Wednesday, January 06, 2010
Same Road, Different Day
The same three mile stretch I drive at least twice a day. To and from work/school. It's mostly straight, four lanes with a turn-lane in the center, lined by strip malls and condo complexes and apartment buildings. There are four or five stoplights between home and work. I could drive it in my sleep.
I'm pretty sure I know it like the back of my hand. The streetlights that line it are impossibly tall, their mottled grey and silver steel poles stretch dozens of feet in the air and make an abrupt 90 degree turn to hold out a light that shows us the way home after dark.
Back in our work/school day routine, the days come one after another just like the streetlights. Mondays are the busiest, hoping I've gotten enough groceries to pack lunches for the week and make nutritious dinners as quickly as possible on our busy evenings. Tuesdays are anxious, six packed hours at work and home to get the girls off in two different directions for activities and then back home within minutes of each other to sit and do homework and eat before falling into bed. Wednesdays I can breathe a little easier, knowing that Thursday and Friday I will have to myself to start laundry, walk the dog, write a little and gear up for the weekend. I know these days like the back of my hand and, while there are subtle differences between them - Eve has little homework on Wednesdays and Thursdays, Lola has to study for her spelling test on Thursday nights - the weeks are mostly similar. The days are only different in their "mottling," like the slight variations in the patterns on the streetlights.
Driving home yesterday I looked out of the windshield about a mile ahead. Catching my breath, I realized that when I look at the streetlights lined up alongside the road I can see the shape of the road itself. Following the line of lights as they sit sentry on the sidewalk there is a slight curve as they follow the wave of the road. Taken as a whole, the outline they provide is beautiful, slowly, gracefully arching like a wave on the shore. Focusing back on an individual pole, my field of vision narrows, constricts. Looking back ahead, I can feel my mind and muscles relax. My perspective is more open.
I'm going to spend today looking ahead. Not planning ahead, but seeing the pattern in our days and weeks as they stretch out before us. Something tells me that, put together, they will look pretty gorgeous, too.