In this photograph, Sam is the perfect boy.
He is eight years old, skipping a stone towards an invisible shore, at the end of an endless summer day. He has scoured the rocky shore for suitable pebbles, clutching two or three in the grubby fingers of one small hand. With his pitching arm he hurls the stones into the setting sun, his fingers reaching into the sky.
These are hands I still like to hold when we cross busy streets. He gives them to me reluctantly as he grows older but I will ask for them as long as I can. My heart swells with tenderness when his small hand folds into mine. I am swept back to the time when his fingers were a day old, impossibly beautiful, impossibly small.
He is growing so fast. Soon everything will change.
But not in this photograph, where the stone is frozen in mid-air and my son is silhouetted against a blazing, glorious sun that will never set, and his hands, his beautiful, impossibly small hands, will always be a haven for his mother's heart.
Inverhuron Provincial Park, July 2009