The Gift of....... STOPPING
Sadly, we live in a world that seems to be moving faster and faster. We're all in a hurry to get some where, and we seem to have little patience for waiting for anything. Our devices are getting faster, while our personal time is getting shorter. Most of us work far too much, and we play far too little. Like I said, "Sad."
Recently, I found myself in Richmond, Va., where I spent several days exhibiting my photographs and enjoying some time with fellow artists. The morning I left for home, I awoke before dawn and decided to hit the road for home. Leaving long before sunrise, I found myself traveling south along Interstate 95, which has to be one of the busiest and most boring highways in all of America. Driving through the darkness of predawn, while listening to a local PBS radio station, I certainly wasn't thinking about doing any photography.
That changed, however, when just before daybreak, I caught a distant glimpse of a small pond in a rural area of what appeared to be farm country. It was that hour of the morning just before dawn when the smallest hint of light begins to show itself and reveal the forms in the darkness. It's the time of the morning that grabs the attention of photographers, and it grabbed me hard.
With no place to stop, I found the next exit and decided to attempt to find the pond I had seen a mile or two back. Like some homing pigeon, I took the first gravel road and headed back in the direction I thought the pond to be. Still more dark than light, I wound my way back into the darkness and eventually found myself at the edge of this incredible slew.
The cold air of the morning was causing a fog to form over the waters, and as the light began to break across the pond, magic began to happen. Angles of light began to play on some trees, while leaving others in the darkness. Fall colors sprang from the leaves of Oaks and Maples, and a single solitary duck lay still in the waters just feet from me. Magic........that's the only way to explain it. Magic!
I could have drove on that morning and made it home a couple of hours sooner. I could have talked myself out of making the extra effort. I could have considered the cold weather outside and made a different choice, but I stopped. I stopped, I captured some amazing images, and I said Thank You. I can't imagine a better way to start the day.