This dahlia grew in my yard last summer (during 2003). I took a photo of it early one cyrstal-clear autumn morning during a few precious moments of quiet while our newborn baby Nathan was still sleeping.
At the time, I could not imagine ever having the opportunity OR energy to paint again. We were still in the early stages of adjusting to the shock of parenthood after almost ten years of a happily carefree marriage.
An entire year has passed since those early days of chaos and many months of interrupted sleep. Our life has certainly changed since our pre-child years, but I think I can honestly say that overall it's been a change for the better.
My available hours to paint have been dramatically reduced, however I've been more productive than ever now that I'm forced to make the most of every spare minute.
I never really believed it when parents would talk about how much joy their children have added to their lives. But as I look back over the past year since I captured the beauty of my dahlia on film, I guess I would have to admit that they were all correct in this seemingly outlandish claim.
My yard is certainly not much to look at this summer. In place of the well-maintained flower garden we used to enjoy, we now have a beautiful little boy who can light up the room with the smile he chooses to reserve (hopefully just for now) for his dad and me.
I'm hoping to plant dahlia bulbs again next summer...maybe by then Nathan and I can work in the yard together.