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I spent much of the day sorting through old image files pulled off the hard drive that became corrupted a few weeks ago.

Mostly just checking to see that I had not missed anything that I might not have backed up elsewhere.

Everything seemed to be in order, I'm glad to say. But it's funny going through old photographs. Things that you did not see before appear and things that seemed to stand out in the past recede. I found this shot of my son standing on the beach at Baie-Comeau, Quebec, in 2005. A picture I had not paid much attention to in the past.

Some of it displeased me, mostly the sharpness and color balance. It was taken with the very cheap and low-grade lens that came with the Canon Digital Rebel XT kit; I knew no better at the time. Also, I barely knew how to operate the camera so I was not taking optimal photographs. Blown highlights, poor use of focus and depth of field – all the usual goofs.

Never mind. It served at the time, and it serves now to remind me of my son when he was quite a bit smaller than he is today and when he was in some ways a different person.

Watching a child grow is like getting to know and then losing somebody over and over again; each stage has its joys but sometimes I can find myself looking back wistfully. Just as I did when I found this photograph.

You can't stop growth and you can't stop life and better it is that way. So, imperfect as this shot is, it is a window into a happy past. Fortunately, the present is just as good.

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