Without a doubt, one of the joys of my life's journey of late, has been in quality time spent with the people I love. I made a lot of new friends this past year because of a shared love for photography... but there is one in particular, who has touched my heart deeply with her strength, her kindness, her warmth, her compassion, and her unconditional and absolutely perfect capacity to love and reach out, even in the face of personal hardship and trial. It is my deepest prayer that it all comes back to her a thousandfold.
In the photograph above, she is walking along the Redondo Beach Pier with my dad, who is also someone from whom I have learned what it really means to love unconditionally. I fell in love with this photograph, because it is such a perfect representation of the relaxed warmth and acceptance they each bring to my life and also for what it felt like to be with them that day. Being with her is like the very best hug... the kind where you never want to let go.
We enjoyed a wonderful meal (and lots of laughter as we changed our minds and played musical restaurants and chairs!) and a relaxed walk... a bit of time with some funny feathered friends, and a magical evening of conversation with her family, in her own home. Being invited into her personal space was too wonderful to describe. Suffice it to say, she lives her life at home, as fully and beautifully as she lives her life outside of it. Her children are very blessed.
It occurs to me that every place I have been, and all the things I have seen in my lifetime, are made so much richer by the people who are in them. The best images in my library.. the ones that mean the most to me.. are not the landscapes or the macros, or even the abstracts I have come to adore. They are still the images with the people I care about in them. And they are the images that remain most memorable to my heart.