What do you look for in a photo?

What do you look for in a photo? In art? In the world?

I look for a piece of me. A reflection of where I’ve been.

A connection to between my life and what’s happening around me.

Sydney Harbour Bridge - All Lit Up

Tell me, what do you look for?

I took these photos (and a slew more) on Friday night in the heart of Sydney, Australia. It was a beautiful night filled with the famous lights of the Vivid Sydney Festival (learn more here). The buildings, structures and sculptures along the Sydney Harbour waterfront were lit to please. And they did.  This is what date night looked like for hundreds of us in Sydney the last few weeks. This is what I look for in art–emotion, connection and life.

It would affect us.

No one could remember the last time either parent had actually seen the view from the top. It had been over 10 years since I had hiked that mountain. The kids couldn’t figure out just why their parents felt their rightful resting place was to be up there, but while walking back down, I think I found the reason.

I had never been present for the spreading of ashes before Sunday morning, but I’m closer to understanding the desire now. Maybe one of them had an idea of how it would affect us.

There were about 15 of us–friends, children, nieces–loved ones drove and drove to climb together, pushing both physical and emotional limits to say ‘goodbye’.

We each had a special place for that mountain in our hearts already, but change can be good. It’s not as frightening when there’s a love-filled hand helping you continue climbing.

I watched my cousins lie down at the edge and release their parents. Dust to dust. They were all around us. It was a relief to know why we were there. A few of us looked up in time to notice that there was a swirling cloud of ashes lingering just overhead. It only lasted a moment before fading into the wind.

*Ashes to Ashes was recently purchased. But don’t worry; it’s staying in the family.