Twenty years ago, I spent June through October working on the western most 68 miles of State Road 30 in Utah. Depending on which part of the 68 miles I was working on, I drove between 87 and 155 miles to work in the morning and again at night to get home. My drive time plus the 10 to 14 hours I spent on the job, gave me ample opportunity to become very familiar with that narrow strip of highway right-of-way and everything I could see from it.
Over time, I grew to appreciate and even enjoy its subtle beauty. A lone juniper tree on the roadside caught my attention early on. I drove past it every trip, usually early in the morning or late in the evening. It was either catching the first rays of light or silhouetted by the last. I often thought about how I’d photograph it if I had the chance. By the end of those 5 months though, another trip out west to take pictures of a tree, seemed like a terrible waste of time.
Twenty years later, with what I hope is an increased level of maturity, spending time doing something I enjoy feels more like a sound investment than a waste of time. Yesterday, I made that trip that once seemed so wasteful. I spent 3 hours becoming reacquainted with the place, shooting pictures, and watching the sun go down; and, I loved every minute of it. There are a lot of things about getting older that I’m not real fond of but, my new perspective on how I use my time feels like a pretty good trade off.