The Image: Lydia Panas, "Hibiscus"

My photographs are a search to understand love, which is fragile and filled with joy and sorrow.

The image called Hibiscus was taken the day our twelve-year-old son took his long-board on the road for the first time. He maneuvered the gentle descent without difficulty as my husband and I followed in our car. After a mile or so we reached our drive, but he decided he would continue down the next hill. With confidence he swerved the board, but he hit a patch of loose stones and the board skidded under his feet.

We stopped the car as he went flying, landing a somersault across the road. His helmet protected his head; he was bruised, but proud of his accomplishment.

The camera came out afterward.

Hibiscus has a tender kind of beauty. Both the bloom and the wound will eventually fade, but in this moment they are side by side. Fragile and tentative.

Lydia Panas