There are moments that have been burnt into my memory with such vividness and with such violence of beauty that when recalled I can swear I’m there. This one in particular came back to me today.
Her name was Ashely and she was a coworker. She was pretty and I had a slight crush on her, but I wouldn’t describe her as beautiful. It was late afternoon and the sun was low and behind the lodge of the camp we were working. It was a gold camp and she was wearing her uniform, which consisted of a long pioneer dress and a bonnet and I was in my trousers, shirt and straw hat.
We had some free time and were walking from one end of the grass to the other, just talking. I quipped something – something mean and slightly insulting teasingly. And then it happened.
Time actually slowed – she spun around as to jokingly hit me for what I said, but I couldn’t care because everything else was coming together. The field was covered with golden light from the retiring sun, casting a glow and the essence of summer. Ashely was backlit and the way that the light shown through her spinning dress and highlighted it’s edges. Her escaped hair captured the light and seemed to glow, illuminating and framing her face.
It was a perfect moment and I felt like I was in a movie. It was the lighting and The shot that every photography has dreamed of. And I was living it in slow motion.
But then her fist made contact with my arm and time returned to normal, as she stormed off upset at what I said.