While I Wait

Photograph of cattle in the road on Ohio Pass, Colorado.
Waiting on a herd of cattle blocking the road on Ohio Pass

“The waiting is the hardest part” So go the lyrics from a song written by Tom Petty.

Right now, I am waiting for my upcoming autumn photography trip, a little more than a week from now. When I think about it (as I am now), we spend a lot of time waiting for something to happen.

Waiting for something often times tests our patience. We want it and we want it now. But now doesn’t usually happen. It isn’t usually up to us.

Photography has taught me to be a more patient person. I feel as though exercising patience increases my satisfaction when the thing I was waiting for does happen. The experience isn’t limited to photography either. Exercising patience is a metaphor for life. That pause gives me an opportunity to collect my thoughts and dream of different possibilities or alternative results.

A lack of patience is something I see a lot of in photography. Today’s photo illustrates the point. I can’t count the times I’ve seen animals or something blocking a road, only to witness others grow impatient and try to barrel on through, with little to no patience and even less regard for anything or anyone else around them. You can’t stop it, you can only watch it happen and hopefully without being drawn into the same mindset. I think it’s a question of self discipline. At least that’s how I frame it in my mind. I can take solace in the fact that I didn’t let my pea brain overwhelm my emotions, forcing me to do something stupid without cause.

We live in a world of instant gratification and anything along the route to that gratification is considered an obstacle to overcome and must be plowed through. In the meantime, we lose sight of what’s in front of us and causing the wait. Sometimes the wait is more interesting than plowing through. I hope to squeeze every bit of gratification out of my wait. I also hope that I don’t bust my car up or hurt an animal by being an impatient butt-head. The truth to me is that what is on the other side of what is causing me to wait is just another wait for something else to happen.

Learn to enjoy your wait.

Your mileage may vary.