When Hubster and I were dating, I remember this particular evening we were leaving a movie late at night, and walking through the parking garage to our car. I excitedly pointed out the pattern of shadows each light was casting over the cement ceiling, mentioning how Art Deco it appeared. At the time, pre-Hubster said that is was things like that that made him love me.
I'm not exactly sure that was true or if he was just trying to get me to marry him. He also said things like this when I dragged him all over down town on public transportation so that I could take abstract architectural photos for my photography class.
Now, even in my 30s, I get very excited and occasionally even emotional over seemingly small, random things.
I'll pull over on the side of the road to take pictures of colorful homes (trying desperately not to look like a creepy stalker while doing so.) I have rushed home post-call and dragged my children out of bed at dawn to show them ice covered trees.
On a recent trip out west, I was connecting through Chicago's O'Hare Airport. On my quest to find Garrett Popcorn to take home to my boys, I passed through the airport's neon light tunnel, an underground connection between two terminals, the ceiling of which is covered in rainbow hued neon lights. Descending the escalator, I was transported back to middle school, when I had taken my first flight as part of a history trip to Washington, D. C. We had also connected through O'Hare on that trip and walked through that same tunnel. Actually, we ran through the tunnel, because we were about to miss our connecting flight (and no chaperon wants to be stranded in the Midwest with 15 8th graders.) My deeply artistic 14 year old self loved that neon musical tunnel and I found that my 31 year old self was no different.
Except now I have a smart phone to capture images instead of a cheap 35 mm disposable camera that ended up having a scratch or some other defect that left a large orange streak across every photo.
Moments like this make me grateful that not every part of me has become jaded by the stack of bills on the kitchen counter, grim news on the radio, and unrealistic Pinterest expectations. I can still find moments to appreciate the beauty in our world.
The way the dew sparkles on the leaves during my morning run. The indent of Duck's ear on my arm after I have rocked him to sleep. My airplane rising above the rain storm to reveal an expanse of clouds appearing thick enough to fulfill that childhood wish of running across them.
I used to consider myself such an artist. During high school and parts of college, I took classes in photography, watercolor, pastels, writing, egg dyeing and felting. I carried about enormous art boards with charcoal still life's clipped to them. I wore paint splattered jeans and bohemian embroidered tops. I attended poetry readings and wore my hair in messy braids.
I don't paint anymore. Not unless covering up stubborn smudges on the stair walls with left over Sherwin-Williams beige paint count. Which it doesn't. My photographs are of baby feet and silly faces instead of abstract angles of buildings.
But give me the chance and I'll gush over the pattern of the clouds in the evening or the roll of the corn covered land. The artist might be buried under loads of laundry and drowned out by pager beeps, but she's still there.