Full moon photography. What does it have to do with our experience with lockdowns in Hawaii?
“Due to the newly government issued travel ban for visitors from Europe we are unable to make our trip to Maui.”
I remember the e-mail from our return client popping up around 10pm. Travel ban? I glanced down at our then-one-year-old daughter tucked neatly between my forearm and my torso. Moonlight illuminated her perfect left cheek, her upturned nose pressed lightly against my breast. March 11, 2020, 10:10pm.
“I hope you are well! I had to cancel my trip for July.” March 12, 1am.
“Hey team, we can’t make it this year. I hope you’re hanging in there.” March 12, 1:35am.
“I was wondering if we can reschedule our shoot for next year? Was so looking forward to it!” March 12, 1:38am.
E-mails trickled in slowly, then gained a steady pace. DOZENS at a time. Cancellations, lost business, an overnight transformation from thriving to barely hanging on. An empty dry erase calendar on the wall. Upcoming bookings were wiped clean, replaced with loan numbers and to-do lists.
That night, unable to sleep, I stepped on to our lanai. Stars dotted the sky, a crescent moon smiled down at me, framed by a gathering of palm fronds rustling in what was a surprisingly cool breeze. Under my feet, chalk markings, letters. N Y C O W P I G L E M – remnants of our then-4-year-old son learning to write.
As I stood, the sound of our daughter’s white noise machine hummed gently behind me – she lay sleeping in the room where I’d left the screen door ajar just in case she needed me. Two minutes of silence diced periodically by the crashing of waves and rustling of palms.
F the P word.
In the days that followed, I’d tried not to cry. Gripping the steering wheel of the car as Luna napped in the back seat that morning, veins bulging in my hands, I’d tried. Holding Adam’s hand as we enjoyed a glass of wine together on the lanai after the kids were in bed, we’d tried. Texting our friends to see if they were ok, my fingers were shaking, I’d tried. Where were the tears? They came, they did, and for a while, they didn’t let up. Owners of a thriving business to unemployed just about overnight, raising our young children in lockdown in a beautiful island with an astronimical cost of living. Navigating the process of unemployment, changing our business model entirely, considering e-commerce while on from the outside we were told with a gentle certainty, “time to pivot!”
UGH. The P word.
The word that kept me up at night, the pit in my stomach that arose when trying to figure out how to support our family. The well-meaning but overused phrase muttered under the breath of business owners navigating an overnight crisis or offered by family and friends of these individuals hoping to inject a bit of hope. The fact is, forced pivoting sucks. Business owners watched years of hard work and passion crumble in their fingers, gusts of wind blew the pieces away. Just pivot, right? Just find something you genuinely love, learn a new trade, become an expert, build a business and client base that gains enough traction to support your family during a global crisis. It’s so so quick and it’s so easy.
Lockdown offered an incredible amount of time while at the same time kept us constantly occupied (three and one-year-old, remember?) We had to rethink our lives overnight, and the stress of this alone was enough to sink our spirits. Adam would take the kids downstairs while I applied for new loans, learned new systems and brainstormed how to keep us afloat. In the midst of all this we wanted and needed something to keep us going. Something substantial that would keep us inspired to create. At the root of this inspiration, our family. But everyone needs a little time away. Especially when you’re around 24/7, right? It was like like a two-day sleepover with your best friends when you’re in middle school, but with kids.
The hour away
To maintain some level of sanity, Adam and I began a routine called “an hour away.” Adam and I would give ourselves an hour to ourselves to do what we could away from the family. This typically meant escaping to the ocean to shell or swim. Luckily this luxury was accessible to us for most of the quarantine period. On one particularly still evening, Adam took his hour while everyone was asleep and chose to sit quietly on the beach after dark.
Finding inspiration for full moon photography
The moon illuminated the sky and spilled brilliant sparkles over the calm sea. Goosebumps dotted his arms caused not by the cool air but rather the delicate beauty surrounding juxtaposed against the chaos of the outside world. From that night he knew the moon was his muse as a creative outlet when we didn’t have clients or the prospect of work at all for months on end. His full moon photography project quickly turned a creative void into potential.
Adam came home that night and, unable to sleep, imagined what the months ahead would hold. For the first time in the weeks since lockdown began, he was inspired to create and push forward. This focus on full moon photography helped see him through what were some intense and difficult times.
Full moon photography: writing the next chapter
It’s now been over two years, and Adam has been doing full moon photography on the water since that night. Tired of seeing the images drifting away on our hard drive, we’ve been compiling them for a book – something concrete, with beautiful imagery alongside stories of our experiences.
What is your story?
This is only a piece of a story told over the last couple of years that we just like millions of others are trying regularly to process. It’s resting beneath the surface, and there’s more to be told. For now, we hope you’ll sign up for our announcement list to keep posted on the progress of our book-to-be.
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We’re interested and available to hear how the lockdowns affected you, so let us know. I’d like to hear your story, as sharing makes us feel less alone. Speaking of alone, did you know you…aren’t? Join our Ebb + Flow community and get new business and personal content delivered to your inbox every month.