a Photographic Journey by Meryl


The image, Transition, was taken during a visit to see my daughter at college last February.  As I photographed the students crossing campus and disappearing into my lens, they became ideal subjects for my ongoing Phantoms series. However viewing the image now, I can’t help but reflect on her upcoming graduation in May.
As my daughter crosses over the threshold into adulthood, I identify with how exciting yet stressful that time of life can be. Although I’ve come a long way, it’s still not easy to separate my life from hers—the plight of most parents, especially mothers. So thoughts of her transition mingle with mine.
After growing up in a small Jersey town and studying in Upstate New York, I recall landing in New York City with a corporate job and an apartment on the Upper West Side.  Working on the 32nd floor of a skyscaper, living with four roommates, all complete strangers, and taking a subway each morning was a dramatic change for me–stimulating yet quite overwhelming.
Although my daughter was raised in a tinier town here on Long Island, she’ll be living and working in the same city where she studied along with several of her college friends. So I’m optimistic that her transition won’t be too difficult. I’m also hopeful that the world has become a more welcoming place for a young woman to explore, prosper and grow…
As for me, the change is bittersweet. It’s sad to watch her innocence slip away, yet exciting to anticipate what will come next. These days I’m striving to live in the present and not dwell too much on the past. And her transition means that now I’m a bonafide empty-nester–a silly term that makes me feel feathery–and leathery?

To see image go to Transition

©Meryl Spiegel 2012–All rights reserved–No reproduction without permission.

5 responses

  1. suzie baker

    I remember dropping our son London off at college in Providence..the first time for him living away from home,..and the sadness that overwhelmed me for a while. Now he comes back to visit, and will be here this summer, and I am thrilled to be with him. Also happy that he has his own life to live, and I have mine.

    April 21, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    • Suzie,
      Realize I haven’t responded…yes we do ultimately adjust and now it’s after graduation and they’re home…there’s quite another adjustment….
      n’est pas?

      May 29, 2012 at 5:21 pm

  2. recoverythrumylens

    Thanks for sharing, Suzie….it’s wonderful when we get to that place when our children come and go in and out of our lives and the sadness turns into joy and gratitude as we marvel at whom they and we have become…

    April 21, 2012 at 4:26 pm

  3. My son is 6 years old and will be entering pre-school in the autumn. And what a big step that is for me as a mother! I think mothers live from transition to transition with our children. What a milestone in your life Meryl to see your daughter graduate and move on to another chapter in her young life! And what a full life it has been to be able to share so many steps, so many adventures, so many discoveries – together. I am just enjoying it every step of the way with so much gratitude. Sharon p.s. I can’t seem to open up the Transition link?

    June 25, 2012 at 7:55 am

    • Yes, Sharon, it’s been quite a journey and it continues…she is home for the summer studying intensely for the CPA exam to be a certified accountant…then she will move back to Washington DC in the fall where she has a job….all wonderful yet it will be hard to let her go again in September….so enjoy all that is to come with your son so many steps, so many challenges, so many joys…and the link was broken but is now fixed so you can now see the image taken on her college campus…xoxm

      June 25, 2012 at 10:02 am

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