Recently, I had the chance to return to one of my favorite cities – Seattle.
Throughout the trip, that little voice repeatedly whispered, “Remember”. A lesson learned that applies to so many aspects of my life. Such as…
Remember that Seattle is the place where I was born – and will always be a home for me, no matter how far away I reside. A beautiful city with an amazing skyline, parks, and neighborhoods.
Remember the incredible people that live there – a few of whom I am lucky to call friends and family!
Remember the amazing food to be enjoyed there. This time we sampled two true gems, at Café Juanita and The Queen Bee Cafe. All I can say is, “If you are in the area… Remember to try these places!”
Remember there are so many cool things to do there… like taking your first ever glass-blowing class, and walking away with your own personally hand-crafted art!
Remember the wilderness that is so easily accessed, even on a day-trip basis – such as Mount Rainier. Any time of year, this sanctuary (BTW, it was the USA’s 5th National Park to be established) offers soul nourishing beauty. How can you pass up the chance to go to a place called “Paradise”?
I also heard my inner voice say, “Remember” – with September approaching, I naturally thought of that day 15 years ago, in New York and beyond, which we must always keep close in our hearts.
However, while I was there in Seattle, there was another type of ceremony going on at the Green Lake Park to remember a unique tragedy in history – one in which the USA also played a key role. The From Hiroshima to Hope event seeks to remember and honor the victims of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki during WWII. Seattle’s Green Lake hosts the largest (outside of Japan) floating lantern ceremony commemorating these events and victims. Myriad attendees gather each year, bringing thousands of lit lanterns to float across Green Lake’s surface. From Hiroshima to Hope aims to connect communities through these floating beacons of hope, with the faith that we will Remember to resolve local and international conflicts peacefully and with grace.
So, it was during this quiet and peaceful congregation that I heard my inner voice yet again say, “Remember”… But this time, it was a more personal message. One that I thank a good friend of mine (Brian) for reminding me… “Ask yourself Why”. Why, am I taking photographs? Is it all just about Facebook and Instagram “Likes”. No, it is not! It is about using my passion for photography to accomplish something bigger than me – to communicate a story, to share beauty, to evoke emotions, and to bring about some sort of positive social change.
And so it is, with the above images, that I try to communicate the message with which I walked away from the quiet meditation of this From Hiroshima to Hope ceremony.
See the beauty of something that, on the surface, may seem trivial or simple – such as small hand-made wooden lanterns floating on water – and Remember that we can live our lives with compassion, and peacefully resolve future conflicts in our world. I hope that you will look at these images – and for a few minutes, consider the big message that this small ceremony shares. I hope you can join me – to Remember.