This photo of my mom immediately came to mind when I read about this week’s WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge. I’ve already written about our trip to England from a few years back, and how much we enjoyed our time on the East Sussex coast. It was the adventure of a lifetime, and I couldn’t have asked for a better traveling companion. We had all of the same goals in mind, and each new part of our trip wildly surpassed and fell horribly short of our expectations in rapidly alternating succession. In this moment, our shared contentment is plainly written all over her lovely face.
An overcast day was coming to an end, and we had spent all day trekking across the muddy pastures of the South Downs in our matching Blundstone boots. We had been hiking since breakfast, with 50 mph sea salt winds relentlessly buffeting our faces, and we loved every minute of it. After walking a few miles from the village of East Dean to the chalk cliffs on the coast, we sought shelter at the Birling Gap Visitor Centre, and enjoyed a languid afternoon tea. In the National Trust shop, we picked up a few postcards and a charming blanket woven from scraps of recycled wool—the most we could schlep back to the Inn on foot and then across the country by train—and finally made our way back to our lodgings at The Tiger Inn. As we approached East Dean, we stopped at a line of stunted, gnarly trees for a photo op. I had just enough light with a large aperture and a long exposure to capture the moment, although I had to anchor the entire length of my body against a tree to combat the wind. I happen to think that the glamorous imperfection of this shot is just perfect. I couldn’t have captured a moment more representative of our experiences under any other circumstances.