My life took a few detours over the last year. By principle, I value detours. Most detours. You discover amazing, inspiring things you didn't even know existed.
One of my favourite detours happened in Mexico. We had no idea where we were going, but we followed hundreds of vehicles, all single file, for at least four hours (maybe eight when you count the waiting...) in all directions except the one we knew about. We passed through farms, along fences, and amongst families of rural life. We followed ruts in dirt roads and splashed through puddles. At times I expected someone to tell us it was all a joke and that we needed to turn around and head back. We didn't discover anything too significant that time, but I encountered that exhilarating energy in the pit of my stomach when I knew we were heading into an uncontrollable adventure. I smiled the whole way through. Bare foot. Singing.
I have been thinking about detours a lot lately. I kinda feel like I have been on a detour now for months. I guess at some point in time, the detour just gets to be the main road.
My friend Tracy and I went on an adventure a while back, just up island an hour or so. We took off from the main highway and headed into the Sunday driver roads. We passed by farms, fences and families of rural life. We followed twists and turns for what felt like too long.
"Then you go along the river for a really long time and when you see the crooked tree, you still have to keep going a ways yet." Local directions we were following from a lovely woman at the cheese shop. We went over a nostalgic one-lane bridge and under historic railway tracks. (As an aside, if you have read Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe, you can imagine our setting.)
And yes, my stomach filled with glee and I felt like a kid. Wide-eyed, wanting it to continue. Adventure doesn't have to be too far from home. Or too big. A small town on the corner of nowhere street and nowhere lane will do just fine.
Yes, we found things we didn't know existed. Even better, we found little inspiring things. And one perfectly appropriate thing - a rustic-red shingled church on the side of the road, like a scene from Little House on the Prairie. The saying on its sign?
"Joy is finding beauty on the detours."
Rut or no rut, I can appreciate that message.