Early morning grace, looking through a new lens

my first photography workshop, "Early Morning" Sagamore Lake

A few years ago, Jack signed up for a digital photography course at one of the “Great Camps” in the Adirondacks. He is a very good photographer but wanted to expand with more digital photography.  At the last-minute, he couldn’t go, and his money could not be refunded,  so I took his place. I was hoping to get some basic help, like how to turn a camera on.

I had, at some point in my adult life, grown “picture-taking averse”. It seemed like every time my mother visited, she had her camera slung around her neck, and was forever making everyone pose. I resented this (as I resented many things about my mother) and so I guess I had subconsciously boycotted cameras and picture-taking.

I was talking to a friend the other day about parenting (she has 2 young teenage boys) and the challenges of knowing how to raise them.  Since I had my sons in my early-mid  20’s, and had not worked through a lot of my own family/growing up issues, I told her that when I got into a situation with them and I didn’t know what to do, a lot of times I would think about my mother, about how she would handle it, and then, I’d do the opposite. Not a sound child-raising theory, I know.

I found it hard to see that my mother had any wisdom at all, and I wasn’t looking for it. I was looking for all that she did “wrong”…and I found that. When I look through my photo albums these days, and see photographs of my sons as babies, little boys, young men… I am so grateful that my mother took those pictures. That she tolerated my “attitude” and took the pictures anyway. I see my mother differently these days. I have widened my lens with a new intention of seeing the good…and I am finding that too. Lots more of it then I ever expected.

14 thoughts on “Early morning grace, looking through a new lens”

  1. Good Morning, Mary. Pig Barn was blessed – thanks for that – a happy day was had by all! Only one thing went wrong and that happened on the way to the Pig Barn between my son & daughter; they started one of their sibling battles in a crowded car with my daughter getting out of the car and missing Maria’s wonderful art show & Jon’s performance with Rose. My children see each other with the same narrow lens you once saw your mother, and I am wishing that they could widen their lens when viewing each other -but, until that happens I guess I need to look through a new lens myself to find some early morning Grace. Thanks for helping me to see the light. Love, Mary Rita

  2. Your mother is a beautiful woman who raised you the best she could with the knowledge she had at that time; just like the rest of us! As loving mothers we always try to do what we think is the best for our children, and it’s not always. But our intention is right. And so our parents made mistakes…we made mistakes…and our kids will make mistakes with thier kids. Thus the imperfect human race goes on! May God bless our mothers and us, it’s the toughest job on earth!!

  3. A very open post, Mary, that struck a chord with me. I have been trying for about the last year to view my family relationships with a “wider lens.” You put it all into perfect words…..simple words that carry so very much to the reader.

    Thank you, as always.

  4. I wish I still had my mother to talk with, to hug, to love.
    I lost her to ovarian cancer in 2002 and some days it is still hard.

    Please love your Mother and talk with your Mother while you have her with you on this earth. Find out family history while you have her. Recipes you love that she makes. Stories of her childhood and young teen years. When she is gone, you will wish you did.

    I love the picture , Mary. That lake is so peaceful. To see it in early morning light is wonderful.

    Simon is doing better!!!! Thank God and Jon Katz and the Animal Control Woman who rescued him. I am all into rescueing animals who are mistreated or deserted and can’t help themselves.

    Happy Sunday to you and yours!


  5. For a beginner, you took a beautiful picture.Would love to sit on the bank and gaze out at the Lake and surroundings.

  6. Hi Mary –
    A thoughtful post. I think it takes us, as adult “children”, sometimes many years to be able to “see” our parents through a different lens rather than the same old lens we looked at them through as adolescents. It’s better late than never, as the saying goes, but hopefully it happens way before they die so that we have some years of shared understanding, shared experience and shared emotion – that’s a wonderful thing. Part of our resistance, I guess, is our wanting control over our own lives – wanting our independence, with no influence from the parents who had such control over us as children. So we reject them as a whole. So nice to finally be able to see in a different way and, so, to better understand!
    Good for you, Mary!

  7. You seemed to have captured what I think is the essence of early morning; the most enchanting time of day. I practice being outside in the very early morning as the mantle of darkness is giving way to the mystery of a new day. It’s easy to believe that all is right with the world, if only briefly. Your photo evokes that so poignantly.

    Thanks for your dedication and musings about the mundane and trivial; for perhaps it is these that stretch us most.

  8. An awe inspiring photo; a heart expanding message. Another wonderful combination to start my day. Thanks, Mary.

  9. Great photograph. It is a lovely picture! Mother-daughater issues seem to be common among those I know. I always tended to avoid my mother as we seemed to have a different view of the world. I even moved to the other end of the state just to distance myself from her. When my husband died and I was at the ebb of my sanity my brother told me now I had to live with Mom and take care of her. Talk about stress! Live with her! Wow. I didn’t think things could get much worse. We have been together for 6 years now and while it isn’t always easy I am so very thankful that I have had these years to care for her and get to know her. She will be 86 soon and is quite crippled. Sometimes blessings come in a strange package.

  10. That does not look like an amateur photo. Thank you for bringing beauty into the world in so many dimensions.

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