Think about all the moments we get in a day, a month, a year, our lives. Moments are all around us. They bombard us. They caress us. They call out to us. They challenge us.
I say: grab ’em.
I had so many amazing moments in Uganda, too many to ever fully explain or even comprehend. But there were also moments (fortunately so few I can count them on one hand) when I felt restless or frustrated or tired. I tried really hard to take these times and turn them into opportunities. One morning we were driving up to the orphanage, making our way slowly along the rutted dirt road. I have to admit on this particular morning I was feeling the weight of being “trip leader.” I decided to hop out of the van before we reached St. Mary Kevin’s and just roam around the neighborhood that butts up against the grounds of the orphanage to grab a few moments for myself, by myself.
It’s hard to explain just how exhilarated I became, literally within minutes of greeting strangers along the road, laughing and playing around with them, and most important, making photographs. There is truly something magical that happens to me when I am turned loose in a new place where there are friendly, generous people who are open to collaborating with me in my picture-making endeavors. I am hardly ever let down in these situations. I can always count on them to lift my spirits and transport me to another place. These times are collections of wondrous moments that invigorate me and make me feel glad to be alive. I know it sounds trite, but it is true... deeply so.
It’s kind of like a dancing. And I love to dance.
One afternoon, I got really exasperated with something that was going on, and I just picked myself up and took a long walk, again in the small village. You have to picture it – everyone is outside. Women are preparing meals or washing clothes, kids are running around, men are gathered together talking or selling things at makeshift stands. There is music in the background. These moments are brimming with life. I happened to walk past a group of children who were throwing and kicking a ball around in their yard and made this picture of a moment, what Henri Cartier-Bresson might call a “decisive” moment.
It is one of my favorite photographs from the entire trip. I wasn't planning on being in this place, with this child, in this situation, but the moment presented itself, and I wasn't about to look or walk the other way.
There are so many possibilities in all these moments we get. It’s a pretty cool deal, isn't it?