I have this mental image right now of life and the passing of time – on the one hand it’s like running toward that distant horizon line, yet never seeing the far off mountains loom any larger; and on the other it’s like trying to hold sand in your hands yet it slips away even as you grasp more tightly.
That time can be both of these things at once feels so unfair, but I suppose that’s sort of the point of it all: learning to keep running and chasing those mountaintops, while savoring the view right now, and loving deeply yet holding just loose and just tight enough.
And the mental and emotional gymnastics that it requires sometimes to maintain that proper hold is… tiring. Difficult. Something we’re always reworking and adjusting and failing at and retrying. Because really, how do we actually master living in the moment yet persevering for the big picture? It’s a paradox – and also comforting in a strange way that feels very close to concerning – that we love and work for the long haul, but all we really have is this moment.
If I were cool I’d write a poem about it (after all, a double exposure on film with a little homespun poetry is what the cool photographers are doing right now – and I’m not hating, totally love both of those!), but that’s not happening on my end. For me, I think I’ll just file these thoughts away under Emotional Mom Thoughts, that jumbled collection of meandering musings that grows larger every time a little one hits a milestone, or when I stare at a photo of one of them a few seconds extra, or just when the distractions quiet down enough that my thoughts can actually be heard again.
And also, I’ll keep trying to chase the mountaintops, and remind myself that the struggles are mostly just a small bump in a very long road; but the good things, those I’ll drink in deep and I’ll kiss my babies a few more times and hug them longer and tuck the memories away, because the years really are short, and now really is all that I have.
Photos taken by me and by my lovely sister who is so willing to be my human tripod, and who does an awesome job, especially considering she almost never touches a camera like mine. Love you, Ames. XOXO.
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© Hannah Mann 2020