I’d point down the hallway to the open door. The doorway to the some of the most magical lighting I’ve ever experienced.
It’s early morning and a waterfall of sheer white fabric is glowing with the most perfect mix of highlights and shadows. It rushes into the room and bounces playfully from wall to ceiling, to wall, to floor, leaving a perfect kiss of light on every surface it finds. Including, of course, my girl.
She’s sitting on the floor at the bottom left corner of the “waterfall”, legs crossed, her back to the light. To her right is an open drawer, with a rainbow of paper spilling out.
You’d hear her murmur a little something. She’s chatting with the girls before her, asking what color and style they’d like.
A moment later, scissors in hand, she’s carefully cutting tiny strips of paper.
We’d stand, at a distance, and listen to the symphony that plays through my house on almost a daily basis. The lower sound that’s coming from the cutting tells me she’s using a thicker piece of construction paper. The “cut cut cut” is followed by a brief silence and then the screech of packing tape being pulled through the dispenser.
More murmuring. And the symphony begins again.
Minutes later she’s finished. She holds her “client” up, face to face, and asks if she likes it. With a nod of approval, my girl moves on to the next friend.
It’s at this point you might say to me, “Grab your camera!”
And I’ll shake my head no. Not today.
I’m tempted to tell you that today I just want to watch. But the reality is that I’m not just watching.
Today, I’m seeing. And hearing. And feeling what I miss out on when I’m caught up in framing and capturing these moments.
No feverishly dialing in the exposure. No fiddling with changing the focus point. No army crawling along the floor to find an angle free of distortion.
I’ll “watch” for a few moments more before telling you I have to go.
Then I’ll quietly make my way closer. Until she sees me and invites me in.
And we’ll sit together beneath that waterfall of warm light, playing the symphony together.