Friday afternoon was my graduation from college with degree in photography, many hugs from my family who had supported me in this endeavor along the way, and of course the proudest look from my momma. On Saturday the best thing I could think to do was to rise early and photograph an endurance event that I planned on competing in, though because of time constraints and finances this year- I thought best to focus on finishing my degree, and conditioning horses (and myself) later on. I *almost* did not go to this ride, because I expected my heart to break in half from not being in the event myself. Much to my gleeful surprise, my heart did not break, it expanded.
Under a glorious sun, we set up to photograph riders as they traveled up a slight hill, emerging from the forest into a beautiful meadow where I had hoped sunlight would spill onto the riders, giving us some lovely photos contrasted against the trees. In the meadow, camping chairs in tow, along with cameras and snacks...my sweet husband and our youngest son spent the day by my side just being together and enjoying the day. We faced *just* the slightest of rainfall,
enough to give us a most glorious rainbow that I snapped a quick pic of with my iPhone. (That phone camera surely comes in handy, especially when the lens on my Canon was too zoom to quick capture this brief rainbow). So here we were, sitting in a field, waiting for riders, listening to birds singing, watching a gorgeous rainbow, enjoying each others company...and our son picked me the sweetest lilacs ever...my heart expanding- not breaking one little bit.
As the riders filtered through there was one in particular that stood out, on her dashing grey Arabian, smiling enormously as she floated by she had the BIGGEST smile! And I could not help but smile back. Knowing the trails she was riding, and the joy that they bring weaving through the forests, across meadows and down the sandy lanes, I understand that joyful, wistful look of the galloping girl, and was wishing her the best ride ever.
The scene from the cartoon movie, 'Despicable Me' flashed to mind, when the little girl got her unicorn and overcome with joy she exclaims, "It's so fluffy!"- okay, maybe not exactly this expression, though this little girl was having a blast! It completely made my day to have a front row seat to that smile as they glided through the trails.
On our way home, Jim was driving as I paged through the images on the back of my camera- ( gotta love modern cameras). Quickly I could not contain a laugh that bubbled up inside my chest! In paging through the images on my camera, an image of this little girl on her great grey/white Arabian as they had galloped on past us appeared on the LCD screen of my camera. As I zoomed in to hoping checking to find see if my new lens had created a crisp image, I was taken by surprise by the expression on this little girl's face. Galloping by she shot a smile at the camera that seemed to embody the joy & thrill of riding a great horse over good trails.
If you'd like to see images from the trails that day then trot on over to the proofs link for 'Glacier Trails' and take a look for yourself. You will spot this joyful young lady by the bright orange tack on her grey (white) horse. I hope you enjoy the pictures of the day, to find the gallery online click here
And, oh those lilacs in the fields? I am still enjoying the aroma of my all time favorite flowers, they (and a few more added later to this bunch later) are still in the vase next to me, filling my senses & my heart with love. I am so blessed with a loving husband & a son that were just happy to sit in the wild with me this special weekend. Love, always.
Happy Mother's Day, y'all.