Things end. Sometimes we look forward to endings, anticipating what will follow. Other endings are more bittersweet. June can be gray and overcast here along the coast, what we fondly (or not so fondly) refer to as “June Gloom.” Last week was gray…and by the weekend, I was ready for the sun to shine through. Saturday the gloom was so thick that we needed windshield wipers, and even Sunday morning things were gray. But as we headed out for breakfast, we noticed the coast was brighter than inland. So after breakfast and some much needed work in my classroom, we headed up to Oceanside to walk along the pier since the tide was too high for walking at our local beach.
Once there, the gloom ended and the sun shone through. We spied this sailboat from the pier. There’s something beautiful and calming about the monochromatic blue.
Under the pier is always an interesting view. I particularly like way the light and shadow plays with the pilings and the pier deck, ending in the sand below. It isn’t easy to take “new” pictures under the pier…but I feel like this one has a bit of a different vibe.
This was the last week of school, so endings have been front and center both in my mind and in this week’s activities. In our multiage class we have a tradition of ending the year with a musical production. It takes the form of a review of the school year, highlighting learning with third graders as featured speakers and all the kids singing and dancing. This year also marks the end of the multiage class. After 23 years of teaching students in this format that features three grade levels in the same class with two teachers, next year I will be in a single grade classroom with third graders on my own. I am both sad and excited, knowing that change brings new opportunity.
We were surprised at the end of the musical on Monday evening to not only have the third grade parents and their children present us with a book of 23-word stories (inspired by some 25-word stories we had done earlier in the year) to honor the 23 years of the class (yes, I’ve taught it all 23 years, with two different teaching partners!), but then to have a third grade parent who also happens to be the mayor of our local community step up to the microphone. When she introduced herself as the mayor rather than as third grade mom, I realized that something more was coming. She presented us with a Mayor’s Certificate of Recognition highlighting the work we have done through our multiage teaching…such a touching gesture and honor.
Busy weeks make daily photography a bit of a challenge. In spite of that I try not to end the day without a picture or two. Sometimes it means trying to find a new angle on something that is ordinary. I noticed the fuzz on this tree on our walk in the neighborhood the other day…and the light seemed to magnify it.
And these wildflowers with the sun dropping behind them reminded me of a sunset at the end of the day. I kind of like the green of the solar flare in the center.
Busy days mean resorting to eating out, including a quick trip to a Mexican seafood place the other night. This is your quick and informal kind of place, yet the small jars of wildflowers caught my eye, especially with the light coming in the window and the flier in reverse since it was posted on the outside of the window. I did play around with the light balance and contrast in the app Snapseed to brighten this display.
School ended yesterday…at least the part with students. As I worked to downsize my classroom from two rooms to one, I found myself making tough decisions about materials, files, books and more. By the time I got home in the evening, I was exhausted. But when my husband suggested a trip to the beach to watch the sunset, I was eager…and grabbed my camera as we headed out.
The tide was pretty high, not ideal for walking, but we noticed a guy with a large bubble making wand on the shore. With the sunsetting behind him, it was fun to try to catch shots of the bubbles before the kids ran up and poked and popped them. I got some interesting shots, but this is my favorite…and it was such a perfect ending to an emotional and tiring day. After taking photos and talking with the bubble guy, we sat in the sand and watched as the sun dipped lower and lower into the ocean. Taking time to breathe and appreciate nature’s beauty is a perfect way to end the day…and the school year.
So, what do endings look like where you are? Feel free to interpret ending in whatever way works for you…it might be a physical ending like the end of the pier, an emotional ending, or something only you can imagine and photograph, you always get to choose!
You can post your photo alone or along with some words: commentary, a story, a poem…maybe even a song! I love to study the photographs that others’ take and think about how I can use a technique, an angle, or their inspiration to try something new in my own photography. (I love a great mentor text…or mentor photo, in this case!) I share my photography and writing on social media. You can find me on Instagram and Twitter using @kd0602. If you share your photos and writing on social media too, please let me know so I can follow and see what you are doing. To help our Weekly Photo community find each other, use the hashtag #endings for this week and include @nwpianthology in your post.
Grab your camera and find those endings…be they happy, sad, bittersweet, or something else entirely. Be sure to share your endings with the rest of us!