This afternoon I read in my favorite spot: the window seat of my home library in the winter's afternoon sun. My book of choice was a new collection of Ansel Adams's work entitled Ansel Adams in the National Parks. It is filled with his stunning monochrome photographs and words from his own letters, as well as things written about him by Wallace Stegner (Angle of Repose) and Richard B. Woodward. My love of the National Parks and my fascination with Ansel Adams drew me to this book. His photography career path was not what his originally parents intended (though they did take him to Yosemite in 1916 when he was 14 years old); he was a trained pianist. Yet the same attention to detail and certain familiarity with the keyboard transferred to his work with cameras.
Several times over the past year, people have said to me, "You missed your calling." This comes after they have viewed some of my photographs of the natural world. I have pondered that statement often in the past month, wondering if any of us really misses our true calling as a result of circumstance or choice. I know in my heart I was destined to teach (and extend that education to library work). Not a day goes by when I am not astonished by some insight or connection made by children as we learn together. But I also believe each of us has potential to display our gifts and talents in multiple ways. I strongly recommend David Shenk's book The Genius in All of Us: Why Everything You've Been Told About Genetics, Talent, and IQ is Wrong.
Ponder your own gifts. Consider your calling. Better yet, consider your callings. Each of us has the opportunity to pursue what fascinates and inspires us.
Note: This photo is like one of his taken in Zion National Park.