Saturday, October 8, 2011

12 Pictures: A Roll of Film

On my desk is a photo of a toddler, a girl with a bow in her hair playing with a litter of puppies on the lawn of a farmhouse. In the background there is a car parked on a gravel driveway, a barn and an outbuilding.

The photo is black and white. The date stamp reads: AUG 63

The album that first cradled this little girl and her puppies, holds many, many years. Flashbulbs, film and processing were costly.
A young family recorded only the most precious moments.

A roll of film, 12 pictures, often captured a whole year.

Which leaves me wondering what is special about this day?
Special enough to take a picture of a little girl and her puppies?

Clues to the photo reside in the background. The barn and out- building in relation to the gravel driveway tell me location, a farmhouse owned by my paternal grandparents in the Town of Deer Creek, not their house but a second farmhouse just down the road and around the corner, within walking distance of the house where Grandpa and Grandma live. I do not recognize the car. In the foreground the lawn is dotted with dandelions, an indication of early summer. The AUG 63 stamp on the border tells me which summer. This is the summer my sister is born.

Looking more closely at the photo, I notice something new. The little girl
is not sitting, but squatting, as toddlers do when caught up in exploring the world.
One hand
rests on the side of her leg, the other is blurred. She
is in motion.

Is she coming in closer to explore the puppies? Or is she moving onto the next thing, discovering the person behind the camera?

A duplicate of this photo, a girl and her puppies, recently made its way to me from my maternal grandmother, a woman who lives more than an hour from the farmhouse. On the back of the photo Grandma gave me, handwritten in black ink, is my first name.

The little girl is me.

This is not a surprise, but today my heart is on the move, asking how and why, questioning, exploring.

Is the person behind the camera a maternal grandparent? Who then sends a copy to my parents?

Or, is it a moment of childhood captured by a parent, then gifted to my grandparents?

I am intrigued.

...where God is making new life,
not a day goes by without his unfolding grace.


The vintage camera from my parents looks something like this one.



Interruption said...

I have trouble looking at pictures from the past.
What a sweet picture! I love it!

Take care.

Rw said...

Nico, I think many of us, maybe even all of us if were honest, have trouble looking. Old pictures can bring fresh pain to old wounds. And, old pictures can be a refuge from pain we are feeling today. I am attempting to sort through pain, old and new, for clues and insights. I am grateful for your friendship on this journey. Rw