When the cherry blossoms appeared in Portland this March, the waterfront was filled with tourists capturing those perfect pictures. During the short window between the blooms sprouting and a rainstorm washing the city clean, thousands of flashes filled the strip by the river. And of course, my camera was among them.
In looking through my set of Spring 2018 pictures, the one in this blog was my favorite. It took me a while to figure out why. There were others that were framed more perfectly, with the glistening river below or a bridge along the side providing depth. Some were, of course, selfies of me, of course, in running gear (I swear there is hair under that bandana). I even have a few cute ones of my parents who visited Easter Weekend.
This shot was my favorite because it was so imperfect. I took it while walking with my parents back to their parked car, with just a moment to pause rather than a good chunk of time to choose my angle. There are people in the shot, but I have no idea who they are. And Steel Bridge in the background is not stunning like St. Johns, shiny new like Tilikum, or impressive like Fremont. As someone who runs over that bridge quite often, I can say its old, rusty, and covered with graffiti in locations that must have required a trapeze artist to access. From this shot, you cannot see the details but the dark gears are evident against that bright blue sky.
The beauty of the trees, and the anticipated warmth from that blue sky catches the attention because of the contrast, because of the darkness. As Madeline L’Engle once wrote “Maybe you have to know the darkness before you can appreciate the light.”
Here is my hope for you, dear friends: May you be a light in the darkness, a blossom amidst the rust, and a voice speaking truth through fearful silence.