he’s scared of the sea. 

I put this image in a silver frame and set it on my bookshelf at work with only 2 other images: my husband and me just moments after our wedding vows, and me as a small child with my parents. A couple of days ago, I put these framed memories gently in a box and brought them home. I am saying goodbye to this office, the place I’ve grown for 13 years, my father’s business where he offered me a start in learning to design.

So much emotion goes through me when I look at this picture. My son has an expression of such true joy on his face, which at 15, he doesn’t exude quite as often anymore. This moment of freedom and fun that he is having is exactly what parents talk about cherishing when they say, enjoy this time with your kids. They don’t last. His small body, soft skin, tenderness and innocence are all too quickly growing into adulthood. 

My husband shot this photograph while I just happened to capture the exact moment from the opposite angle. Which just illustrates that there are two sides to a moment: the one facing forward, and the one behind it. When I brought this photo home from work, I began to think about endings and beginnings, the behind and the forward. 

The past can be so difficult to let go, the comfort and familiarity of routine, of the norm. What currently is, is. You don’t think about the fact it won’t last forever, because nothing does. But by the time you realize what is has now become what was, it’s too late to really savor it. And the moment has brought about something entirely new: the future. There will now be a different kind of normal, and eventually, that too will change.

Some jobs end. Friends move away. Loved ones die. Things deteriorate. There is nothing you can hold on to forever, but if you’re lucky, you’ll capture the moment just right. From both sides.