Weekly Photo Challenge: Symbol

An impromptu gift, created by my teenage daughter, in Normandy, France.

Our theme for the Weekly Photo Challenge this week is:  Symbol.
Our instructions:  This week, share a symbol with us, and tell us what it means to you.

We recently visited Normandy, France as part of our European Family Vacation.  Both my husband and my teenage son are avid students of military history, particularly World War II military history.  They were both in their element in Normandy.  So much so, that they didn’t want to leave their element.

One of our many stops in Normandy was a visit to Pointe du Hoc, an area between Utah Beach and Omaha Beach, heavily fortified by the Germans in 1944.  It was the site of a bold assault by the US 2nd Ranger Battalion.  My boys wanted to check out all of the German casements and gun pits (and by all, I mean all).  Unless you’re an avid student of World War II military history, there are really only so many German casements and gun pits you can look at in a day.  I mean, I get it — the Germans were heavily fortified, with lots of guns, and they loved cement.

My teenage daughter and I (having had our fill of concrete bunkers), meandered around the memorial (71 years later, and the landscape at Pointe du Hoc still looks like the surface of the moon).  We came up and out of one of the craters, and my daughter started picking daisies. Literally, picking daisies.

She gathered a bouquet, and started carefully placing them into a worn and split fence post, wrapped in barbed wire.  And, I asked her about it.

Why are you picking daisies?

I’m bored.  And they’re pretty.

And you’re sticking them in this fence post . . . because?

I’m bored.  And they’re pretty.  

[So, it’s going to be an Occam’s Razor kind of a day.]

L-o-o-o-o-o-n-g pause.

And then she hit me with this:

It’s kind of nice that something so pretty grows in a place where so many men died.  So, I’m making them something.  

Gulp.  Sometimes, when teenagers talk, it’s best to just shut up and listen.  So I just nodded, Mmmm hmmm.  And then some furious scrambling for my camera, so I could get a shot of her creation.   And I waited.

She put the last daisy in the fence post and announced,

I’m bored.  Can we go now?  

OK, so she was all out of profound observations.  You take what you can get.  And sure, I could make up some bologna about her creation as a symbol of the dichotomy between war and peace (boy, that’s deep, isn’t it?), but it’s not.  Not to me, anyway.  To me, her creation represents one of those moments where our children allow us to peek in on the grown-up human beings they’re becoming.

And that day, I saw an insightful and thoughtful young woman.


Nikon P510
ISO 100 | 8.9mm | f/4.5 | 1/1000 sec



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