For Art's Sake Professional Photographer's 52 Week Project by Meghan Aileen
Week 10: A Different Way Of Life
I spent the week on gorgeous Seabrook Island in South Carolina. The serene beaches and spanish moss covered trees are just breathtaking. I am so grateful to be able to take time and relax on this vacation. It was the first time since Fiona was born 3 years ago that I felt like I could relax on a vacation. She is now at an age where I don't have to worry about her falling down the stairs, choking on small objects or eating sand. I also discovered the beauty of multiple children being around at different ages. There were 3 older kids there with us, between 8-11 years old. They played with her, watched her for me, and she was just happy to sit in their presence and watch them. Amazing. I sat in a chair on the beach, I relaxed with my coffee in the morning in the screened porch, these small things I will never take for granted again.
There was also 4 other adult women, mothers, in the house as well. Between the older children and the other mothers, I got a little taste of what the old village life must have been like. Something I wish we had more of these days. I also got a tiny glimpse of how big families work. I never understood how other parents did it, how they had 3-6 children when I can barely handle just one. But I see now how the dynamic changes in the house, how the olders help out with the littles. They are distracted, busy, they play with each other instead of only playing with mommy. I see the brilliance of God's design here with families. I see the amazing benefit of community as well and how we are made to be around each other, to help each other, to love each other.
This week's image is one I took on the beach while we were waiting for the dolphins to come up and feed. It represents the bond of women to me, of community, of motherhood. It reminds me of peacefulness and space, of simple pleasures that are so important to take time for. It makes me grateful for the women in my family and around me in my community. I edited it to be in a warm black and white, to have a vintage feel so I could represent a little of an ancient way of life.
Edited with Editorial B&W from the In Vogue Photoshop Actions Collection
Edited with Tea Stain Texture from the Nostalgia Textures Overlay Collection
We lived in a subdivision right in town until April of this year. I could not take a picture of my child outdoors without another house in the background. I could see 9 houses from my back deck. Yet I had one friend in the neighborhood. Just one. My theory is that when people are always surrounded by noise, and crowds, marketing and billboards, they are protective of their space. They are constantly bombarded by someone or something and it can be exhausting. Especially when they are all people you don't know or connect with on some level, or things you don't need or care about. You have to put on a face, be "on" and even presentable. At least that is what our social rules say. You have to defend yourself and your hard earned money from the constant bombardment of consumerism.
Living out in the country now, I have over 7 acres of woods and no neighbors on one side for a few miles. I find myself reaching out to those in my community more, and they reach out to me as well. When I have more space of my own, I reach to connect, I long for it more. Our personal space is a relief in itself for our family, our own private peace, and where we can detox from the overwhelming world around us of advertising and crowds.This is just how I feel about my situation. I know there are a lot of situations where people live close to each other, or live in a city and are content and close to those around them and I think that is just wonderful. I hope that we can see more of that instead of less as time goes by because we are quickly filling up all the space we have left with people and houses! I think the internet is part of this as well, we connect on Facebook, or texting or via email. It is easier, faster, takes less investment, time and energy of which we are all short on.
Maybe take the time this week to reach out to a neighbor, to just say hello if you normally just walk by with your head down. Or to invite them for a coffee if you normally just say hello and quick pleasantries. You never know what you might find out about someone, what their story can help you learn or inspire in you. We are designed to live, love and learn from each other. We are designed to help one another and connect. We are made to love each other and be salt and light to the world.
xoxo Meghan Aileen