(This post is day 7 of the 21 Days of Gratitude project.)
Today I'm thankful for my work that allows me to take time to listen, really listen, to people and their stories.
I was on assignment today covering a sewage district story. Not the most exciting photographs I've ever made and I had to wait three hours in the cold and damp to make them. Ugh.
But while I was waiting for the events to happen that I was there to photograph, I started chatting with the sewerage district flak, and we ended up having the most wonderful conversation about life and aging. She was a trim and seemingly healthy woman, maybe in her 60s. She mentioned how her perspective on life is really starting to change now that she's on the shorter end of the age stick. How things are more clear to her about what matters and doesn't. About how she keeps thinking that we are this collection of atoms and neurons, blasting through the universe, and she wonders just what the meaning of it all is.
It was quite a deep conversation to have with a perfect stranger while staring into a giant pit of poop. Literally.
I love the fact that my job lends itself to these type of surreal moments. I treasure little snippets of conversations had with random strangers from all walks of life. I carry those conversations away with me and think about them long after I've filed my photos and moved on to the next assignment. Long after I've forgotten the person's name I was chatting with.
But what I don't forget is the gift of connecting with someone and the validation that comes when you are really heard. And I'm grateful that I get to share so many moments with people.