Saturday, March 03, 2007

Truth Through a Lens

I love photography. A photo is a memory frozen in time. It captures the feelings, sights, smells, and sounds of a lost moment. I keep several photos close by to remind me of a lesson God taught me this summer.

We were well into Kristina's summer with us when we decided to take the children to Busch Gardens in Tampa. Our family is always up for road trips, so we piled in the car and headed down I-4 towards the theme park one Saturday morning. For some reason, Robert and I have the most prolific conversations when we're driving. This day was no different and soon we found ourselves deep in conversation. Before I knew it, we had passed our exit and were deep into the heart of downtown Tampa. As I was trying to figure out which exit to get off at and turn around, a long bridge appeared before me. We had driven through Tampa and were faced with crossing the bridge that led to the Saint Petersburg area. My frustration with finding a turn around spot was growing when Robert suggested that we just keep driving.

Keep driving? Are you kidding? Do you know what time it is? Do you have any idea how bad the crowds will be if we don't get int the parks now? Have you ever been to Saint Petersburg? Why would we keep driving?

But faced with no where to turn around, that's exactly what I did. Robert suggested that it would be cool to see the western side of the state. Sure enough the Gulf of Mexico was there, just like the books said. I was ready to turn around at the first intersection when Robert suggested we drive along the beach a little bit. Sigh. Fine. But there was no way we would be able to get everything in if we didn't turn around soon.

The water looks different on the western side of the state and so Robert decided we needed to stop and inspect it more closely. As children rolled out of the car, I complained about sand getting tracked back into the car, the lack of sun glasses, sun screen, and hats, and the wasted time that was ticking away by the second. We made our way across the hot isolated stretch of beach to find cool and calm blue green water. Everyone wanted to dip dry feet into the edge of the surf. I protested about wet shorts and car seats, but was overruled by Robert. "Let them get their feet wet, honey" Before I knew it, I was the keeper of the shoes as bare foot children walked a defined stretch of beach picking up shells and staring into the iridescent waters.

Before I could protest, Robert walked out into the water, waist deep and fully clothed. What are you doing??? Do you know how uncomfortable it will be to walk around Busch Gardens with wet shorts in this heat? The children stood looking at me in question, waiting for a decision.

Fine. Go.

I could do nothing but stand by and watch as they tumbled in line behind their father. I stood at a distance clicking pictures and passing time, waiting for this moment of delirious behavior to pass. As I looked through the lens I saw what I wasn't seeing. Stopping to enjoy the joyful, inconvient, senseless moments that make life worth living.