Guest post by Eric Livingston, Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania
I love when a photo tells a story. Here’s a young woman the night before she is to leave for the Naval Academy. One hundred neighbors gathered in her driveway to see her off with well wishes and stories from when we knew her. She’s the oldest of four kids and its a big deal for the family who haven’t been through this before. She’s leaving months before the next college freshman, and pretty much wont be home or accessible for the next four years.
The air is warm with summer and someone is playing the guitar. Lights are hung in strings around the spill over crowd who are drinking and chatting and waiting for what is to happen next. The moment finally comes and the young woman is seated in the center as her next youngest sister braids her long blonde hair.
Someone nods to the Guitarist and he begins playing America the Beautiful. In come the scissors to cut her hair down to military length. This is the moment that makes it real for everyone. We can SEE the change, and if you arent crying you probably arent breathing either. The young woman who is stepping off into such a huge unknown adventure is balanced between a finite past and wild blue potential in which anything can happen. Tomorrow she will have a rifle in her hand and be an adult, but tonight we can all dream about the possibilities for her and remember when there was so much hope for each of us. The sister holds the braid triumphantly, she must now take over the responsibility of being oldest sibling. The youngest weeps at her feet, mourning the change that is shaking her foundations. Questions can not be answered for her.
Life can be pretty amazing. Keep your camera ready.