Our oldest grandchild, Ben (18), left on November 26 for Norway. He joins an international group of youth in Rosnik, north of the Arctic Circle. They have an 8 month commitment to Youth with a Mission. Participating in planned outdoor adventures to increase their confidence and leadership skills, they will grow in self understanding and in awareness of the needs of others. Part of the program is a posting to a developing country to help with a community service project. Because of Covid, it's uncertain if this can happen. Ben is certainly hopeful.
When he was about 5, he showed interest in my cameras. Along with his siblings, we took walks in Nature. He carried my camera and snapped photos. I shared two tips with him: stay as still as possible and watch for the best light (this included knowing where he cast a shadow). As he grew, his interest in photography continued. He took classes and bought his own DSLR and lenses. He developed into a fine photographer and matured into a fine young man.
Saying goodbye to him on his last visit to us, I admit I clung to him for awhile as we hugged. I shed some tears. He stood calmly hugging me, trying to reassure me that all would be well. I know he's right. He's a young man now with his own convictions and determination. He doesn't need to hold his Grammy's hand while walking in the woods. (Well, possibly at my age, I may someday need him to take my hand again....) We think of him many times a day. I wake in the night and add 8 hours to know what time it is for him in Norway.
Before Ben left, I asked if he'd choose a few of his photos for me to share on the blog. He was glad to do so, though he is always wary about revealing locations. He feels many wild places are overrun and spoiled by overzealous people.
Ben is my One Good Thing today and always.
My advise to him is still the same:
find the light