I travel the same boring route to work for over an hour every morning. Much of it is on a slate gray, two lane highway, and on most mornings, the sea of cars lurch forward, then rock back as we navigate the traffic in a collective wave. Each morning, I pass the same field, and the same gas station. The same rotary circles by the same prison, and the same American flag covers the entire back side of the farmhouse.
There is nothing spectacular about my daily commute, it’s likely as unremarkable as your own. But one day, there was something magical about the snow-lined branches. Another day, it seemed a miracle that the sun pierced through the stubborn winter clouds that had been present for over a week. And today, I found fascination in an outrageous bumper sticker– how does the owner decide what bumper sticker will represent her best? I am similarly fascinated with how one settles on tattoos and Tweets.
Anyway, I digress.
These days, I stick to this boring route, even if Waze tells me another route will be shorter. I take glances at the sun glistening on the snow, where the field houses a massive and lonely boulder.
One day, my mind wandered to the inside of the prison walls and wondered if it was here that Jose, a spirited and joyful resident at a homeless shelter, learned transcendental meditation.
Another day, I saw a flock of birds fly over my line of sight, not in the typical V-shaped pattern, but in an elegantly organized cluster. I am not sure if they were heading north, or south or somewhere else entirely, but they seemed to be taking the scenic route.
I have come to love my boring commute. In its routine, I am freed up to connect with my surroundings, and acknowledge what is unique about today. Even the road more travelled by, with attention, can make all the difference.