In the fall Nicole wrote on her blog about a tiny moment while I was telling her family’s story. I wanted to share her writing here because she was able to express the kinds of thoughts that are running through my mind as I am attempting to document the Heart of a Home. A photograph seems shallow. A snapshot of something we can see. A collection of pixels or a piece of flat paper. But there can be more truth, reality, and miracles crammed into that flat space than our small minds can comprehend. Thank you, Nicole, for putting into words some of the intangible qualities of life’s “ordinary afters”:
“Momma- Molly took a picture of the broken crackers on the pantry floor! Why would she do that? Shouldn’t we clean them up?”
…because the common is uncommonly beautiful. Because there is grace in the ordinary details of daily life. Because it is the moments between the moments you are waiting for where life is fully lived. Because our family’s true story lies in the detail of what is always around us that the busy work of life keeps us from noticing.
Because when you don’t know what you can expect in life, the ability to do the simple task of eating has a profound effect on how you view the world around you. Because in the blink of an eye your world goes from neat, orderly and in control to being chaotic, out of control, messy and so incredibly full of love and wonder. Because when life threatens to take the ordinary out of your day you pause and weep with gratitude over all of life’s bounty from the precious life that you have been asked to protect to the food on your plate to the shelter over your head.
Because sometimes your eyes and mind are so full of what you expect to see around you that it is impossible to pause and see what actually exists in your day. Because family, love and home are art and beauty in its most natural state.
Because a single image, a grain of salt on your tongue, a smell from the frying pan in the kitchen can ground you in your day and lose you in your life all in the same moment. Because while that cracker broken on our pantry floor means we need to take the time to care for our home it also shows how very much we already do care for the ones we love, the home we live our lives in and the routines we have in our day.
Because years from now when you all are all grown-up with a life separate from this one, you might find yourself racing through the grocery store to pick up milk and bread and soup and crackers with one crying baby in the cart-seat, one dawdling at your heels and one at home with a fever and you’ll lean down to grab the box of saltines off of the bottom shelf and be suddenly overwhelmed by the image on the box and find yourself thrown back into your childhood when you would spend Saturday afternoon snack time with kefir and crackers and freshly peeled clementines before racing out to the swing that hangs on the old oak tree; and you’ll wipe a tear from your eye before the baby swats the box out of your hand propelling you back into matters at hand.
Because Molly is an artist whose gift allows us to take what is utterly mundane in the life we live and reflect the love, the light, the beauty in the ordinary, the seemingly unimportant fractions of a second in the family’s life where their lives are actually lived.
Because Momma didn’t see it laying there on the floor while I raced around to hide the broken down cardboard boxes, poopy wrapped up diapers and empty recyclable kefir bottles when Molly pulled into the driveway that afternoon….
…is what I will say when she is older and we can sit together over two steaming mugs of coffee.
Yes love- we should clean them up.
See Nicole’s Storytelling Session here.
Celebrate the Heart of your Home through your own Storytelling Session this summer. I am available locally and also available to travel to your home. mollyflanaganphotography (at) gmail (dot) com