“Will you take my picture?” asked a cute little girl wearing movie star sunglasses and sitting in a little red wagon, that was being pulled by her father. “Of course we will,” we said. There was no way three photographers would pass up such a great photo-opportunity. “She has never done anything like this before,” said her mother, who seemed embarrassed by her daughters boldness. Her father pulled the wagon around so we could get her picture and the fun began. 

After being in the lime light for a few minutes she started acting shy and the photo shoot was done, but in those few minutes of smiles and laughter the three of us, and this family, created some photos to remember that warm summer day in the botanical garden. Moments like these come and go quickly, but the connections last in the memories of those willing to take the opportunity, and be there without fear. An opportunity to connect recognized by a little girl willing to speak up and give others the chance to experience a heart felt moment between strangers. As we learn to connect in this way we will learn we are not separate beings, but all here being one.   



Still Useful


I have something I can’t bring myself to throw away, but it’s not dusty. It’s something I use every day, but can’t persuade myself to replace it. It’s my wallet. I bought it during the family vacation between my junior and senior year in high school. The family was enjoying the beautiful scenery around Lake Tahoe when we came upon some people selling their crafts along the side of the road. One of the crafters was a man selling leather goods. I liked his wallets because they were the type you could put in the back pocket of your jeans. My mother kept trying to make me into a lady, but I wasn’t going to let that happen. Back then I was a “Tom girl” all the way. 

Now I am 51 and carry a pocketbook with the wallet still holding my money and credit cards. The wallet has that weathered look of well used leather, but it’s not worn out in any way. There are no tears in it and the design is still visible. Maybe I can’t keep enough money in to wear it out. I have tried to replace it. I even have a nice red one that would be more user friendly, but I can’t bring myself to throw out a perfectly useful wallet. Is it the emotional attachment to that family vacation or throwing out something useful that makes me hold on to it? Maybe both. 

When I do decide to let it go I’ll bring it to the salvation army store, and let it continue it’s usefulness in someone else’s pocket.

Artists in the park

On a hot day in July I was walking along a shady path in Roger Williams Park, when I met a young man who greeted me happily and asked what I was doing in the park on this beautiful day? I told him I was taking pictures at the botanical gardens, and was know looking for the rose garden. When I asked him if he knew where the rose garden was he shook his head and again asked me what I was doing in the park? I said doing photography, but realized from the look on his face he didn’t know what that word meant. I could understand his english through his heavy accent, but I couldn’t speak his language. He said he was working on his english. From the drawing pad on the ground next to him I knew he was an artist and asked him to show me his work. As soon as he opened his drawing pad there was no language barrier. I understood him by the bright colors he used to create the animals he loved to draw, tropical birds and tigers. He also had a painting of a husband with his arms gently holding his wife, as she rested her head on his chest. As our conversation drew to a close he told me his name was Miquel or Michael in english, but I called him Miguel. On my next walk through the park I hope he is there with more drawings so I can get to know him better.