Have you ever looked back at old photographs to remember special moments in your life that made you feel happy? The other day, I came across my collection of Detroit photos from last spring– a time when quarantine life and social distancing was nonexistent and not even a thought in our minds.
As I was looking through my photographs, it made me smile to see the beautiful pictures I had captured from a visit to places like the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) for the Celebrate India event, taking Michala (then 17) to the El Club for a Beyoncé dance party, and visiting Source Booksellers for the first time.
ONE DAY SOON…
I’ve always been a strong believer in taking my camera with me wherever I go. My father, who is an avid hobbyist photographer, taught me this when I was young. Dad always brings a camera with him because he says, “…you just never know when you’re going to need it. You never know when there’s going to be a picture moment.”
It saddens me we can’t to our usual springtime activities in Detroit and the metro area, but I know one day soon we will. One day soon social distancing will be over and we will be able to hug our friends, meet up at our favorite places, and resume our life outside of our homes.
“…you just never know when you’re going to need [your camera]. You never know when there’s going to be a picture moment.”My father on why he takes his camera with him wherever he goes.
WHAT WE MISS ABOUT SPRINGTIME IN DETROIT
Zhen told me she misses going to the DIA on the weekends for the art workshops. Travis said he misses seeing a lot of people out and about, “because they’ve got their own vibe.”
He also misses visiting his favorite Detroit businesses like Rocky’s in Eastern Market (he said he loves the smell of the spices) and the Gratiot Central Market. My little boys miss getting ice cream in Mexicantown and playing on the playground at Belle Isle.
QUARANTINE LIFE: REFLECT AND APPRECIATE GOOD TIMES
As for me, I MISS EVERYTHING! It’s hard to choose one or two places. I miss walking in Downtown Detroit and taking city photos. I miss buying lavender and my favorite coffee at Germack. I miss eating pizza late at night at Pi-Sci and trying new (to me) restaurants.
And I most definitely miss attending the city events.
One important lesson I have learned during our quarantine life is we can use this time to reflect on the happy times and truly count our blessings. It has been helping me cope and get through the challenging times.
In a recent piece on feeling nostalgia amidst quarantine life, The Atlantic writer Kaitlyn Tiffany shared, “nostalgia also reinvigorates belief that life has meaning by reminding you of a time when it tangibly did. It can help you remember that there are people in your life who care about you, that you have felt better than you do now, and that you will be able to feel good again in the future.”
I know for me this time during quarantine has given me time to reflect on the people, places, and things I’m missing. Although sometimes it makes me feel sad and sometimes I may cry about it, remembering also makes me smile and feel very grateful.
When I look at the pictures I took last spring of my favorite places in Detroit, I feel a greater appreciation for the art galleries, city events, coffee shops, and clothing boutiques that I love so much.
And when I see the smiling faces of my family and friends in the photos, I feel thankful to have shared these special moments with them.
One day soon this quarantine life will be over and we will be out and about again exploring the city and revisiting all of our favorite places. And when that day comes, I’ll have my camera with me to capture what I hope will be happy moments and new memories.
What are you nostalgic for during this time?
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All photographs are courtesy of Jennifer Hamra for Good Life Detroit.