beauty out of trash

I spent this weekend in a car, I swear. Left Friday morning at 7, got into Canton Ohio by 3, spent the evening with family/sourcing props for a photo shoot. Saturday morning we drove up to Cleveland, arriving by 8:30, spent the day shooting with the always-fantastic Attack Cat, headed back to Canton for a family birthday. Sunday we left by 6 am to make it back to the east coast in time for a family shoot. If you do the math, that's 16 hours of driving to spend 39 hours with family. Of that, a bunch more was spent in the car, but that's a whole different story.
ANYWAY. I'm not trying to make you feel sorry for me. (I'm firing the person in charge of scheduling soon, I promise.) I just want to explain a) why I was in Ohio b) why it was kinda a big deal for me to stop my car just to take a picture.
See, I'm always driving by these beautiful sights and I think "man, that's incredible. I wish I had my camera...oh wait! I do! But so-and-so is waiting for me..." Or my to-do list is epic, or I'm just TIRED. And so I let slip another perfect moment.
Saturday morning, as I was driving down the street in Cleveland, already 15 minutes later than I wanted to be, and we passed a huge parking lot enclosed by a very boring fence. But then we came to a section of fence that was...flowering. Normally I would say "Oh cool!" and keep driving. But I knew I didn't HAVE to be there for a little while longer, so I turned the car around and drove back.
When we got close to the scene of trees and earth that was woven into the fence, I was shocked and thrilled to discover it was all created out of trash. Plastic bags, cans, soda bottles, and leftover twist ties had been pressed into service to create a scene of color and life. So there I stood, the early morning sun streaming through blooms made out of refuse, snapping, trying to capture the incredible serendipity of that moment. Light. Crisp air. Trash. Redemption. Seeing things I'd never have noticed if I hadn't just stopped.
It crashed over me, and all I could do was click the lens and be grateful.


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