Harvest Session: The Wharem Family

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this harvest session is the documentation of a day in with the wharem family: chris, lexi, lucy and iris. the letter above was written by lexi’s mother to her own mother on christmas 1981, when lexi was two years old. it was written as a ‘thank you for life’ gift all those 34 years ago. it resurfaced again when lexi’s grandfather found it in his wife’s wallet when she died, obviously always kept very close to her heart. an excerpt from nancy’s letter…

“So when your time on earth has ended know this: life greater than your spirit alone shall live on, and the world will be still a better place because you have lived. My children are my gift to you for they will carry on the love obtained and shared by your mother and hers before, and so you have given me great purpose in this life.”

the full letter is one of the most heartfelt pieces of love i have ever read. when lexi sent me the letter and images she told me this, “it embodies how i feel about my own mother, such a full circle feeling when i read it to know that she has in turn passed down that same love to me, and now it will be a gift given to my own girls.”

and she has. that love lives on in every smile she shares with her babes, every twirl in the kitchen in the afternoon sun, every stroke of paint on the kitchen table, the guiding of sewing first stitches for little fingers and kisses in the hallway from her husband with their girls watching on; every moment of joy, struggle, hope and pressing on in the beautiful mundane.

i visited them last month for a full day at their home in lake wales, florida… the town where lexi grew up running beneath the live oak trees with her grandmother, swimming in the lakes beneath the beating sun every summer and where i watched a legacy of intentional gratitude carry on.

“Your light shines on and on and knowing you have allowed yourself to be a vessel of God’s love has given immense reverence to me, to have been born of your womb. My gift to God, and consequently to you, mother, is to keep that light shining and flowing in the truth and honor of your love.” – Nancy

 

1 2.6 2 8.4 8.5 8 9 10.5 10 11 12 16 17 18.6 18 19.5 19 20 21 22 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32.5 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 4849 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87.5 87 88 90 91 92 93top two images of nancy & her letter courtesy of alexis wharem.

Posted in * Family Sessions, Harvest Sessions | 10 Comments

Michelle & Kellan’s Wedding

“The garden where you sit
Has never a need of flowers,
For you are the blossoms
And only a fool or the blind
Would fail to know it”
― Louis de Bernières, Captain Corelli’s Mandolinmichellan

michelle is like blood to me. kin. a sister. the best way to sum her up in that she loves people well. she is the most thoughtful person i have ever had the honor to know up close. she began, years ago, as our babysitter, then assistant to me, office manager and has traveled the country to be by my side at countless workshops, becoming my confidant of every thought within the corners of my mind. she’s seen me at my worst and loved me just the same. she gives openly. she does not judge. she never seems to think of herself and makes every person she encounters feel that they are the most treasured in all the world. these words seem insufficient and cheap even compared to how closely i hold michelle to my heart.

i didn’t think it would be possible for any man to be worthy of a love like hers. but then we met kellan. she brought him to our home last year for us to meet him for the first time during our workshop reunion. it was a busy weekend but i watched from afar as he and michelle would giggle and kiss when no one was looking, he did dishes with a smile, he danced with michelle in our kitchen, just purely exuding sweetness. i realized that he was her perfect match… the same soul existing in two bodies. when i attended their wedding in round top, texas at rachel ashwell’s the prairie last month, i listened to hundreds of their friends and family say almost the exact same thing about them. these two, they are pure joy. they are each wise and established on their own… they didn’t need to find another person to be complete, however, they make each other so much more alive for being together. they are a blossoming tree. and each of us that passes by their fragrance is left better because of it.

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“Love is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion. That is just being “in love” which any of us can convince ourselves we are. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Your mother and I had it, we had roots that grew towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossoms had fallen from our branches we found that we were one tree and not two.”
― Louis de Bernières, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

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Posted in Weddings | 8 Comments

wildflower. mother. wife. believer. artist. farmer. writer. dreamer.

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