A Road Too Often Traveled

A Road Too Often Traveled

By Rod Eccles

We all do it.  We travel the same roads every time we want to go somewhere.  We rarely, if ever take a different rout unless we hit a detour because of construction or a local emergency.

And when we are forced to take that detour, the majority of us grumble and complain to the occupants in the car with us, or if we are alone, we grumble and complain to ourselves.

Yes, your brain goes into angry or at least annoyance mode.  Your vision narrows and all your concentration is on detecting those hard to spot and usually rare detour signs that help us get back onto our original path.

But that is not the main problem for us.  We get upset by these detours because they take us off of our normal and well known path.

Or do we really know the path we are on?

You may say, of course.  You take that path every day to work.  Or that same path to the grocery store or the department store.  You take the same road every time when you visit your friend.  Of course you know these paths.  You know them inside and out.

But, do you really?

The other day I was riding my bike down a road I have taken at least 100 times.  At least 100 times in the last 6 months alone.  But I began to notice something while on that bike.  I began to notice I did not know my regular path as well as I thought.

In fact, I realized I didn’t know it at all.

While on my bike, I passed by a house.  It was set back a bit from the road.  It was set farther back than most homes and buildings on that road.  I never noticed it before.  Even though I use this road almost daily.  I have been using this road almost daily for well over 5 years.  Yet I never noticed this house.

What was so special about this house?  It was made totally out of granite blocks.  Not bricks, but blocks.  The roof was a slate roof.  I stopped my bike.

I looked down the property at it.  How could I have missed this before?  I notice it had a date on it.  1850.  This home had a wonderful rose garden in the middle of the front lawn.  In full bloom.  The driveway light fixture was mounted on a massive granite post.  There are three of them.  The lawn was marginal, in need of fertigation but it was well groomed.  The driveway itself was granite brick towards the road transitioning to black top about half way up.

I passed by this historic home built in 1850 without ever noticing it.  I road on and as I did I began to notice so many other buildings.  Their shapes, colors, landscaping their listed ages over the doors.  I noticed a few other structures I was sure I never saw before.  I even noticed a home close to the road, with a PINK door.

I reasoned that I did not notice them before because in my car I was going too fast.  The posted speed limit is too high to take notice of these things.  I comforted myself by saying that I was concentrating on the road and other cars.

Truth is, I didn’t notice these things because I didn’t want to notice them.  I didn’t have time to notice them.

But these structures are obviously important.  They make up the whole picture of this road.  Yet, before this bike ride, I settled for only part of the picture.

I realized that by settling for only a partial picture I didn’t know this road at all.