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Moments of Warmth: A Photo-Essay

I’m a picture hoarder. I have over 13,000 photos in my camera roll. I would be lying if I said I looked at them a lot and I’d be lying even more if I said I’d be okay with deleting them all. It’s full of every kind of picture from vacations, to my cats, screenshots of tiktoks and random things to buy, some memes here and there, funny text messages, quotes, poems, and god knows what else. It’s a cesspool of forgotten screenshots and longed-for moments.

I tend to take pictures most when I want to remember that moment and that feeling. During those times when you’re with your friends or at a place, you realize that you are in that exact moment and it’s leaving as you’re still in it. It all becomes so bittersweet knowing it can’t last forever.

I decided to scroll through my camera roll and try to go back to those moments I wanted to stay in so badly. Here are some of my favorites.

Whenever I workout on my floor, I see this angle of my window. I get to see my two favorite candles that burned out, words that mean the most to me, and people I love all in one spot. I see our tree in the backyard. I watched it bloom each day as it got warmer until its green leaves were fully back again. I have been able to see this old tree bloom in the past summer I moved in at the start of my senior year, and watch it re-bloom again this spring. This window became such a meditative view in my life. This photo was one of those moments of reflection and peace. Taking a deep breath from my scheduled days to look out at my favorite tree, seeing the old bird’s nest from last summer and wondering if the birds will come back. They did :)

I’ve never felt closer to nature than I have looking out this bedroom window in the middle of this suburb. It’s made me realize you don’t need to be in the woods to feel the power of nature. You can be on the floor of your bedroom in the middle of winter, looking out a simple old window.

I was getting ready to go out with my friends. I was putting on makeup at my desk like I always do and was about to play my music when I heard the noises throughout my house. I could hear erin playing her music from her room downstairs. and I could hear hope singing her heart out in her room. The rush of happiness and gratitude this moment brought over me made me think about how much I’m going to miss this home and my college family. Taking this picture while hope sang in her room is reflective of the pure happiness she was exuding while singing to herself. and the wave of reflection it caused in me, too.

This was the first Valentine’s day I was able to spend together with my boyfriend as a real couple. We went to cracker barrel for breakfast because i wanted him to try the food so bad. The easy fun and laughs we had reminded me how lucky I am to have someone that makes life and love so easy. Being with someone you can go anywhere with and always have fun. We didn’t need the fancy dinner today. we didn’t need anything today. just each other. and maybe a few biscuits too

This night sparked something in me that I thought I lost. We went to a new bar and I felt like we were almost normal again. I felt genuine happiness while drinking and never second-guessed myself. We laughed with strangers for the first time in the longest time. I was extroverted again. This night is what it feels like to have true friends by your side. ones that want nothing but happiness in each other’s lives. and i am so fucking thankful.

These tiny moments of realization are what make life what it is. I need these reflections to remain grounded. I hope these times I had might inspire you to reflect on your own little moments of realization. Look through your camera roll, buy a film camera, look at each moment in the present best you can. It’ll help remind you what’s most important.


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