|One of our special ornaments: a bird from the National Museum of the Native American|
And that was and is fine.
So leading up to Christmas, the one thing I pointed him to was the just out first volume (paperback) of Mary Oliver's collected poems. It was in a shop in Rochester when we were there two weeks ago, modestly priced, and I thought that would be perfect gift for me. So when I unwrapped it (knowing which present it was) Christmas morning, I felt very much like Beth March, on the second Christmas in Little Women, who said "I'm so full of happiness, that, if Father was only here, I couldn't hold one drop more."
|Another special ornament: the Santa we bought early on|
Then Warren said, "That's not the present I thought it was. Unwrap the other."
The other had more heft to it. I only had a little of the paper off before I realized what it was.
A brand new DLSR camera, with lenses. (To be accurate: a Canon EOS Rebel T6.)
To say I was stunned would not begin to capture what I was feeling. Shocked. Floored. Caught entirely off guard. And emotional to the point that tears came into my eyes.
Back in October, I wrote about my introduction to and love of photography. What I did not write about, although my friend Cindy and I talked about it, as did Warren and I, were the limitations of a simple point and shoot (a Nikon Coolpix S3600) and whether we should invest in something better. Eventually I concluded with Warren that it was probably not worth the cost, given our schedules and busy lives. Warren, though, tucked away that discussion. He heard my tone of voice when I talked about how much I loved and used to shoot photos, and he acted on it.
The biggest gift in my life? My husband's love for me.
I didn't shoot the camera for the first few days. Cindy pressed me: just do it. I told her I was intimidated by the new machine. I told her it felt like writer's block; I just couldn't couldn't bring myself to do it. "My finger is frozen just hovering over the shutter release: I emailed. Cindy then gave me the best photography advice I have ever received: "NO!!!! PUNCH IT!!!"
She was right.
I am still learning my new camera, getting used to its many bells and whistles. I pulled out my old Nikon (film camera) that served me so well for so long, and spent time comparing the views through the respective viewfinders. It was Warren that figured out the focus issues tripping me up; I am the one who figured out some of the manual settings.
Even with what little I have taken, two of the photos shown here, I am ecstatic. I foresee photography in my life in 2018 in ways it has not been in a long, long time.
Many decades ago, I wanted to be a photographer for National Geographic. (Before National Geographic, it was Life magazine I wanted to work for, but it folded in 1972, while I was still in high school.) That dream is long, long over, but the girl who had that dream and who loved seeing the world through a viewfinder is still deep inside me.
And she can't wait.