Like an artist's paintbrush, feathers create art all around me.
I am a mother, sister, daughter, fighter and protector. Then I am a photographer. I absolutely love all of my "jobs". While each presents itself with different challenges and struggles, each come with some pretty amazing rewards.
I came into this world a tiny little fighter struggling to survive and overcome and every day since then, I have just become stronger and stronger. Like most, I have struggled to find the correct path of my journey. I can honestly say, that each road block and each turn has led me to be exactly where I am supposed to be today and I am so grateful for it. Each mistake I made was a lesson. Each disappointment I had came with some form of a positive outcome.
When I was 21, my mother pulled up to my house, on her motorcycle at 8 in the morning. She began beeping her horn and making a ruckus in my small quaint little town. I ran outside and there she was. Sitting on her motorcycle, dressed in leather, her leather fringes hanging on the side of her leg. Her beaming smile and ocean blue eyes were dancing in the street. I ran out to her as she shut her bike off.
"Mom! You are all sexed up. You look great!"
My mother had just celebrated her 50th birthday. She was an avid exerciser and lived a pretty healthy life style. (Except for the occasional pumpkin pie that we would each share, and by share, I mean we each had our own!)
"Danielle!!! Don't tell me I'm sexed up. I'm embracing who I am, leather and all."
"Either way, you are rocking it. So, I was reading this book, "The Secret Life Of Bees...."
We talked for a bit and then she was off. She just wanted to stop by to see if I wanted to join them for the weekend. I could just grab a bag and hop on the back of her bike. I told her I couldn't because I had to work. I kissed her goodbye and watched her ride down the road, her leather fringes flying beside her.
This was the last conversation I would have with my mother. Two hours later, she got in to an accident that would take her life.
The next day, I sat my porch and a small white feather slowly fell down. I didn't think anything of it at first until the stories starting coming out. Each of my parents friends who rode motorcycles found a little white feather on or around their motorcycle the days following her death. From California to Arizona to New Jersey, we were all finding these little white feathers. We decided that my mother was flying around us dropping feathers from her angel wings.
Years later, I am still finding feathers. When my life was out of control and I was not on the right path, I wouldn't find any. When I was doing well, I would find a feather, reminding me to stay on this path.
I found a feather the day my husband showed up at my door.
I found a feather the day we got married.
I found a feather on both days my children were born.
I found a feather at each photography class or workshop.
My mother taught me to embrace who and what we are. We are not perfect. We are far from that. But what we are is the example that we set for our children.
We are mothers, daughters, sisters, fighters and protectors. Being guided by little white feathers.