Sunday, October 31, 2010

Amy's Leaf

This photograph adequately sums of the frustration of my fall.

I've been waiting and waiting for the explosion of color that we typically have this time of year and I've been disappointed. That's not to say that it hasn't been beautiful, because it has in its own way, but from a photographic standpoint the colors just weren't very vivid. It's almost as if most of the foliage just fell off while it was still green.

Instead of a landscape teeming with bright oranges, reds and yellows I've found myself shooting at a world that only has splashes of color. During a bridal portrait shoot this afternoon that Bethany conducted I was walking along the lake trail at Douthat and noticed that most of the leaves had fallen. Then I noticed that most of the leaves were brown or very dully colored. We stopped at a bench in front of the water fall at the lake and I noticed that of all the leaves at my feet, there was only one that had any real color to it. I stared at it for a long moment and then took the photo without disturbing anything.

Last year we had an abundance of color amid a wet and almost constantly raining autumn. It was great and it eventually led to a heavier than usual winter. This year the colors have been as sparse as the rain and I've found myself searching in different places for the splashes of color that I've been wanting to add to my collection.

But then again, I should be thankful for what color we have in the world. After everything that's happened this week I've gained a little more perspective on life than I once had. I know a girl who would have loved to have been able to see another autumn, but this one was her last. It was the message her mom imparted to me at the family visitation.

"If there's something you want to do in life, Josh, then do it. Don't make excuses not to. Don't put it off. Just do it. That was the only thing Amy regretted, the things she didn't do and won't get to do."

Heavy words that were driven home by the poignancy of the moment. Amy's life was cut short by disease that she fought with everything she had but couldn't beat. She'll never get to finish her degree, have children and do a thousand other things that I'm sure she wanted to do. Perhaps most heartbreakingly, she won't get to grow old with her husband.

When I die I hope that I can do so after a long life lived to its fullest. So as much as I wanted as vivid a fall as last year's, I think I'm just going to appreciate this one and the fact that, most likely and God willing, I'll be able to get up in the morning to enjoy another day with my wife.

So today (I'm writing this as Saturday turns to Sunday) when Bethany has another shoot and I walk along the same trail and see this leaf, I'm going to remember Amy, tell my wife I love her and be thankful for what I have.

I'd like to think that Amy would be happy knowing that I took that away from visiting with her family in the days after her passing.

I still wish the outcome could have been different...

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