Friday, February 08, 2019

Urban palm tree forest

Stand tall
Orlando, FL
February 2019
This photo originally shared on Instagram
The scene: Early morning in Orlando, and I'm walking from the hotel to the concert venue. The sun has just broken through the cloudy horizon and is bathing everything in the kind of gauzy yellow light that makes even the grittiest of landscapes look magazine-worthy. And since I've got six lanes of high-speed traffic on one side, and a parking garage and a gas station on the other, gritty is where I now find myself.

The clock is ticking, and not in a good way. I've got to get to the event site, settle into my spot beside the stage, check my run-of-show, connect with the A/V team to ensure they have everything they need, and then just run everything through my head until it feels like a comfy mitten. I need every second I can get, and I don't want to arrive feeling rushed. But that divine light is begging for a moment, and it's up to me to decide whether or not I take it.

To no one's surprise, I stop at a particularly well-lit palm tree. The light will be gone in less than two minutes, but fortunately I need to be moving again before then. I shoot fast and am soon on my way. The sun fades behind a bank of clouds before I reach the first intersection.

Thankfully, I arrive with plenty of time to spare, and the day goes extremely well. Later, I linger over this photo on my phone, a now-tangible reminder of the day I slowed time down just enough to remember the journey. I smile as I think about journeys far from home, and why I do weird stuff like this in the first place.

Because if my family is going to sacrifice while I'm away, the least I can do is try to tell the story of the things I saw and felt when I wasn't with them. On this day, it's a palm tree trunk. Next time? I'll figure that out when the moment presents itself.

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