They say a picture is worth a thousand words.
They say. And they are right.
Moments before I took this photo, I was crying. Not from happiness at the gloriously serene, glistening, and picturesque bay water before me.
My tears stemmed from fear. Intense, sudden and wild fear, that manifested into acute anger and overwhelming sadness.
It all started after our lunch. We were spending the day together as a family, mid-week, which was reason enough to celebrate. So we lunched of course, on pretty meals like this one:
and then we headed over to Mornington Park, where baby girl let off some toddler-steam on the slide and swing… and after a while we let our feet lead us off into uncharted territory some more, and followed the sea view, all the way to the point of the pier, heading up up up to the rocky lookout which faced the beautiful image of serenity above.
Hubbie had to go as close as humanly possible to the edge. Baby girl followed him. I instructed firmly, that he MUST hold her hand. I couldn’t keep up with them because I had small heels, and was trying not to break my step in amongst the uneven dirt and rocky path. They headed on towards the edge, as I watched helplessly, yelling out to him “hold her hand!”
He did. But I was slowly dying inside. Here was a 4 year-old, curious toddler, letting go of her Dad’s hand every so often to peer over the rocks at the edge of her feet, rocks that in my mind could give out at any moment. She didn’t understand danger: as a toddler, they are not wired that way. It’s the reason toddlers get into so much trouble, they have an inability to judge what is before them, and the obvious consequences that come with it that usually, adults are equipped with by the time they are, you know, adults.
Usually, adults. I say that because Hubbie, is STILL a child.
This is why I was so concerned. He laughs in the face of danger: hangs over far too much over a 25-storey railing; he’ll walk along a brick wall where one side is a path, the other a dangerously high drop to breaks-ville; he will jump and climb up and off of any kind of climb-worthy apparatus, without so much as a care, second thought or slow deliberation.
Also, he had just had two double-shot coffees – and that with his childish and wild genetic composition, was a BAD combination.
Here he was, with our pride and joy – MY pride and joy – standing casually, a bit too TOO close, to the edge of a rocky drop where the other side of the steep descent was dangerously pokey rocks, and smooth, still, ENDLESS water.
I was dying.
As I approached them, I was in a serious state of panic. They were so calm, so chilled about it all. Peering over the edge, getting closer to the descent. I started to cry. And I yelled out some choice words to him. I painted a stark picture, and it got his attention.
He took baby girl’s hand, and they started to walk towards me. “Come on baby girl, Mama is upset,” he said.
“Sorry Mama,” she said.
“Just go over there,” I said breathlessly, as I ordered them back up the wooden steps and to the stable, safer, lookout point.
I turned back to the water, and breathed.
And soon after, I snapped that picture.
And I was grateful. Because the beautiful image before us, could turn ugly in an instant. l am an eternal dreamer, but a realist too. And though I am a glass- half-full gal, I have seen too much sadness to stick my head in the sand anymore.
Life and everything in it, terrifies me to no end, ever since baby girl entered our world and made it so precious. I am grateful for the beauty in it, but I always look behind me, I always check my footing, to check there are no uneven rocks.
I love views like this. And I will continue to photograph them. But under still, calm waters…