On Friday I went to the zoo. It had been years since I had visited but it was a place I needed to get back to, a lane of memories I needed to walk down.
Earlier this week I got the call that a friend of mine had lost her Father. It had been a long, hard 8 weeks leading up to his passing and I was honored that she allowed me to help support her through this difficult and beautiful journey. When I learned that it had come to an end, I was flooded with grief and emotion relating to my own Father’s passing.
This was a bit of a surprise, I had not really related her journey to mine during the past 8 weeks, but somehow the finality of it made me crave a closeness to my Dad. I wanted to talk to him, the kind of conversation we used to have prior to him getting sick. A talk full of advice, caring and story telling but still laced with humor and sarcasm. It’s been two and a half years since we lost him and I miss my Dad.
We spent many a family outings at zoos. Not the particular zoo I was going to, but we grew up close to Brookfield and Lincoln and visited them frequently when I was a child. Going to look at animals all day was not going to bring him back , but it was going to make me feel close to him and seemed an appropriate place to have the talk I was so desiring.
When I sorted through the images I took that day the one posted above brought tears to my eyes. It captured the essence of the day for me. A child, perhaps with her parent in the background, having fun, experiencing the animals. To me this image personified the very memories I’d come to reclaim.
I’d love to say I had this decisive moment, setting this up and hitting the shutter at the exact right time, but in truth, I got lucky. The platform was crowded, I hadn’t even been paying attention to the children feeding the giraffes, but when I turned around, I saw the black tongue and thinking it was funny clicked a quick shot figuring it would be one that was discarded later.
When I look at this picture, I wonder if maybe, my conversation wasn’t one sided.