My camera has accompanied me to woods and wetlands, beaches and big cities from Seattle to Florida, San Francisco to Prague. It has photographed alligators, bloodroot, cabbages, daffodils, eagles, flickers, grasshoppers, herons, indigo buntings, jewel weed, kingfishers, limpkins, mullein, nuthatches, orioles, pelicans, queen anne's lace, redbuds, seagulls, trout lilies, unidentified flittery things, veronica, warblers, xylobolus, yarrow, zebras, and more.
My camera has helped preserve the memories of my daughter's wedding, my son's college commencement, my granddaughter's birth and growth and puddle-jumping. I have taken my camera to college poetry readings, class field trips, church dinners, and long walks in the woods with my birding-and-botanizing colleague.
And now it's heading for the landfill.
I fell. Stepped in a bit of mud the wrong way and landed--hard--on hands and knees. The camera landed in the creek, in pieces.
The pieces are sitting on a towel to dry off, but their condition does not appear compatible with survival. I don't quite know what I'll do without a camera with trillium season right around the corner followed by my adorable granddaughter's two-year-old birthday, but I'm not prepared to make that big a decision when my entire body hurts.
Not to mention my pride.
I fell hard in mud in front of other people and broke the camera that has been my faithful companion through thick and thin for seven years--I think I've earned the right to sit in the corner and lick my wounds for a little while.
And the worst part is, I can't even show you a picture.