Black Days are Here Again
I’m pretty broken-hearted right now. Bad things just keep happening. People are dying and there’s just nothing I can do but cry. I’ve got 4 weeks of the semester left to go and then I can take a few years down. I’m really having to dig deep and tap into my fierce cross country training I had as a child. I was noodle-skinny and didn’t have a ride home. (Home was a 2 mile walk.) I stayed after school 3 to 4 days per week and on many days we had meets and races against the local schools. I was lightning fast as a kid! But any good racer knows it’s not about the speed but the diligence and steady pacing throughout. It was so hard to deliberately allow people to pass me up at the beginning of the race because I’m so competitive. There’s nothing I hate more than losing. But 2 & 3/4 of a mile in, I passed many of those girls up who were bent over holding their sides- walking it out. I was delirious with pain and utterly exhausted, but honed in and focused on my breathing and speed. There was nothing else to do but push on. I finished almost every 3 mile race and ended up with two medals and a whole slew of ribbons over those three years.
One day, my cross country teacher (Mr. Lang) found out my dirty secret. I had been running the two miles home after running 3 mile races. I was embarrassed because nobody could pick me up after school. One day, he offered me a ride and when he found out I’d been running home too, he became my official ride. I became his star runner and he really shaped me into a strong child athlete. I was only 9. So now, even after all these years, when I’m hit with a hard time, I reach back and grab those early life lessons; that training carved into me some serious strength of character.
So now I have to focus on school. I was so close to dropping out the other day, but Josh- he knows just what to say to get to me! He knows me better than anyone. He reminded me that I had an obligation. “It’s about the principle, Birgy.” And that’s all it took. He knows that “principle” means more to me than anything else in a matter. I’ll haggle for 5 hours over two pennies if somebody’s trying to get one over on me, but give away everything I have to people who need it. It’s the principle of it.
So now, heart falling out of my chest, I push on and remind myself that the end of the race is the most important part of all. It’s at the end that people start dropping off like flies. Not much different than a spiritual race. People I’ve known for 30 years now are turning into heartless, loveless beasts. Cruel animals.
I was told recently about this poor old Christian woman in the hospital. One of her sons went and told her that the reason she didn’t have cards and flowers is because she was too “spiritual” and talked about God too much and that nobody wanted to go and see her. What’s this world coming to when you can do that to your own mother when she’s down- and then call yourself a Christian too? God help us.
Angel Above You
It’s time for some church up in here! [Spoken in my native southern Texas accent.]
Josh and I took Brianna and Brian down to the river last night. There are three distinct areas we like to hang out at. 1) The creek bed, which runs along the flood wall. 2) The fossil beds- a perfect place to study brachiopods, trilobites, and other fossils which are embedded in the rock layers. 3) The “beach”. This is a part of the river that mimics an actual beach; complete with rolling tides, tons of driftwood, and plenty of sand. We love it there, and that’s the region we chose to frequent last night.
I’ll add another post later this with more family/river pics (including Brianna’s “sand bath”- hair included) but for now, I want to add a few inspirational pics.
I found this particular pic to be very interesting and curious. I shoot in manual- always- so when it’s getting dark, you really have to know your stuff (ISO/shutter speed/aperture/exposure compensation/white balance, etc.) because when shooting in manual, your lighting is always changing from second to second, continuously, even in broad daylight. Shooting at and after dusk is especially tricky because the focus takes longer to “catch”. This is what happened last night when I captured Josh blowing on the fire. Just as I clicked on the shutter, a stray ember popped up from the fire, shooting up and behind his shoulder (you can still see its trail) and formed a perfect cross above him. I couldn’t believe it when I saw the pic in the LCD immediately afterwards. (This pic hasn’t been “shopped”, or Photoshopped.)
I’m sure the specifics of the fire could be explained away scientifically, but I prefer to know and believe that God works in strange and beautiful ways. Even with fire. He lets us know His eyes are always on His Children, and those who love and believe in Him.
From a photographical standpoint, I shot this with a slowed shutter. (1/8 of a sec.) To non-photographers, that means that “time” was slowed down, and the camera picks up what the human eye cannot. In the blink of an eye, this cross was there and gone, but the camera’s “pause” allowed it to be captured. (It’s a good self reminder to pause more in life; we’ll see more crosses.)
S A L T O F T H E E A R T H
My daughter, Brianna/50 MM 1.8 II/manual focus/manual exposure/natural lighting
13 Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.
14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.
16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
-Matthew 5: 13-16