Ah, so Labor Day weekend is done, and this Tuesday morning you can feel the collective groans of everyone returning to work and settling in for autumn to begin. Back to work we go.

I’ve been off for about a week, during which I shot an out of town wedding and returned home to Wisconsin for a visit with family. During my visit, we watched a family favorite film: Harold and Maude. We watched this movie over and over when I was growing up, and Maude was a vision of what we ¬†wanted to be as we got older: happy, vibrant, quirky INDIVIDUALS, singing, dancing and living entirely in the moment.

A couple of my favorite quotes:
“Everyone has the right to make an ass of themselves.”
Harold: “But I love you.” Maude: “That’s wonderful. Now go out and love some more.”
“Everybody should be able to make some music.”

I come from an artistic family. Our house was always filled with music, dancing and all forms of art. After my stepmother passed away, my Dad knew that he didn’t have a lot of time left. One day he and my brother were outside and my Dad found this tree that he thought would be an ideal final resting place for the ashes of my step-mom, Marge, and himself. When he looked up at it, the tree reminded him of Marge: a dancing woman, arms extended and head back, swaying gracefully in the breeze.

Just like Maude, this tree is a perfect representation of the life lessons in Harold and Maude (and from my parents). I can look at this tree and see them dancing, arms joyfully outstretched, forever.