December feels like a black hole of time. I’m kind of OK with that. I’ve hardly touched my computer in a week. Our days have been filled with sleeping in, a quick Palm Springs vacation (respite from the cold pour moi), cross-country skiing, touring around downtown Seattle, seeing the Gingerbread display at the Sheraton, taking our exchange student to the Space Needle, brunching with old friends, hosting a Solstice party, baking, reading and general
I’ve had enough space and time to begin reflecting on the year and think about what I want the next year to look like. I always start the end of year/New Year year out simultaneously in a creative funk and and with a list of goals that will undoubtedly leave me feeling defeated by mid-February. This year has forced me to slow down…..or at least realized I need to. And I want to. High on the list of hopes/ goals for the year is more sleep. More yoga. More reading and prayer. More art. More writing. Less hurry. Less clutter. Less hustle ( There will a blog post soon about how much I hate that word and all that it stands for).
Living intentionally is something Mr. Uhler and I are always striving to do better. I firmly believe that I will tell better stories if I am living a good story. This means that the health and welfare of my family, the state of our home and culture, matters more to me than whatever else is on our plates. With the help of this book and several others, I’ve been thinking through my routines, efficiency, and tfinding a phrase that will serve as a touchstone for the year, a theme to reflect on and perhaps guide some of my choices. It may change in a season or two, but what seems to resonate the most with me right now is NOURISH.
My physical health has always been important to me, but this year I have uncovered some issues with my body that have made it critical for me to change my diet and make sure I get enough exercise and sleep. There are no shortcuts to this. And when I don’t, I don’t have the energy to take care of my family, friends, or clients.
To think about NOURISHING myself and my family with the foods that truly give us everything we need is the perfect metaphor for our emotional and spiritual lives as well. Nourishing is not slapping things together and calling it a life. It is not letting busyness dictate the state of our home. Instead, it is saying that we will choose what to put on our plate (metaphorical and real) and what to take off. Yes, it takes more time. Yes, it in not always convenient, but it is life-giving and soul-healing both to eat real food that is healthful and to eat soul food that is restorative.
Enough about me. Let me introduce you to Alina and her kids. Alina knows what it means to nourish others with her food. For years, she has fed our city with her DELICIOUS soup- out of her kitchen and out of booths at the Farmer’s Market. She now lives a farmer’s life and understands slow-eating, the beauty that comes from the earth, the alchemy of love that cooking can be. I got to spend an evening with her and her two kids as they made pizza together. I’m pretty sure it will be the only session I ever shoot involving unicycles. Mad props to those kids. I love when parents of older kids invite me to come tell their family’s story. It can be a challenge as kids get older to photograph them in a way that shows who they really are. I think these years are so worth photographing- the in-between years, the unique connections they still have with each other and with their mom. And alway yes to a trampoline.