On a recent spring evening, I was given the opportunity to do a photo shoot with local artist and friend, Megan Wyeth. She generously invited my children to join us at her beautiful family farm on the outskirts of St. Joseph, MO. We were immediately in awe of the place as we drove down the gravel road, gazing at the tall trees and grasses that lined the path. We stopped near a wide open park where a total of 119 walnut trees stood firm. I know, because the kids counted them all! Megan glowed as she shared the story of how she had cleared the park and planted the trees in memory of her late father, and later how she had built a wooden bridge over the peaceful stream flowing through the wood, in honor of her mother.
The sun was just beginning to set which allowed us some fun shadow play to help me warm up to the camera. The golden sun rays trickled brightly through the trees, highlighting scattered places around the farm, and cast an enchanting glow on the dark green leaves surrounding us. It was absolutely divine and Megan made us feel right at home.
As I ran around the grass in my bare feet playfully posing for the camera, the kids shouted out that they had discovered a “really awesome snake”! I quickly grabbed my boots and dashed over to check him out. It was a huge black snake who seemed friendly enough, but eager to get away from us and deeper into the forest. Somehow, I felt comfortable enough to kick my boots off again and continue our photo shoot in my bare toes. Soon, I was back at ease in Megan’s serene presence and wrapped up in the magic and love that made up our surroundings.
It was more than a gift of photos and friendship that day. It was a gift to me to have shared time together on a precious piece of land that means so much to Megan and her family. It took me back to my early childhood days growing up on ‘Ol MacDonald’s Farm in Savannah, MO and then later to the many family gatherings on Big Oak Tree Farm. I want to thank Megan for sharing that wonderful place with me, for sparking sweet memories of special places I hold dear in my heart, and for capturing these new moments that I now also treasure. -Kristin Hamilton