This past Thursday the boys and I got our pictures taken, it’s something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time and have either been putting off or just never got around to.
Our photographer was Emily Annett and she did and AMAZING job! She is a great portrait photographer who will take the time to listen to what you want, be kind, patient and put you at ease if you’re feeling awkward in front of the camera. And while all that is wonderful, she also has a way of portraying women as strong and beautiful without losing what makes each of her subjects unique. You can find the rest of her work on Instagram @emilyannett, go check it out it’ll be the best decision you’ve made this weekend!
More than anything though I’m happy that we got to do these during Navratri. Navratri is a Hindu holiday that lasts for 10 days and 9 nights and celebrates Durga Ma defeating evil. The story Navratri has always been one that struck my heart deeply and stayed there. Here it is as it was told to me by my mom:
There was a demon who dedicated himself to the Lord, he was devout in his worship and his prayer was it always the same. To be undefeatable, her in the day or night, nor by man or beast. The Lord recognized his devotion and granted him the power.
As the demon lay waste to the Earth the Lord realized the error of their ways and sought to fix the problem. They created Durga, she didn’t come in the day or the night, but at twilight right before day shifted into night, and she wasn’t a man or beast, but a woman, who for nine days fought back the demon and soundly defeated him.
This story to me, growing up, was the ultimate symbol of Girl Power. It’s one that reminds me constantly, without fail, that women can do what others can’t, that our strength isn’t one to be taken for granted. And anytime I’ve been feeling weak, down, or like I just can’t keep moving forward it’s been Durga Ma’s voice whispering in my ear “That you can and you will, and that you won’t stop until you’ve reached your goals.”
It’s also a lesson that was repeated to me over this Summer, one that had been particularly difficult. Every time I felt the water closing over my head I would tell myself, “You can and you will.” and kept moving forward. All I’m really trying to say is that the strength and perseverance to keep going, keep pushing forwards, upwards and on wards is always there inside of you. It’s not an unreachable treasure but a gift you get to enjoy everyday as long as you’re brave enough to take it. Never forget that.