My grandfather was a very special person in my life. Both my grandmother and my grandfather were key people in my early years. I loved both my grandparents dearly. My grandfather was quite an individual though. Things I had not known about him I have been finding out so many years later. My grandfather passed away ten years ago, and I thought I knew so much about him then. He was an avid model train enthusiast. He liked to garden. He tried out new things, and even in his elder years, bought himself a computer and tried learning how to use it. He did quite well at keeping up with lifelong learning. An inspiration for me.
It wasn’t until recently when I went home to visit my parents that my mother told me how much my grandfather also enjoyed photography. She told me about how he had his own darkroom set up in their tiny post-war house, and how he was always to be found with his camera. Why hadn’t I known this when I was 15 and spending days in the school darkroom developing roll after roll of film? I would have had something else to ask my grandfather about when we had those summerlong stays at their house. Oh how much could I have learned from him then!
Still, knowing these things about him post mortem is so keenly interesting. To know that somewhere in the genes, there was the key to that hidden door. The one that opens up to the passions I have in life.
And I like to think my grandfather is watching me. My spirit guide, watching over me. I am sure he is smiling. My grandfather was nicknamed ‘Bear’, I think by my father. It is one of the ways I fondly remember him. While out on the Worldwide Photo Walk yesterday, I happened upon this stone bear statue. I have seen it before, but yesterday it seemed to take on a whole different presence. It needed to be photographed. And as I have been thinking of my grandfather so much over these past few weeks, the image spoke to me so very much.
So, The Stone Bear, the image featured this week, is dedicated to one of the absolute most important men in my life. My grandfather.