This morning, I had a dream that Mount Baker erupted. Mount Baker is an active volcano just south of the border and my Grandma, who has a perfect view of it will often speculate on its steaming. In the dream, the smoke was shooting into the sky like steam from a kettle and then we saw it – the lava. We looked at each other and questioned “Where do you go?” but the only answer was head East and just keep going. (Which, of course, in the dream made sense but in real life, if you went East you would be going toward the volcano). Regardless, we turned and ran. I got the car (which in the dream was my old Neon?) and as Ben ran after he turned a corner and slipped on the pavement as I yelled, “COME ON, COME ON, GET IN!” That’s where the dream ended.
I woke up shaken to say the least. I knew it wasn’t real. I knew it wasn’t Pompeii, which is where I get all of my ideas about volcanic eruptions – people being buried alive, huddled together. But I wondered if we would be those people clinging to each other knowing it was our last moments. And I wondered where my children were in the dream and if it something like that were to happen, what I would do if they weren’t with me.
In Cambridge, I had many chances to loiter in book stores. There was one right across from Trinity College called Heffer’s, which we always thought was a strange name, but it was a lovely book store filled with all the types of books a good Brit would want to read. One day, I took some time to lose myself in a beautiful book featuring Annie Leibovitz’s photography. A Photographer’s Life: 1990-2005 was full of personal images from her life – her parents at dawn as they were just rising out of bed, messy houses, dirty dishes and all the mundaneness of the everyday. I was captivated. We have been given the technology of the camera to capture moments, to help us remember. And this morning, as I woke with a sense of anxiety over the safety and security of my family, I wanted nothing more than to remember the togetherness, the peace of the morning, the light streaming in as our littlest cuddled up to her daddy.
I love the purity of this photo – the gentle light letting us know the day had arrived.
It isn’t often that I get a few moments of morning to myself. It’s like my children have a special radar alerting them when I’ve placed my feet on the ground. But this morning their radar failed…for a few minutes anyway…
Allowing me to carefully adjust my settings, set up the shot and take pure, perfectly focused, perfectly exposed photos. This is the photography that I love. The kind that takes time. That captures life. The messy houses, the morning light.