Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
On a day when we have several fluffy inches of snow on our sidewalks in D.C., I enjoyed looking through some photos from balmy Hilton Head.
#wendellberry #poetry #winter
Some of my photographs from the Anacostia River project were featured on Oxford American’s Eyes On The South series today.
Mom and Katie at Hilton Head last summer.
I’m so thankful for the seasons.
February: slow for freelancing, perfect for Vday collaging. My inner seventh grader is thriving.
The cutlery has evolved since 1924.
The weight of metal pressing against your palm has lifted.
How does it feel? Is that why you keep your stories to yourself?
Mary Oliver, Wild Geese
My Great Aunt Polly, two days before her 90th birthday.
I took this portrait of my mom one afternoon when she and my sister Katie took my niece outside to play in the snow. Katie is staying in Jonesborough, TN, with my parents while my brother-in-law is in Afghanistan.
My sister Katie
January, Jonesborough, TN
A friend sent me this excerpt from Hal Borland’s Sundial of the Seasons. After all that talk about February, I was certainly glad to read it.
"The birds have started singing in the valley. Their February squawks and naked chirps are fully fledged now, and long lyrics fly in the air."- Annie Dillard
People hate February. There is a Facebook group called “I Hate February For Reasons Other Than Valentine’s Day”. Despite having been made fully aware of this sentiment, it always catches me off guard. Why such a strong reaction to this grouping of 28/9 days? I have a few rebuttals for the haters: First off, February, such a teeny little month, has SO MANY HOLIDAYS. Groundhogs Day, President’s Day, Valentine’s Day, and Leap Year. What now, August? You’re so big and long, and I can’t think of a single thing to celebrate in you.
The other reason I find disdain of February to be sad is that this is the sweet season when the world starts waking back up, melting into spring. There is the occasional warm day, forsythia bushes light up the grey landscape, birds come back to us, and the sun gives us a little more light each evening.
I’m in transition right now—figuring out where to work (if not for myself), discerning how to fit photography into my career, and worrying about how to make that lucrative enough to live in D.C. It’s confusing and it’s easy to feel despondent about the lines I’ve cast that haven’t pulled back yet, or the days when I refresh my email every minute on the minute. But just like hating February doesn’t make it pass any faster, wishing away this transitional time won’t make it go away or help me to grow. I want to challenge myself (and maybe any February grumblers out there) to be present in the still cold but sometimes sunny days that we inhabit at the end of winter. Because those days don’t only manifest themselves in the second month of the Gregorian calendar—they will come and find us whenever there is an unwelcome transition, or a period of uncertainty, darkness, weariness, or boredom. I’ve heard (and I’m hoping) that the best way to come out of these times is to be right there in them, noticing what you appreciate and learning to enjoy what you may not.
Becky on the first day of February
Shenandoah River National Park