Each year I write you a note on your birthday, something sentimental about how you are growing, and not to do so too quickly, about the girl you are, and the woman you are becoming. Lately we both have been looking at the images in the beginning of this project as we redid the blog, and lamenting how fast Cadence has grown from child to adolescence… but today as we celebrate you crossing the threshold into being called an adult, it’s easy to note she isn’t the only one that has grown… We have so many photos… from iPhones to DSLRs, Go Pros, to polaroids; out of focus, pixelated, bad lighting, motion blurred, sharp, colorful, perfectly composed… and what I’ve found is that the image quality means less than the content and context… and that is always love. As photographers we forget that often, until important moments come along and remind us of what actually matters… the reason we take the photograph in the first place.
From the very birth of this project as an idea you have been a part of it. More importantly you have been part of our family. My children love you like a sister, and I could not ask for a better role model for them. You are so intelligent, so kind, so gentle natured and compassionate. You are full of faith, with such purity we only see in children, and full of wisdom of such magnitude we only find in our elders that have learned all life has to offer. There is nothing meaningless to you, I see that in your art, I see it in the attention you give to whatever task is at hand, I see it in the way you treat the people you are around. It is inspiring, and it is humbling, and it is everything I hope to teach my own children to be, as they age.
It is not only the traits I hope my children adopt, but there is so much about you that I aspire to as well. your attention to detail, your sense of purpose and ability to exist in the moment you are in, as though it is the only moment that matters. You have such a strong work ethic and sense of responsibility to everything and one, and I love that about you, it’s one of the rarest qualities in this world.
It has been my privilege to know the child you were, and the person you are now. It is a gift to have you in my family, it is an honor to call you friend, to work and play with you and create and build. Every single part of my life has been improved by your presence in it, and that is something I believe every person that is given the chance to know you will say.
I am excited to know the woman you will be, 5 years from now, 15 years from now, 50 years from now. I hope she is who you are now, with more experience, and wisdom, but at the core, the same. A more amplified version of who you have been and who you are. She is a beautiful spirit, a phenomenal soul, a courageous heart, and a brilliant mind, and I know that even with all you have been and accomplished thus far, that we have yet to witness even the beginnings of your true potential.
There are many people that are destined for greatness in their own rights. It is far rarer to know the people that being around them makes others reach their own greatness. You are one of them, and I hope you touch as many people in this life as you are able, so that they may know what a gift it is to call you friend.
Here is to many more birthdays, many more unbirthdays, many more moments of wonder, and awe, and laughter, and tears, and hugs, and experiences, and late nights, and early mornings, and stories, and art, and dress up, and playtime, and hard work, and memories… because as you will become more aware, time passes and as it does it picks up momentum, and memories are what it leaves you with… I hope lots of those I and my family are left with have you within them, at every year, every age, ever more. I am excited to know and love the person you will be at every age, every decade, and I will be happy to say I knew you in all the moments you grew to become her <3
Happy Birthday Mackenzie <3