In the Parade
Jaylin is enjoying his senior year of high school as best as he can. Because of the COVID-19 situation, school officials have canceled some of the normal activities and have replaced them with other things. One of those activities was the Senior Picnic, traditionally held right before school starts. The Senior Parade replaced the Senior Picnic and gave the seniors a chance to have a little attention lavished on them.
The Senior Parade was rather small in scope. You might be picturing something like the Macy’s parade with bands, balloons, horses and so on, but this was much smaller. The senior parents and some faculty members made up the audience for the parade. The seniors decorated their cars and drove past where we were standing in the parking lot. After the parade, the seniors got to see the senior banner and scripture and then went inside to sign the senior mural. After that, they went to their first class and then ate Chick-Fil-A breakfast during homeroom. All in all, not a bad start to a school day!
Laura cheers at the right as Jaylin approaches in his car. Several of us parents were out there on that morning, cheering and waving as our students drove through. A few teachers were out there as well, which was nice. And then there were some, like Laura, that were both teachers and parents. They were not all teachers of current seniors, but they had taught many of them along the way. Just another example of how much of a family the school is.
Jaylin drives past us on his way to the parking lot. He was not looking right at me at this moment, but I’m sure he saw where we were. We were right in front of him as he came around the corner, so we were hard to miss. At this moment, he was probably being a good driver and watching to make sure no one jumped out in front of him. The seniors could decorate the cars for the parade. But because of a late night the night before with football practice and plenty of homework, Jaylin did not decorate his.
Laura and Jaylin
After the parade and the brief ceremony, we got a photo with Jaylin before he went inside to sign the senior mural and then on to his first class. We didn’t get a photo of Jaylin and me, or one of all three of us, but that’s fine. This photo of Laura and Jaylin is still good for me.
And this photo will be a reminder for many years of how strange this school year has started out. While in some ways we might wish that things were different, in other ways we are thankful that there is school at all. I know many are only having virtual school right now. At least Jaylin gets the chance to be with his friends, even if they have to stay distant and wear masks.
Sometimes, we hope for grand changes. We want things to be like we want them, and we want them that way now.
When we start to realize that things are not like we would want them, that means that it is time to take a step back and look at things. It is easy to see things that aren’t like we want them. But it sometimes takes a little more work to see the small blessings.
If you are in school, count that as at least a small blessing, if not bigger. If you are in virtual school, count it as a blessing that you don’t have to get up as early. And if you are a parent of a virtual student, count it as a blessing that you get to spend a little more time together. It’s all a matter of perspective.
We have plenty to be thankful for if we take the time to find it!
Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love, for in you I trust. Make me know the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul. - Psalm 143:8
About the Photos
If you have read much around here, you probably know that I like a good cloudy day. The sun is nice, but it makes photos a little tricky sometimes. On this particular day, the clouds were diffusing the sunlight nicely. I had no trouble getting some evenly-lit photos thanks to those clouds. Of course, I would have been happy with sunlight, too, if that is what we had been given. Photography often involves working with the conditions that you have.
For the photo of Jaylin driving by, I tried to do a bit of panning. That involves moving the camera along with a moving subject. When done correctly, panning makes the subject look in focus while the background is blurred, giving a sense of motion. You can see that slightly in the photo, but Jaylin was not going all that fast. I am thankful that he was not flying through the parking lot, of course, even though it did not quite give the motion effect that I wanted. I guess I will have to wait until the next time he is in a parade, whenever that might be.
And yes, if you are keeping score at home, these are some of the first new photos I have posted in the last several months that were not taken at our home. I had posted several photos taken from previous years’ trips, and I had posted lots from home, too. But we had not been anywhere photo-worthy since all of the COVID-19 stuff started. There isn’t much to photograph at the grocery store, after all. Just another small blessing!
Photos: Each photo is a single Raw exposure, processed in Aurora HDR. Read more about photography tips, photo software, camera gear, and more at Steve’s Photography Tips.
Camera: Sony Alpha A7 II
Lens: Sony FE 28-70mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS lens
Date: September 4, 2020
Location: Harding Academy, Memphis, Tennessee