Shared Experiences
Photo by Susan Morison

Shared Experiences

Photo Walk participant reflects on what she learned while strolling the South Side

When I started on this journey, I have to admit I was very excited. I like people in general, so to mix meeting people with my photography was an exciting prospect.

I am also a mother and a grandmother so my goal for the day was to meet another grandmother.

I felt a kinship of sorts and an admiration for the struggles of raising kids and helping to raise grandchildren. I wanted to meet someone who I considered wise, someone who had lived a long life and knew the ups and downs that life can bring — the core of a family, a matriarch.

As I walked up to one particular house I struck gold!

She was there sitting on her porch with her daughter and grandchildren. While others in the group were focusing on the children, I went straight to the grandmother.

I asked if I could take her picture. Claiming that she was in her housedress and hadn’t yet combed her hair, she still allowed me to photograph her.

I didn’t notice her hair or what she was wearing. What I noticed was her beauty: sparkly eyes that shone a radiant light from somewhere deep inside of her soul. She is a rare find, and I wanted to capture the spirit of her in a photograph. I looked at her daughter and grandchildren and saw how beautiful they were as well. It was hard to walk away as I felt I would have liked to just sit for a while on that porch and learn about her life — learn what it was that kept her joyful inside.

But we had to keep moving.

But I have the picture to look upon and smile in the meantime. That’s the strength of photography. You can capture a moment in time that can go by so quickly but photography freezes that moment and allows time for later reflection. I have looked back at that photograph a dozen times since I took it and it always brings a smile to my face. I have her to thank for that.

I walked away with much more than when I started. For that I am grateful. Thank you for sharing yourselves and your community with me.

— By Sheila Quinell, Special to The Stand