Yesterday I taught my primary class a lesson about Josiah, the boy king. He is the one that had the temple repaired and the workers found the lost book of the law. (the scriptures) Josiah was distressed when it was read to him because the people had strayed so far from the truth. The lesson plan suggested that I bring a book that was a personal record of some type to show that we need written records to remember the past. When I opened the cupboard above my computer that contains genealogy and photo albums I did a quick scan and then grabbed a binder that was simply labeled with a piece of tape, Dad's letters. I knew that would work.
During the class I shared the book. Dad would combine a memory from his past with current events. Of course he would add humor. They are well written and a treasure since my dad's short term memory is struggling at this time. I'm so very grateful to have his writings.
I randomly opened the binder and my eyes fell upon the opening of one of his letters. I laughed and shared the following story with the kids. The letter was dated November 24, 1984.
"There was this farmer, see, and he and his teen-age grandson had just finish loading a wagon load of hay and were going to cross the highway to unload it on the part of their farm which was on the other side.
Well, they no sooner got to the middle of the highway when the horses decided to balk, leaving them blocking both lanes.
Naturally, a sports car came over the crest of the hill doing 130 mph. When the driver saw the wagon full of hay, and the team of horses in the middle of the road he locked his brakes, spun around a half dozen times, skidded through the fence into the farmer's hay field, jumped a couple of ditches, crossed behind the wagon, broke through the fence in another place, bounced back up on the highway again, and, recovering his control "put the peddle to the metal" and went on his merry way.
"Wow! We sure are lucky, huh, grandpa?" exclaimed the grandson.
"I'll say," said the grandfather, "we got out of the hayfield just in time."
The girls laughed. Most of them got it. I got it on another level. It is something I've been pondering lately. Perspective and mistakes. My dear friend, Paula, is an amazing photographer up in Alaska. (www.paulapettijohnphotography.com) She shared, on facebook, some photos from a flight in a small plane over Wasilla not too long ago. In all the years I lived there I never saw Wasilla from Heaven's view. I saw it with my earthly eyes with all it's trials and struggles. (there were bright spots too) Her pictures made me cry. If only I could have had a different perspective back then. I would have seen more joy, appreciated the bigger picture.
I've come to look at mistakes differently too. I've made my share. Now I see that mistakes can be an opportunity to overcome and grow. When I'm taking photos I don't spend much time editing the photos that work perfectly. Now and then I come across one that missed the mark. Maybe my white balance was set wrong or something. I've learned to shoot in 'raw'. That gives me the greatest opportunity to correct. Still there are times the mistakes allows me to throw all caution to the wind and explore the vast palate of options that photoshop offers. Here is an example. The pictures are of my dear niece, Sidse, at a recent photo shoot. A before and after. I saw that there was something good in the picture even though it was so....wrong in so many ways. Still there were great lines and her beautiful eyes. I'm grateful for the mistakes. I love the results. Life lesson.