There’s an empty field around the corner of my house. The sun sets behind a row of trees at its back every evening, and a tiny blue bungalow sits next to it. I’ve passed it so many times, but only recently started looking at it in a different light. During winter, when the sun is sinking behind leafless trees and long, dried grass, the whole place lights up with a yellow glow. It’s been calling to me, and I’ve been saving it in the back of my mind for a special location for a shoot that deserved it.

A few weeks ago, I was driving through my neighborhood on my way to a meeting. I noticed that the police had blocked the road up ahead, before I could even pass by my coveted field. I was irritated. I couldn’t see an accident anywhere. Did they have to block the whole road? I was forced to turn around, and weave through more streets in the wrong direction to go around. My irritation grew. I may have been mumbling something about police injustice under my breath and perhaps speeding a little to make up for lost time. I was 7 minutes late for my meeting.

Later, I happened to catch a story on the late night news. The little blue bungalow next to the field I had been watching so closely had caught fire and burned. A ninety-something year old man who lived in the house had died in the fire. It was then that I realized that the police had been clearing the way for fire trucks and ambulances, and the guilt hit hard. What was 7 minutes of my time, compared to 90 years of life?

Two days before the New Year, I finally had my chance to shoot in that field. It was everything I knew it would be. And as we were leaving, I gave the burned bungalow a little nod. Thank you. Where one life had ended, another would begin. The life that Lauren and Brad share together, in marriage. And the life of their son that they will welcome into the world in a few short months.

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