Today is the day that I lost everything. Well, not everything. That's being quite dramatic. But I lost a big piece of me and I'm going to grow from this.
At 12:44 PM, I finally sat down to look up my old blogs, which I thought I'd saved to my computer after switching blog hosting sites. What I realized, much to my dismay, is that I'd only saved a couple of blog posts. I'm heartbroken, and that's NOT quite being dramatic.
As many of you know, I don't just post photos from recent shoots when I blog. And actually, that's the best proven way to get more traffic to a photography website, to be honest. I can't do that, though. I'm too wordy. It's a blessing and a curse. What can I say?
My words, though, especially when I'm really lost, they help me find my way back into my own heart. And, hopefully, to yours. So, if you've ever read my blog before, you'll know that I weave recent photo shoots in with my own feelings, and sculpt it into a reflective, autobiographical glimpse into what moves me, and evokes you. That's why I'm missing my old blog posts so terribly, and also why I feel a little less dramatic when I reiterate the idea that I really do feel a huge sense of loss today.
If you've ever read my blog before, you'll also know that rescuing animals is an important part of my existence. Do you remember one of my favorite blogs? The one entitled, "You're a Children's Photographer. What's Up with All the Dogs?" Me neither. I wish I could remember all of it. But the gist of it was about how developing as a photographer, and rehabilitating an animal, are remarkably related. It's about pouring your whole self into the growth of something.
And that brings me to today's post. On this day I lost not quite everything at 12:44 PM. It's about Moving Forward, and how I learned it from rescuing dogs, but how I see it in everything else.
When you first take in a dog who knows no love, who has had a horrific past, and who has never known "safe," one of the first things to do is take it for a walk. You don't let the dog outside in the back to play. You don't let it wander around the house. You don't feed it. You put it on a leash, and you walk with it.
I did it with Hannah, and I did it with Hope.
There is something so true to the core about me, and a lost soul of a dog, walking together. Connected. I don't say much. I just walk, and I stay a little bit ahead of the dog. I establish, in our silence, that I'm here now, and I've got this. I'll take the lead for awhile and it's really okay for you to let your guard down. Settle in. Rest in me, and later on, I'll rest in you.
We don't dwell on where, or worse, what, the dog is from. We don't think about the past as we walk. We don't accept it and move on. We just move forward. We move forward with such a pace and confidence that all we can do is move forward because in that moment, moving forward is all we know. Well, moving forward with a twist of love. And trust. One step at a time. I am blown away by the way these beings can trust trust again, almost immediately.
So, as much as I'd love to dwell, for another hour or two on all that I've lost - The "Dear Abby" Blog, and the blog about my photography sisters, or how we mothers need to mother each other - they can't be replaced, but I will, for sure, move forward, because the stuff that's ahead, as Hannah and Hope would assure you, well... that stuff is what I've been gearing up for all along. (And again, I feel the need to point out the dramatic flair, here, because truthfully, I continue to have so, so, so very much more than I've lost.)
Whether you're a dog, or a disheartened blogging photographer, or a kid who was picked last at recess for the 12th day in a row, or whomever, together, let's move forward - at a good pace, and with love and connectedness and confidence.
Hannah, when I first spotted her at the "shelter."
Hannah & Me, moving forward
Hannah & Me at work
Hannah & Ryan, resting into each other
Hannah & Me, resting in each other's love for the last time
Hannah in all her rehabilitated glory
Hope, when I said, "Send her to us."
Hope & Me, moving forward
Hope & Louie, moving forward
Hope, in all her glory, just before her adoptive family found her
How will YOU move forward today?