If you've ever been in Los Angeles, there's one thing you know for sure... traffic is bad (to put it mildly). From the very beginning of my evening commute, I knew it wasn't going to be bad, because it was already worse from the get-go.
Making the most of it, I turned off the mind-numbing radio, rolled down the windows and imagined myself on a back porch somewhere, enjoying a lazy summer evening (another thing about LA is that an October day can easily reach 95 degrees whenever it feels like it). Thanks to several days of rain, the air was now fresh (yeah, I know, LA... but it happens).
Driving through the canyons, the scent of hyacinth mixed with pine, the occasional rose from someone's garden... with short bursts of bus fumes to remind me I was still on the road.
It took me twice as long to get up the one side of the hill, so I thought about that short cut that winds parallel to the main boulevard. It greeted me with open arms and I smiled as I winded past the ranch style homes with their white picket fences; a little bit of country nestled inside this sprawling city.
I don't know if it was the daydreaming, or the desire to keep going on this road but I soon discovered that a simple turn had started me back down the mountain, heading away from my destination. Being discouraged by the long line of cars heading up, I figured I could wait until I got to famous Mulholland Drive, which was 'out of the way' but still on the way to where I needed to be.
I settled in again, knowing that there wasn't much I could do to get home faster, so I might as well enjoy the ride.
As the sun began to set, turning the sky into a sea of crimson and gold and mystical blue, I turned the bend and realized what a gift I had been given. Thousands of lights, like diamonds, sparkled below me... expanding in all directions, as if the stars came down to earth to lay before my feet. I understood why so many people wanted to live up here, with a view that just took my breath away.
I had to stop to take it all in... the stars, the lights, the hyacinth and honking cars. All of it was magical... and I saw that getting home wasn't the most important thing of the evening.
As I finished the last leg of my journey, I got to thinking about Life in general. How much do we miss when we take the same route at the same time, in the same way, every single day.
Just one 'wrong' turn can take us to places we hardly even imagine. The world's still the same no matter what, but the view we get is so much more spectacular just one step outside our norm.
So when are you going to take your turn?
Keep those lights on!