The Power of a Frozen Moment


A wedding party stopped 10 feet from my beach blanket and set up camp to pose for photographs.

The bride and groom seemed a sibling pair, with identical creamy brown skin, chestnut eyes and thick, chocolate-coffee hair.

She wore a flowing A-line mocha-colored silk dress, with a lace netting overlay that rose to a full lace bodice. The bodice cut away into a princess neckline beneath. It was capped by a translucent upper netting edged with white-cream flashing at her throat and across her shoulders.

The groom was tall, broad-shouldered, and sported his three-piece suit with casual aplomb, hands in pockets and shod toes digging into sand.

A flawless couple. My brain knows the "flawless" state has not fully existed since The Garden. But sometimes, I catch glimpses of moments that really could not be more beautiful. This was one such moment.

As the photographers lined up the six pairs of maids and men with the bride and groom front and center, they all gathered their poise and held it in one hand, preparing for The Jump.

The Jump is a years-old trend in wedding photos. It's where everyone lines up in landscape mode and the women hold tightly to errant skirts and bouquets in preparation for liftoff.

Then, the moment comes.

"One, two, three: JUMP!" The photographer yells over the surging Lake Michigan tide.

The party jumps, and the photographer snaps the shutter. One, two, three photographs.

Everyone in the party catches the air and grasps it for a split-second, suspended in time and buoyed by joy.

Then, gravity pulls hard. Instantly, the moment crashes downward.

Each moment is impermanent, breakable, fresh, dying, then dead. And each one holds the joy of a lifespan.

This is why we chase after experiences and document them in pictures: We can only ever live moment by moment, even when we travel forward or backward in worry and regret.

We need to experience all the moments. We need to feel and communicate the emotional responses they bring.

If we just let time pass, or if we actively stifle our feelings, we are robbing ourselves and ignoring the reason for which we were created.

What do you think that reason is? 

I'll leave you in this fragile moment to ponder your life's snapshots. The ones behind you, the ones happening now, and all the ones to come.

Carpe diem! Seize the day.

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