Day 9 entry comes from a human being I love more than words can say, and I couldn’t help but include that extra happy picture of her above, because it shows HER. She is walking sunshine and all kinds of love. I’ve been blessed to know RyLeigh for lots of years now, and every one of them has been a sincere delight. She has taught me so, so much about love and friendship, resilience and JOY! I love seeing her grow, learning from her light, and seeing all the many ways she is love. This entry is super special and touched me in such a unique, beautiful way. It felt like such an honest glimpse at someone’s heart, and such an invitation to slow down and SEE the love. Maybe I cried the whole way. It is a privilege to share it now with you people.
“My Love Language:
My name is RyLeigh Thorne and I’m a freshman at Southern Utah University.
Now, you’re probably thinking. What does a little freshman in college know about the big L word? And to be quite real with you I’m not 100% sure! But I’ve been blessed enough to lead a life wherein lots of Love (capital Love) has come and gone. Lots of Love has happened, and in so many different forms.
But I think the way I see Love most is through photographs.
I’ve been a photographer for about three years now. And by that I mean I own a Nikon. I, as a photographer, am ever-changing and I don’t think the title photographer has ever really stuck with me besides the fact that I know what buttons to press, and how to frame up a photograph. The driving force behind it all is Love. I’ve heard it said that you take photographs of subjects you either really love or really hate. And there’s enough hate in the world. So here’s what Love is to me, but in photographs (not all necessarily incredible photographs, but important. So bear with me. Let’s go.)
Love is lots of cute faces in a row. These are my people! Rylie Michelle, Jared Len, Grantland Parker and Cee Ryle. They’re just a few of the incredible people in my life I’ve had the pleasure to learn about Love from. We met sophomore year of high school and I’m sure we’ll be kickin’ it for many years to come. I would dare to say I love them. A lot.
Love is quiet. I took these two photographs in Salt Lake a few years ago and whenever I think of Love these two couples always come to mind. Love doesn’t have to be loud and earth-shattering. It’s in the moment when an elderly couple stops to sit, and just be. It’s in the moment when the girl reaches for her guys hand before crossing the street. Just because it’s quiet doesn’t mean it’s not important, or worth noticing.
Love is reunions. This is my cute friend Kelly Cowser and her son Wil who recently returned from serving an LDS mission. This photograph symbolizes Love for me just so much it’s insane. The Love that’s so strong within families, and the Love for the Gospel of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. There’s nothing else you really need, ya know?
Love can be a place. This is Marsh Lake. My extended family and I have been going up to Marsh for who knows how many years. It’s always been our place, and the Love is legitimately felt in the air every time we go.
And sometime a place that you Love can Love you back. This is my cute mom’s classroom, the little theater at Davis High. As I trace Love back, I think I truly learned it here. The way Andra Loves her students is felt so strongly in this classroom. Anyone who’s passed through it can tell you it’s a place that will always, always, always love you back when you need it. Or even when you don’t.
Love is in new beginnings. These two girls have been my love and my light at SUU these past two semesters. I’m just so grateful that they’re in my life and that they symbolize the start of something new.
And no, these two selfies aren’t immaculate works of art, but yes: Love IS found in the silly selfies.
And lastly, I think Love is found most intense where you first learned it. These little monkeys right here ARE Love.
My dad, Ryan, is support and providing.
My mom, Andra, is encouragement and hugs.
My brother, Duncan, is solid-ground and good laughs.
And my sister, Amylee, is unconditional acceptance and smiles.
These guys are my life. And they’re Love with a big fat capital L.
Photographs are my love language. Whether silly Snapchat-filter selfies or a well-framed, well-exposed fine art photograph all photos matter.
So go take a picture of or with someone you love. And look for the capital L Love in the little places.
Happy Love Day!
-RyLeigh Kaye Thorne”