One of the latest pandemic crazes: Porch Portraits.
Check out a Virginia photographer’s example of this phenomenon on her Facebook group titled, “Porch photography: In it together.”
The trend inspires my grief-stricken heart to recall a favorite memory flick that launches with my daughter’s high-pitched song wafting from the shower. My then-husband’s eyes, still sound, meet my gaze as he dashes into my office. He points towards the hallway bathroom and whispers with an affectionate smile, “Listen. Listen to her sing.”
I nod knowingly. Simultaneously, I see my son relinquish his video game in the adjacent playroom and breathe in his sister’s song, so pure and familiar, but still remarkable like the first scents of spring.
Fifteen years ago before the catastrophic events happened in my household and long before Covid-19 screeched the brakes on the world, I wish a local photographer appeared on our front steps and beckoned us outdoors. We would at first reluctantly, but soon enough, drop the mundane tasks, scramble outside, only to huddle together.
I imagine my daughter posing in the middle of the portrait as she wears her father’s bulky robe and a towel twists over her drying wet hair like an giant-sized ceramic vase about to fall straight over. My son perches next to my daughter. Both children cuddle one cat each under the watchful guise of us parents behind them on the porch.
Unbridled family faith is as unmistakable as are our cheesy smiles.
Snap! Snap! Snap!
Photos freeze moments that are, in actuality, fleeting even while the camera snaps. As time vanishes, so do family dynamics. The raw reality is that eventually everyone captured in every single photograph will, whether days or decades later, die one day. In the interim, there is a security in tricking ourselves to believe everyone and everything is like a photo and cemented with lifetime guarantees.
Today, I can only wish I had a porch portrait, so utterly profound in its sense of ordinary, to remind me of how faith, firm and sturdy, feels, and how my faith journey is now so far removed from those invigorating days that felt like standing in a heavy rain shower that inspires you to sing it loud and sing it free without realizing anyone is in earshot.