maybe just look
The other evening, Marcus asked if I'd like to come walk with him in the woods near our house. The sun was setting, and it was a pretty evening; but it's getting warmer here in Houston, and the thought of going into the woods among all the bugs that were surely starting to work up an appetite did not sound like fun. But Marcus insisted, and so I sprayed some bug spray all over me, grabbed my camera (I mean, might as well) and off we went.
I wish I could say that my attitude was one of cheery sweetness, the kind of mood that reminded Marcus why he fell in love with me ... but no. I really didn't want to go. And even though I didn't get bitten once, with every step I kept asking Marcus, "Are you ready to go back home now?" Remember that character in the movie Dances with Wolves called "Stands With A Fist"? Well, had I been in that movie, I most certainly would've been named "Walks With A Scowl." And once we got into the woods, the paths were so dense that I really couldn't find anything to photograph. It was just a bunch of branches and leaves.
"Come, I'll show you my favourite bench!" Marcus shouted over his shoulder, undeterred.
"YOU come, I'll show you my favourite couch ..." I mumbled, as I stumbled behind him.
After about 5 minutes, we came to a bench that the park service had installed, near a deck that overlooks a small brook. Marcus sat down and inhaled deeply. I walked over to the banister of the deck and looked over. The brook could barely be seen through all of the tree branches, so when I tried to photograph it, I couldn't get a clean shot. Frustrated, I moved to go sit next to Marcus on the bench, when I suddenly looked down.
The word LOVE was scratched into one of the railings. It was faint -- I almost missed it -- but there it was. No other names around it, no other initials. Just LOVE.
I took the shot.
I can't help but notice that as time passes (and political leaders change, and cities get bombed, and police are needlessly violent, and civilians get hurt...), I find myself more and more cynical about everything going on around me. That cynicism, actually, is part of the reason that I continue to blog: taking photographs is how I keep myself from spiraling into terminal crankiness; I share them in the hope that it might help others to keep from doing the same. Still, as I watch comments sections on news sites and Facebook posts, sometimes I wonder if it's worth it. I wonder if anyone really cares about good or beauty anymore.
But seeing that LOVE in that old banister made me feel like perhaps, just maybe, even if it's only for a second, it's worth it. It made me feel better, anyway, for just that small moment. So I'm going to keep on sharing the light -- even when I'm cranky.
Because I hope, for a fleeting moment, it does you some good too.
Soundtrack: 7 by Prince