A Gift

Today I asked Adam to share with you a story that happend to us eight months ago. Looking back, it was a wonderful lesson that helped prepare us for living on the road and a true celebration of friendship!  

We were only in Santa Cruz for two days to attend a friend’s wedding. We arrived late on a Friday night and I was too tired to bring my camera bag and surf gear inside; a mistake I promise never to make again. The street was quiet and I remember there were only a few other cars parked nearby. It was well lit and honestly looked like any other street in America. 

We were only in Santa Cruz for two days to attend a friend’s wedding. We arrived late on a Friday night and I was too tired to bring my camera bag and surf gear inside; a mistake I promise never to make again. The street was quiet and I remember there were only a few other cars parked nearby. It was well lit and honestly looked like any other street in America. 

In the morning we got to the car, on an uncharacteristically cloudless January morning with our minds focused on the wedding. It only took a quick look inside before realizing what happened. My heart sank, my eyelids dropped slowly and my mind went blank as the initial shock made it’s way through my body. I noted the miscellaneous items still in their place that clearly meant more to us than the thief before rushing to look in the trunk. Sure enough he found my gear I carelessly left unguarded. 

In the morning we got to the car, on an uncharacteristically cloudless January morning with our minds focused on the wedding. It only took a quick look inside before realizing what happened. My heart sank, my eyelids dropped slowly and my mind went blank as the initial shock made it’s way through my body. I noted the miscellaneous items still in their place that clearly meant more to us than the thief before rushing to look in the trunk. Sure enough he found my gear I carelessly left unguarded. 

It took me two years to piece together my ideal camera kit for traveling on the road. In one night, just four months before we were planning on leaving, I managed to lose it all, along with a wetsuit and a fly rod; over $3,000 worth of gear.

It took me two years to piece together my ideal camera kit for traveling on the road. In one night, just four months before we were planning on leaving, I managed to lose it all, along with a wetsuit and a fly rod; over $3,000 worth of gear.

For weeks I struggled to find the lesson hidden behind the anger and frustration of the violating experience. It wasn't until I completely let it go and embraced forgiveness that I was able to get it out of my head and move on. A huge relief. Two months later on a rainy Saturday morning, our good friend Alex gave me a gift I'll never forget. After I told him the story he sprang into action, conspiring with Mary to secretly raise money for a new camera. The check he gave me was the combined gift from friends and family as well as complete strangers. It was enough money to buy a Hassleblad 500C/M, an 80mm lens and a 250mm lens--a dream kit for both nature and portrait photography. Few things in my life have been more meaningful. Alex's heartfelt deed along with the generosity of friends re-affirmed the more important things in life that I knew existed, but rarely experienced. A camera can always be replaced, but it's impossible to replace a good friend, especially one as genuine as Alex. The above four photos along with any square-format image posted in our journal in the future were taken with the Hasselblad. I consider each one a blessing.

For weeks I struggled to find the lesson hidden behind the anger and frustration of the violating experience. It wasn't until I completely let it go and embraced forgiveness that I was able to get it out of my head and move on. A huge relief.

Two months later on a rainy Saturday morning, our good friend Alex gave me a gift I'll never forget. After I told him the story he sprang into action, conspiring with Mary to secretly raise money for a new camera. The check he gave me was the combined gift from friends and family as well as complete strangers. It was enough money to buy a Hassleblad 500C/M, an 80mm lens and a 250mm lens--a dream kit for both nature and portrait photography. Few things in my life have been more meaningful.

Alex's heartfelt deed along with the generosity of friends re-affirmed the more important things in life that I knew existed, but rarely experienced. A camera can always be replaced, but it's impossible to replace a good friend, especially one as genuine as Alex.

The above four photos along with any square-format image posted in our journal in the future were taken with the Hasselblad. I consider each one a blessing.