I am a great one for taking photographs wherever we go on holiday. Hundreds
and hundreds of snaps stacked on shelves and stuffed in draws. Some indexed
with dates and places, others anonymous. Some faded through age, others
dated embarrassingly by clothing or style of hair. That moustache, those
flares - oh dear, what was I thinking?
Each image is there to remind me of a somewhere that I may never travel to again, of a year I can never relive, of memories that may be good or not. I look at some and they give me a warm feeling, good times well spent in a time that brought much happiness. That was the year I finally gave in to God; this one the year our first child was born. Some leave me cold – the places are indistinct, vintage uncertain. And there are others that give rise to mixed emotions. The last holiday together with the kids before they went their separate ways, the year the illness was diagnosed, difficulties at work or school. The bullying that stopped me achieving my real aim in life.
Photographs form part of our personal autobiography; they chronicle our lives year by year as we grow up, go to school, university, form relationships, move house, welcome new births and new love and mourn the loss of loved ones. The good years, the bad years - they are all there and each has had its profound or gentle influence on the person I am today.
I am the sum total of all the infinite possibilities that control our lives, some of which I have control over, others that have controlled or consumed me. That I choose to chronicle each year with my camera lens allows me to see (in some small way) from where I have come on life’s journey and the direction that I have been led.
Capturing a part of every year on camera may seem only to be a record of a visit to Rome, Paris or Washington DC but it's more than that because it serves to remind us of a precious moment in our lives - it’s a valuable chapter of our illustrated story.
Oh, and yes it’s also good to share the images of our holidays with friends and family and remind us of time spent together in what was hopefully a pleasant place.
Prayer: Father God, at times it seems that life itself is conspiring against us. And yet we often gaze back in retrospect and see that what seemed like obstacles and bad times have served to teach us and mature us as individuals. Thank you that ultimately you want nothing and promise nothing but the best for us. Help us to look back and see you at work in the ordinary moments of life, moulding us into the people you would have us be.