It’s interesting how one day can bring little surprises that I couldn’t have seen coming. Sometimes they’re good, and sometimes they make my heart sink. On the bright side, a recent last-minute decision led me along a road filled with good things around every bend (literally).
It has been a long start to the week. After a season of rest, I am heading full swing back into long days and keeping busy. The time that that was so plentiful not long ago now feels very much of the essence. It’s a good thing that there is still just enough time to slow down a little bit and enjoy the journey.
My day started as I had expected that it would. On the itinerary were work, exercise, a worry-free commute, a little bit of down time, and another commitment in the evening. Easy. What I didn’t factor in was the stand-still traffic that would develop right on schedule with my drive home. As I began getting restless and glancing in the rear view mirror at the sleeping passenger in the car behind me, an idea started to develop.
I was stuck in a one-way traffic jam while cars were flowing well in the other direction. Continuing this way would have me stuck for an indefinite period of time. However, the fortunate thing about living on an island is that a drive in either direction would eventually take me back to the other side of the mountain. So I had a choice. Would I wait out the growing line of idling cars, or would I take the winding backside mountain road?
It didn’t take me long to decide. At the first gap in oncoming traffic, I made my decision, turned up the radio, and headed north.
The amount of cars thinned just as the road did, and I found myself eventually driving solo around each cliffside turn. I had driven this road before, but this was the first time that I was taking the journey by myself. Without conversation or a clear signal, it was just me, an occasional passing vehicle, and breathtaking views for miles as the daylight slowly faded. I could try to tell you about the textured hills and steep ocean cliffs, but words would not be enough.
I couldn’t help but think that it seemed a lot like life. There were unexpected circumstances that changed my course, blind turns, and a need to patiently navigate each obstacle as it came. But along the narrow road, I also found that there was beauty around each bend and a longer but more worthwhile journey than I would have otherwise taken.
In hindsight, it may have been faster to just wait out the traffic, but I would have missed something so much better.
Maddie Buresh is a writer and photographer with an unquenchable desire to explore the great outdoors, from the ocean to the mountains. She finds joy in trying new things, living in community, and crafting stories that encourage people to go outside, have adventures, and enjoy this big, beautiful world.