Light and Loveliness

Reflections of Emily Sue Allen

Creativity / Family

On Planes & Passion

He is my grandfather by marriage, but I feel like I have known him forever. I have seen the twinkle in his eye plant seeds of wonder and adventure in my children’s lives, and I attribute many of my husband’s strengths to his lifelong love and influence.

He has a childlike, nonsensical way about him. He tells the kids that wild bunnies live in our yard. Every time he visits, he takes them outside with a lettuce and carrot offering for the bunnies, so they won’t be hungry. The bunnies always nibble just enough to keep all the kids convinced they truly do live in the yard, even though they’ve never seen one out there.

We have special Grandpa Mac storybooks…ones that contain special hidden hand-drawn pictures on each page that you have to find every time you turn. Ladybugs, kites, flowers, etc. No storybook is complete without them.

Then there is the airplane room…the magical place where the kids sleep when we visit. They fall asleep by the glow of the bathroom light with dozens of skillfully crafted miniature war planes overhead.

Every plane is made by hand from raw materials. He first researches all there is to know about a specific pilot or mission and the associated aircraft, then he sets to work, creating these miniature models of the plane with skill, precision, and no small amount of passion. He has made them for years, and now there are dozens, if not hundreds of them in existence. Even though they are not mine, I treasure these planes along with the man that made them.

Mention anything about planes or any of the American wars and you’ll have his attention in a quick minute. He is invested in preserving history in his own little way. I love hearing the details about each plane and what inspired him to build it. The attention to detail and craftsmanship is truly astounding.

A heart’s passion turned into planes.

During our last visit, I asked Grandpa Mac if I could photograph some of his planes. We photographed the planes in the backyard, suspended by fishing line in front of a a piece of cardboard he spray-painted to look like sky. I thought about photoshopping out the fishing line, but decided I rather like seeing it. This is a small sampling of the planes…there are many more that we were not able to photograph for one reason or another. For size reference, they are each about 6-7 inches in length.

It occurs to me that when the art we make truly matters to us, we create with deliberate intentionality. Passion for anything isn’t a static thing…it is a dynamic expression of what we value. I’ve been a bit spoiled to have digital photography as my form of art for the past decade…the instant gratification of the single (thoughtfully composed) click of a button. But I’m venturing into forms of art (sewing, writing, raising children, living life) that require a lot more time investment, infinitely more patience, and grace for myself and my shortcomings. I’m learning to breathe deep and approach life and art with careful intention. Clearing space and my mind to focus on little details that make all the difference.

“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.” Colossians 3:23-24

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121. bunny jammies, 122. swedish pancakes, 123. puppet workshop, 124. baby giggles, 125. sleepy smiles at every storybook picture, 126. small reminders to take my time, 127. music that lifts, 128. friends that pray, 129. deep breaths, 130. knowing many passionate people, 131. grandpa’s stories,  132. warm days, 133. banana bread made by an almost 8 year old, 134. taco dinner made by the six year old, 135. the many ways a person’s legacy manifests



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