The elderly man shuffles down a deserted street, fatigue weighing on his slumped shoulders. The broom he pushes falls without ceremony to the ground as he grabs to his hat. Gusting wind sends old paper wrappers and an empty can clanking down the open street before it. Cigarette butts litter the sidewalk, mixed with confetti and slowly dying balloons.
The dampness from a recent rain brings up the musty smell of wet cardboard into the air, rising from the nearby alleyway clogged with old boxes and burdened with evidence of population overload.
Two days ago it was impossible to walk this same path without being jostled about by the crowd.
Not today. The parade passed by, the celebration complete.
Festivities of yesterday are now lifeless. The only celebration is another block to clean. One more day of work.
The gentleman picks up his broom from where it fell, adjusts his hat and starts the repetitive motion of pushing filth once again.
Sometimes work is just that. Work.
According to a Deloitte Shift Report, a whopping 89% of the workforce is not passionate about their jobs.
11% responded that they felt passionate about what they did for a living.
Only 11%. That’s unfortunate for certain.
I’ve tried finding passion a few times, but work got in the way.
So do many people whose passion is themselves; ones who pay for celebrating their self-serving enthusiasm at the expense of others.
And they step on my dreams in the process. But they must deal with that karma not me.
Still, I search regularly for this elusive passion; holding onto promise that my foundation for tomorrow’s work is strong in desire and not necessity.
I need this hope to energize my spirit.
In the interim, I take pictures and reflect on the moments they capture, writing the story spoken through my viewfinder. I use the memories of frozen pixels as a handhold to lift me from the struggles of today into the hopefulness of tomorrow.
I see the storms of life and know they too shall pass, bringing a powerful sunset and the refreshing calmness that follows a summer downpour.
I stare into the flat waters and see the clouds reflection moving to their next adventure.
My mind travels with them, lost in dreams of knowing the same peaceful feeling.
And along the parade route, the street sweeper continues to push his broom, knowing the next parade will someday come and go with celebration and fanfare. With it brings his work. Maybe his personal pride in a job well done in enough for him.
I will continue to find the reflections of optimism in the pictures I take and we will both wake tomorrow with a renewed sense of purpose.