As you are aware, my laptop kicked the bucket in a tragic accident a few weeks back. It’s been a steep lesson in letting go, finding blessings and trusting in the bigger picture.
Fortunately I was backed up except for my last set of pictures I had downloaded. Considering I have a large memory card I was looking at a loss of around 400-600 pictures. (Sniff)
I tried to remember what they were, but between shopping lists, mommy brain and the countless unwritten blog posts I keep floating around my head, I was unable to remember what I lost. “Good”, I thought. “Might as well not sweat what I can’t even remember.”
Well, until Phil & Heidi stopped by for pastured, organic hotdogs and sauerkraut. We were talking about the overnight we spent with them on their land as Joel helped them prepare the grade for their yurt and we celebrated the full moon around a campfire.
Oh, right, those gorgeous photos.
The memories returned like a raging river.
The visit to Kingbird farm and the pictures of the kids with the two white horses. (sniff.) The shot of the farm store – that green barn, with the big blue sky and the handpainted signs. (sniff, sniffle.) The kids splashing in the creek in galoshes. (wahhhhhhh!)
It was just too much for this sentimental woman. I almost panicked and then, of course, Stone brought me back — reminding me gently that it’s a lesson of letting go and there isn’t much worth regretting anything. We’ve already moved on and I might as well forget about the pictures.
His gentle words brought me back to my time spent in rural India. I was so struck by the women I met. They rose early, before dawn, to start the day. Many lived in simple, one-room huts that served as a kitchen, sleeping quarters and living space. They were, by far, the poorest people I have ever met, but yet they were so organized and their day flowed with ritual. Every day, when they woke they created a mandala or other design on their front doorstep made from colored powder and flowers. Sometimes they were simple, but other times they were elaborate and elegant.
What amazed our group of American students was that almost immediately after the artwork was finished their family members and neighbors would walk over them. At first just a corner disappeared but soon the entire design was blended in with the red clay of the hot Indian ground.
We couldn’t believe it! Why would they spend so much time on something so impermanent? Why didn’t they do it in another place or ask people to walk around it? Why not enjoy its beauty for at least a few hours? (Take a picture at least?!) The answer was always the same: it was an offering to their gods; a personal practice of impermanence; the simple act of letting go.
So I am letting go of my pictures in honor of those women who wake every morning, while it’s still dark to paint pictures that will only disappear with the rising sun. As much as I love taking pictures they are just fleeting attempts to catch the sacred moments I live in.