A Walk

When your dad’s a photographer/filmmaker, you’re bound to pick up an interest sooner or later. It’s in the air, a synergy of moments and movements, of creating and curating, of noticing, of stillness, of shhhhh.

The edit.

Can I have my own camera? she asks.

Someday, I say, and I find myself asking Ken over lunch if he has time for a weekend adventure. I’m thinking a photo walk? She’d love it.

He doesn’t know it’s an early Father’s Day present. He doesn’t know that Bee and I would later sift through our favorite images, learn about cropping, about colors, about the beauty of white space. That we’d spend a Saturday afternoon uploading images here, that two weeks later we’d doodle personal notes and favorite shapes in the margins of a book that he’ll get to keep forever.

I can’t get the butterfly! I can’t get the butterfly! she shouts.

She’s spotted a white one on our walk; she wants to take its photo. But it’s moving too fast, the image is blurred, a tiny fragment of a white wing cropped to the left of the frame.

Make it stay, Mom? she says.

And it’s clear to me on days like these – on years like these – that we can’t make it stay. We can’t capture the beauty, we can’t still the motion, we can’t keep the butterfly.

But still, we try.

Do you think he’s gonna love this, Mom? she asks.

We’re wrapping the book in tissue paper, tying it taut with string.

I think he’s gonna love this, I say.

  • Oh, I remember my first camera. Still thinking about the metaphor here, we can’t keep the butterfly but we can use the picture to remember it fly.

  • He will definitely love it! This is the sweetest. Oh and I just pre-ordered your book, it might be the only thing making me excited for January! (I’m don’t with the cold)

    • Ahhhh you are so kind, Jana – thank you! And I’m right there with you in terms of cold. Eek! ;) (I hope you love the book!)

  • Forrest gets to take a picture too when I stop for the sunrise on the way in to school/work, and sometimes his are my favorites. So good, Erin. xoxo

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