Last Thursday I spent a day shooting interiors with a local designer, and even though it was a long day of good work, I knew that I needed to go out to a farm in Winterville to take some photographs for a Seed and Plate piece. John and I talked and decided to make this farm visit a family trip, feed the girls supper on the way.
Driving out to Winterville is a familiar route to John, particularly, but to me as well -- it's the drive that he took every morning and every night to come see me and spend time with the girls while we were dating. He lived on a farm in Winterville with a close friend, and we visited him there a couple of times, but we spent most of our time together at my house because it was home for the girls. This was a nostalgic drive for us... we talked about how far we've come even in these four months that we've been married, the mix of emotions that he felt on that drive from town to the farm -- ranging from sadness and loneliness, feeling a lack of purpose before we met, to the excitement and hope for something real and true after meeting me, to the love that was growing between us, and the four of us, and then the hope of marriage and being a family for the rest of our lives.
As we got closer to his old house we realized that this was exactly where the map was taking us and we laughed. I never mentioned the address to him before typing it into my phone, I just saw that it was on the same road and didn't think anything further about it. We pulled into the driveway, got the girls out and went inside to meet Meg and Gus. It was so good to be back in that house and on that farm, remembering the whole scope of our story and how beautiful it really is.
Meg and Gus run a meat co-op called Community. I'll post a link to the Seed and Plate piece when it is ready so that you can learn more about what they do. They were a joy to meet and so welcoming. It seems like they live a simple life, the kind that I dream about sometimes.
I have been gone quite a bit these days, away from my family, traveling for weddings... some not too far away from home, some a good ways away. I have been missing my family. I have been weighed down with the stress of wedding season. I have been thinking about what I really want out of my work, and the preciousness of these early years in my girl's life, and of one day wanting to have another baby. I have been tired of the constant digital camera or screen in front of my eyes. I love my work, I will always be a photographer, I could never stop, I just know that I don't want to pursue a career in photography at the expense of my family and marriage. Maybe later, when the girls are older, I don't know.
So we have been dreaming and planning. There are some new things on the horizon for us, which are being carefully considered and thought through, but for now I can say that I am beginning a new chapter... one that involves staying closer to home, building into the Athens creative community, partnering with other artists and musicians and such, and bringing the girls along with me so that my work isn't something that separates me from them, but is an adventure for all of us. John will of course be my other half in this, and we are both fighting for a more holistic approach to our work and life. A simpler life. So we're hopeful, and ready for more time together, more time working with other creatives, more time letting the girls explore and create. Can't wait.