If a picture says a thousand words, there is one photo that might as well be an essay on becoming a parent let alone experiencing real, unedited life. National Geographic is in week 11 of voting for photo of the year. In my early days of being home with baby, I’ve had some time to peruse. I can’t get enough of this photo.
When I saw it for the first time, it brought tears to my eyes.
Yes, the hobbyist photographer in me was smitten with the beautiful vantage point and the Ansel Adams’ zone shading. It’s visually stunning.
As a mother, I swooned.
I sat holding my newborn baby staring at the breathtaking photo. I paused. I simply love the glimpse it offers.
I was eager to share it on our social media sites, as was the author of the post in which I found it where she listed it as the photo of the year. (Note the post edit.) Fans on our facebook page shared it and commented with much the same interest.
I’ll admit I even looked back at the photos my husband and doula happily snapped just weeks ago searching for this same expression at the birth of my son. It’s simple. It’s beautiful. The midwife-turned-photographer captured it so well. On her facebook page she writes, “It’s the raw, simple moments in life that we cherish for a lifetime. I am still on a high after capturing this beautiful home waterbirth in the early hours of this morning. Women are awesome.”
When a tiny human being is placed in your arms it elicits the joy of life that is difficult to describe exactly. Snapped at such a raw moment, the expression on her face is euphoric. In it I see the challenge of giving birth, the exhaustion and utter relief, gratitude, and the rush of recognizing the present and imagining what is to be.
There is no greater joy than becoming a mother. I would like to think any woman who has been presented with a child can relate to this photo in some capacity. Please feel free to share your reaction to it in the comments. I would love to see it win.
I still sigh a week after seeing it. I’ll certainly be keeping a copy of it near my desk at Nurtured.