Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Stop the car

I spend a lot of time in my car, if I'm honest.  I drive to work, children's schools, church, work errands, and personal stuff.  I love road trips, preferring them to flighty excursions across the country.  And while the majority of miles on my car are from my 54 mile round trip to work five days a week, I count numerous journeys to California, Utah, and local AZ hotspots amongst the nearly 67,000 miles on my 2019 car.  

Outside of El Paso, TX...a monsoon squall crashes into the desert
But more to the point of this entry, I tend to see things.  "Golden Hour" is, more often than not, the exact time I find myself going to and from work each day.  The sun casts its shimmery flaxen light over fields of alfalfa near the reservation on Queen Creek.  It bounces off the rain soaked roofs across rows of suburban tract housing in Chandler. It passes through the leaves of an assortment of trees, both evergreen and deciduous.  The Superstition Mountains, with its numerous crags and peaks, gets an especially astonishing treatment in the evening hours, especially when clouds create stationary silhouettes across the red rock of the hills.

So, I see beauty.  I experience a visual embellishment in the world each day, but I am usually going 55+ MPH.  Rarely do I stop.  I feel a constant tug to keep moving toward the next appointment, class, destination, etc.  But each time I pass something by, I feel remiss.  And I do understand the notion of living in the moment, thereby granting mindfulness and gratitude for the immediacy of life.  But I nevertheless have a longstanding and conflicting love of photography that simply demands that moments of beauty be preserved.

Preserved, and if I am honest, shared for others to see.  I think I have a little bit to contribute to this crazy world.  To that end, I've made a promise to myself to stop my car just a little more often.  It's a matter of slowing down a tiny bit.  I took a look in the mirror today and saw an abundance of gray staring back at me.  It seem that, in a momentary blink, two decades have rushed past me, leaving little imprint to immediate recollection.

It is said that one way to slow time is to constantly learn.  It feels immensely rewarding to be learning and creating again.