Its been a difficult week. Caring for my son, dealing with professionals and managing my daughter’s difficulties has led to a lot of stress in our household so finding the time to take a snap for this week’s Photo Project has been a bit of a challenge. I just couldn’t find the inspiration until yesterday when I sat down on my settee with a cup of coffee and looked up at the picture that hangs above the fireplace in my lounge. I suddenly realised that this picture would be the inspiration for my photo as it’s a picture I often look at and reflect upon.
It was given to me and my husband as a Christmas present a few years ago and I love it not just for the warm colours but because it reminds me of a particular time in my life. Looking at the couple in the centre of the picture, walking hand in hand takes me back to the time that I visited Venice with my husband many years ago. It captures my memories of that trip so well – the narrow streets that wind through this beautiful city, the canals and the bridges that span them and of course the tempting cafes. But above all it captures a time in my life when I had freedom to do as I pleased, a freedom that I now realise I took for granted.
Sometimes, when I’m feeling low, I yearn for those days when life was easier, when I could find the time to hold hands with my husband and to sip coffee in a cafe. Of course life has moved on, as it does for all of us. I’m not that carefree woman anymore but a wife and mother whose life has become unexpectedly touched by autism. Life has become challenging in ways that I never imagined back then when I strolled through the streets of Venice. If someone had told me that I would have autistic children, that I would become a carer and start a blog I would have laughed in disbelief.
As it is that is what my life has become, an unexpected one, but a life that I have grown into. Yes there are difficult days, like this past week where I have felt tired and stressed and when I find myself looking at this picture and thinking about my youthful freedom. Often though it is not with sadness that I look at this picture but with gratitude that I had the opportunity to travel to such a beautiful city with my husband.
(This post is part of Photo Project 52, a photography challenge where we post a picture every week in 2012. Click here to see all my other entries.)