Sunday, July 10, 2016

The most important lesson in life

Posted By on Sun, Jul 10, 2016 at 9:13 AM

click to enlarge Judy and Gisela on their wedding day at The Edgewood Inn in Woodland Park, Colorado. - SEAN CAYTON
  • Sean Cayton
  • Judy and Gisela on their wedding day at The Edgewood Inn in Woodland Park, Colorado.

Ten years ago, my wife Cathy and I were enjoying dinner out with our then 18-month-old daughter Abby at Saigon Cafe downtown. Abby was sitting in a high chair, trying unsuccessfully to eat noodles and generally making a mess. She was also chatting away and being adorable.

Near the end of our meal, two ladies, Judy and Gisela, approached our table and passed a folded origami boat to our daughter. Abby was smitten. We were smitten, too. Abby’s antics had thoroughly entertained them, and they invited her to attend the Giving Tree Montessori School, a school they founded.

click to enlarge Judy plays the guitar and sings with the children during circle at the Giving Tree Montessori School. - SEAN CAYTON
  • Sean Cayton
  • Judy plays the guitar and sings with the children during circle at the Giving Tree Montessori School.

Ten years later, all three of our children have attended the Giving Tree and graduated from kindergarten there.

This summer, Cathy and I photographed Judy and Gisela's wedding at The Edgewood Inn in Woodland Park.

We celebrated with them and many other parents who enrolled their children at The Giving Tree and also became close friends with Judy and Gisela. And over the years we’ve watched our children blossom at their school.
click to enlarge Judy during a field trip with the kindergarten class to Mueller State Park. - SEAN CAYTON
  • Sean Cayton
  • Judy during a field trip with the kindergarten class to Mueller State Park.

The most important lesson Judy and Gisela's taught and modeled for our children was a very simple one — Love is love. Love for a child, love for a parent, love for a spouse — it all comes from the same place, our hearts.

And throughout our lives, love for another must be nurtured and cared for. Love, they taught, is a fundamental quality of life. It's what make us human!

I witnessed their lessons and photographed them; The peace picnic, the soup feast, the Elk watch, the camping trip, the kindergarten graduation, all were imbued with a sense loving kindness for one another.

click to enlarge Gisela blesses my son Jacob at his kindergarten graduation at the Giving Tree Montessori School. - SEAN CAYTON
  • Sean Cayton
  • Gisela blesses my son Jacob at his kindergarten graduation at the Giving Tree Montessori School.

This is what Judy and Gisela taught and it is what my children will carry with them for the rest of their lives. We are all human and we all know in our hearts how to love one another.

Colorado Springs-based wedding photographer Sean Cayton loves remarkable photographs and the stories behind them. See his wedding work at caytonphotography.com, his personal work at seancayton.com and his editorial work in the pages of the Independent. Submit your photo and the story behind the image — no more than two a week, please — to sean@caytonphotography.com for consideration in upcoming blogs.

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