“Sometimes detours on the other side of the curve are more fun than traveling the straight and narrow road.” – Lisa Preisler
Detours often hold surprises
like peeling back the layers of an onion
with new revelations about oneself,
Brief terror, then blessed relief.
My life has been filled with detours of one sort or another.
Detours from what I thought it would be.
Detours from my own re-written versions of ‘normal’ that have summarily been thrown in the waste bin labeled ‘normal is no longer in my vocabulary’.
Detours from how a girl from a small town is ‘supposed’ to act, to feel, to love, to be. I have never been that girl. Ever.
The belief that everything happens for a reason, a season, or a lesson has made me a better person. One who is willing to go with the flow –
an adventurer who cannot wait to see what is around the bend of the next detour.
I love taking the back roads, the scenic routes. Always new things to see and explore. My dad was that way as well.
We would drive a different way every time to the same destination or to worlds previously unknown to little girls with their protector at the wheel. Through new small towns. He would always try to convince us that he was lost. But I suspect that he wasn’t. There was always something new to explore – the crystal clear lakes of Ontario, Canada. The little fairy-tale village we happened upon and stopped to see. Mom and Pop diners- his favorite kind of food. He could sniff out the good ones from a mile away. Auctions with a dollar to bid on a box of treasure. All of this while working two jobs so my mom wouldn’t have to work. He taught life lessons while we were both on our backs under a car rebuilding the engine. My daddy. My first hero, loving, imperfect, detour taking, life on his own terms, daddy.
I can’t think of a better person to inherit the characteristic of exploring detours from.
I have always identified with Robert Frost’s poem about detours:
The Road Not Taken
TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”
― Robert Frost Ph.D., The Road Not Taken and Other Poems
The next time you are faced with a choice, take the other road. Not the one that is the safe, known choice. You might be in for the ride of your life!
You can quote me on that one.