Happy New Year, everyone! But is it, though? Has anything really changed overnight? For the better, I mean…
Much as I try, I cannot shake the feeling that we’re trying too hard to put 2020 behind us. I can certainly understand the need for a fresh start and the hope for a better future. I share them. What vexes me is the senseless desire to “forget”, as well as the strange belief that everything will not only change, but go back to the way it used to be “before”.
Forgetting means repeating the same mistakes over and over again. And… maybe I got something wrong… but wasn’t what we’d been doing “before” exactly what brought us where we are now, to this place we dread and desperately try to escape? I’m sorry, but I don’t think we learned our 2020 lessons… not all of them and not all of us, at least.
Right… deep breath… it’s neither the time nor the place for yet another rant, much as I feel like one. Instead, I’d rather thank our lovely Lens Artists hosts for keeping us together and helping us in our efforts to stay sane and creative in 2020 (Tina is hosting this week’s challenge – Favourite Images of 2020).
Trying to put together a selection of my favourite 2020 photos makes me notice that I have quite a few more shots I would have liked to share with you. Well, maybe later. But it’s also a reminder that in spite of all the craziness, fear and anger the “new normal” brought about, there have also been good moments, happy ones. For me, at least… There have been lessons and things about myself that I couldn’t have learned under usual circumstances. Loss, death and disease were also part of my 2020 experience, but so was laughter. So was love. Above all, I think I learned more about the true meaning of togetherness than ever before.
It was certainly a year of changes. Some were planned; others I couldn’t have even imagined; and others changed my plans for change. So I had to be more creative and more open minded than usual in order to adapt… in order to stay sane. Among other things, photography helped. Checking the DSLR camera I got for Christmas 2018, I realized that I took more than twice as many photos in 2020 than before. And this was without traveling, but with several months in lockdown. So I’m going to share some of them, not necessarily my favourites (I didn’t have the patience to go through all the folders). I hope you’ll enjoy these images of my 2020 attempts of keeping my balance and staying healthy, both mentally and physically.
The year started with fireworks, as usual, and with an attempt at learning how to photograph them. But it was freezing cold and windy, so I didn’t take many photos. It was only fireworks… plenty of opportunities to shoot them, I though. Well, 2020 showed me…
We barely got any snow, but I didn’t miss the chance to see it on the beach. Snow covered sand – love it!
It felt like last spring was stolen from us, but fortunately I managed to catch a glimpse of nature coming back to life right before the first lockdown.
We may not have been offered the chance to notice or enjoy it much, but nature followed its usual path out there. So I spied from my widow, observing my new neighbours’ (the Magpies) antics.
Finally, out and about again! Doing my best to be careful and sensible, I explored closed to home, enjoying various previously ignored places.
More than ever before and than anything else, I photographed birds in 2020. Observing them turned out to be both inspiring and entertaining.
Hot summer days brought the same invading hordes of tourists as in any other year. We just won’t learn… For me, this meant an even greater need to escape and get some peace and quiet away from them, much as I craved the busy terraces and beaches I used to love.
August was more of the same, for them and for me. More than ever before, I desperately wished for summer to end, to see them all go home. But since I knew that wouldn’t happen before the middle of September at best, I had no choice but to cope with it while seething.
I always feel nostalgic in September, and 2020 was no different. If anything, all the changes made certain memories a lot more powerful.
After not having the chance to really feel spring, I was determined to at least take in as many sunny autumn moments as possible.
Leaves finally changed colour and only in November did it begin to really look a lot like autumn. And as the end of autumn gracefully rolled in, so did the second lockdown in my neck of the woods. No surprise…
It went on throughout December. So with more time on my hands than usual and trying not to go stir crazy, I was dead set on getting into the holiday spirit. I baked and cooked more, I went through cherished memories and adapted my own traditions, I managed to focus on appreciating the people I love and be grateful for what I still have. It wasn’t easy, but this Christmas was actually a good one. Many of you may not believe me, but I had far worse Decembers.
All I can say is, I hope you also had some 2020 moments to remember fondly.