Add Depth of Meaning to Your Photos by Adding Your Story!

When your family views your photo album 50 years from now, what will it mean to them? How about 75-100 years from now? Does it really matter?

We are creating a living legacy with each word we speak, each choice we make, and every action we take. It all pours into our DNA just as powerfully as eye color, hair texture, and physique. Our life stories are etched deeply in our memories but memories fade all too quickly if they are not recorded.

We are one generation away from oblivion unless we harness the power of our words and actions and put stories to our photos and other memorabilia.

This evening I wanted to snap a photo of the red cliffs in Thermopolis, Wyoming. The setting sun has cast a burnished glow to the towering mountain giants overlooking the Big Horn River. Interspersed with the red giants, overlapping velvety green hills sparkled in the fading sunlight… their sagebrush faces almost seemed as if they were made of jade.

Birds fluttered from tree to tree, their songs filling the wide blue expanse of heaven, bringing it right down to earth. A sole bald eagle soared gracefully from one end of the river to the other, it’s piercing eyes no doubt hoping for a great fish dinner.

It’s early April in the canyon and the naked trees rustle with last year’s brown leaves clinging bravely to bare branches. Next to the Big Horn River is the Fountain of Youth RV Park, home to the largest outdoor hot mineral pools. 1.4 million gallons of hot mineral water pour into a series of three large pools, cooling off as the water passes from one pool to the next.

Just after sunset the rushing fountain surges with a ruddy glow, it’s shooting plumes pulsate like fireworks while the last of the day’s puffy clouds part to reveal a midnight blue sky already sparkling with starry diamonds. On the weekends country music wafts through the night as children swim and play ball while parents float side-by-side in the misty water, heads close together, swaying slightly with the waves.

The water is thick with mineral content and the rich sodium makes my body pleasantly buoyant, almost as if there is zero gravity in the world. As my own weight diminishes, so the cares of the world melt off my soul and I feel lighter inside and out. My water bed is both pillow and blanket as swirls of mist curl around my face, enveloping me in a cloudy embrace. The air is cool and crisp but I’m as snug and warm as a little girl tucked into a feather bed.

I feel my Father tucking me into His embrace, and He reminds me that He is present all the time, everywhere.

Nature is a healer. She knows just what we need. Sixty percent of our North American population relies on some type of drug to control their dis-ease. Anxiety is at an all-time high and stress forms the roots of most infirmity. No one has prescribed anything for me and I don’t take any medications… yet I almost died from an illness that made its entrance soon after my husband’s body was healed.

As I soak and soak and soak today I can feel my body shedding the weight of stress and releasing toxic memories, words, and experiences. Extra baggage that can actually cause us to become over-weight as our bodies deal with the stress hormone, cortisol, storing it in our belly fat and other fat storage areas. Gross, huh?

As I watch the bald eagle I am reminded of my home in Northwestern Montana where seven bald eagles lived down the road from our house. A river rushed noisily in our front yard as beavers busily constructed dams while mountain lions stalked the beavers for their next dinner. Muskrats and otters filled the water with joyful leaps and dives. A bull frog chorus became the back up musicians for a butterfly choreography performed by thousands of fluttering blue and lavender beauties.

I miss home… my heart was only just beginning to mend in that haven of beauty and rest. Not many people understand the peculiar stress of being the sole caretaker of a severely injured husband. Days of anxiety and sleepless nights turned into years of never knowing if the pain was going to win and he would take his own life. Always watching, always on call. Missing my best friend who could no longer take walks with me, who no longer seemed himself. On drugs normally reserved for terminal cancer patients, something changed in our relationship…

Insurance ran out but it wouldn’t have paid for a caretaker’s care, anyway… who cares for the caretaker? There’s a season for everything. Winter is passing and a chubby robin hopping among the dandelions is a welcome harbinger of Spring. And so, in my own soul, Spring is here. I just needed a place to soak, a place to just “be”… a place that would remind me of home.

Caretakers need care too. When a family endures a severe illness the whole family suffers, but the one who cares 24/7 and is the closest often suffers things no one else sees or hears. They weigh on the soul and drain energy from the body. If you’re a caretaker you understand the demands, the risks, and the fatigue.

Maybe one day doctors will treat the caretaker as diligently as the injured patient, but in the meantime Creation is teaching me the hidden value of soaking in beauty and truth. Nature is healing the inner wounds only a long-term caretaker of one who was severely injured will understand.

A geothermal pool, burnished reddish-orange cliffs, a soaring bald eagle, a chubby robin, and dandelions… strong healing powers and my “medicine”.

Have you tested the power of Creation in healing your own soul? I’d love to hear your story!

This is part of my own story… a continuation of other stories:

“The Bionic Man Returns”

“Resistance, Eat My Dust!”

“Digging For Treasure in the Ruins of Accidents, Abuse, and Addictions”

“When It Hurts So Bad You Want to Die”

“5-Year Old Surfs the Airwaves”

“Mind Over Moose”

“The Horse Gourmet”

When writing you own life story, you can jump around. You don’t need to be concerned about chronological order, unless you want to. Everything can always be changed. The important thing is just to get started.

Pick a photo or two…. try to remember what made you snap that photo. What were you feeling at the time? Why is that place, that person, that event special to you?

What will your family lose if this memory is forgotten?

Don’t try to be perfect. Fumbling for words is natural. If you’re better talking than writing, have someone use a video camera or an audio recorder and follow our step-by-step blueprint in the “All-in-One” Life Story Book Kit for incorporating multimedia in your life story.

Recently I took a photograph of my mother holding her 70-year doll, and I listened to her heart along with her words as she described what made this doll so special for her. The photo turned out well (my mom is very photogenic) but without her story, it’s just a pretty photo!

Stories add a deeper layer of meaning when combined with photos!

I know you’re very busy and while you care about preserving your family’s heritage, you may not have all the time you wish you had to pull those photos and stories together!

You’ve been on my mind so much lately, and I don’t want you to miss out on creating a living family legacy and writing your life story!

So I thought, why not make this into a game? A game that can be played a few minutes each day or an hour each week… you can play by yourself or make it a party!

Let me know and I’ll send the “Life Story Game” to you today!