Born and raised in the northern Midwest, I spent a lot of evenings watching my brothers play hockey while sipping on hot apple cider. Cheering them on when it was pertinent, but mostly just keeping my spot on the bench warm, curled into a ball, knees to my chin, nose collecting the steam from my cider, and allowing my warm breath to be exhaled into my goose down coat.
I never understood their desire to be “playing” outdoors in the below freezing temperatures after dark. But by mere existence, I was the bench warmer. I did not play hockey, score keep or ever sport a jersey, but I was dragged along anyway. These were the side effects of being raised by a single mother.
Now that I am an adult, and have chosen an exact opposite location to reside in, the desert, I still find myself being a bench warmer of a different kind. As a photographer, I observe everything that crosses my path.
While sitting on my graffiti covered, cement bench, I witnessed a couple arguing while walking the strip. I am sure it was something simple, like directions, but I could not help notice the scene that developed in front of me. A gorgeous picturesque painted mural of a sunset and they are arguing in front of it. This made me giggle. Not because they were in a heated dispute, but rather, if they had only paused to look where they were, it may have changed their tone for the day. How quickly our emotions can be redirected if only we open our eyes and see what is in front of us.
I continued sitting on my bench a while longer, staring at the mural, taking in the vast colors it had to offer. I smiled.
Another happy moment discovered.