I work across the street from the house I grew up in – how weird is that? It's technically a ghost town, and when I moved out after high school, my goofball friends and I took the masking tape and changed the population on the town sign from 100 to 99. True story. There's a photo somewhere. (Right, Alex?)
It's hard sometimes, to look over there and see that it's almost nothing of what I remember. But I've been noticing that my Dad's camellias have been blooming like they're going out of style. They were his pride and joy every Spring. The guy that lives there now didn't mind that I went over and cut a bundle of them. What a nice guy.
Sometimes I feel like I try to hold onto things that aren't there anymore. Walking up the steps into the yard, I was overwhelmed by the memories, and how different everything was. The garden is gone, the fences, almost every plant and tree - everything they worked so hard in their free time for. I looked in the spots where my dogs and cat are buried. I never believed that saying, “You can't go home again” - until now.
I brought as many stems home as I could hold. It was the day after a pretty intense weekend storm, so they were a little battered, but still gorgeous. I took dozens of photos of them. As soon as I finished, one popped off of its stem. I forgot how camellias do that – they don't wither...they let go, suddenly and decidedly. Then they decorate the ground for a while before they return to the Earth.
My Dad wouldn't have liked this photo – black and white wasn't his thing. Especially with his gorgeous candy cane camellias. But I'm not the boss of the photos – just the conduit to bring them into their own light. This one wanted to be dark and moody and beautiful in its shoegazey sadness.
Who am I to argue?