"Man is most nearly himself when he achieves the seriousness of a child at play."
-Heraclitus (Greek philosopher 535–475 BC)
a slideshow of the images:
It was as though the air was thick with humility and gentleness and wild all at once. It was a bit humid and everyone had sweat on their foreheads from the heat, plus the added excitement of it being photo shoot day. I arrived with my family and felt welcomed, at home and as though we had entered through a wardrobe-like entrance into their own magical corner of Narnia, in Orlando, Florida.
The boys laughed as they threw wooden spears and built teepees and Dad was always nearby for encouragement and gentle guidance. The mama was barefoot with dirty toenails (that was my favorite thing) because she digs in. I saw her watching and digging in at every moment but also intentionally allowing her boys to be free. It was so inspiring. They climbed the treehouse one board at a time, the eldest arriving to the top first and threw a thick, tangled rope down to the littlest still down on the dirt. They wrestled near the water's edge until the sky turned pink and they all dared one another to jump in. Mama got close but tossed the boys in with a hearty laugh.
Like any life it was not without challenge, so the parents were sure to hold one another's gaze in the middle of the noise to find home again. I loved seeing him gaze at her with all the boys laughing between them.
I had tucked my camera away long after the sun had set and we all talked as the kids covered themselves in dirt from the garden and chased fireflies in the dark.
I kept hugging Jenny (the mama) and wishing we could keep talking; such a quiet wise spirit. We finally pulled away and it almost seemed like it had never happened. Like being in Neverland and I kept looking out my window hoping we could be back.
This is my time with the Cunningham family that evening.