I have a long, boring commute to and from work, filled with the monotony of highway driving for at least 1.5 hours, often closer to 2.
Today, as I merged onto the third highway of my morning drive, I saw that an electronic sign was flashing. "DELAYS TO RT. 3." There's usually always delays from the point I was at to that distance, but the fact that we were being given advance notice of such translated in my mind as "Plan to Go Nowhere Fast If You Stay On This Road."
So I bailed out onto a road which I pass signs for every day, but have never travelled down. A few miles later, I had an idea of where I was at ... and the rest of my morning commute was filled with remembering people I'd known 15, 20 years ago.
Several houses looked familiar, and I wondered if one of them had belonged to the woman I interned for while in college. She had taken several of us to her spacious home for reasons I now can't remember. What I do remember was the tutelage I received from this woman, who was among the most eccentric, difficult and best bosses I've ever worked for. Much of what I learned in that internship I still do in my job today.
I passed through a town where a college friend had lived and remembered that he and I spent New Year's 1988 at a party. That evening, a cake was brought out for one particular couple, who had just gotten engaged. I didn't know their names, much less that in 4 years I would marry the groom-to-be's cousin.
All these and more memories came flooding back to me as I drove, consulting my map (the paper kind since I'm the only person in the world without a GPS), eventually getting to my office. A little later than planned, yes. My day a bit off-schedule, absolutely.
But one holding a reminder that what sometimes starts out as an uncertain, inconvenient detour has the power to bring you home.