“Every day is a journey, and the journey itself is home.” – Matsuo Basho
Mary Beth sat in the passenger seat with a white Google Chromebook perched on her lap scanning the road conditions in Tennessee, Arkansas and Missouri while keeping an eye on her smartphone’s Navigation app.
She reported the purple lines indicated roads that were covered with snow and blue lines showed roads that were only partly covered.
My co-pilot was doing her best to navigate us to the blue lines.
Looking for Blue Lines
I made an early exit from my meeting in Florida to rendezvous with Mary Beth who was in Atlanta visiting family. The plan was for my wife to drive home on Sunday and I was scheduled to fly back on Monday, but Winter Storm Ion made us change our travel plans. There was no way my wife was going to drive through the storm alone.
We managed to steal some time in Florida after Christmas and before I had to get back to work; and before she had to start the drive home after a weekend layover in Atlanta.
Mary Beth picked me up at the Atlanta airport late Sunday afternoon. Ion had already created an enormous wall between where we were and where we wanted to go – home.
The storm started in the Northern Plans and was spreading high and wide across the Midwest. Its trajectory also had it dropping into the southern states. Along with heavy snow and gusty winds, Ion brought bitterly cold air.
Before leaving the airport, we decided on a southern-route travel strategy. Our plan was to stay just below the snow, look for the blue lines and then head north after the storm moved east.
We made it as far as Tupelo before calling it a night. The roads were getting worse and a long day waited next.
Sharing the Journey
Navigating around the storm as we searched for safer roads was a reminder that life can surprise us with its unpredictability and veracity. It was also a gentle reminder that it’s easier to find our way through the storms when we have someone to share the journey with.
Mary Beth has been in the seat next to me for the past 30 years. She has always kept one eye on the road conditions while navigating us through the next turn. My wife has helped deliver our family to safety more times than I can remember.
And each time after arriving, she simply says, “We are a team.”
Sometimes the simple path to finding safer roads begins with understanding even the most dangerous roads don’t seem as threatening when they are traveled together.
We arrived home late Monday afternoon. Our car looked like it had been doused by a giant salt shaker. The otherwise black car appeared white from its hood all the way down to the back bumper, but there wasn’t a scratch on it.
We managed to escape harm by finding the safer roads to travel – the roads with the blue lines that weren’t as menacing. Our strategy worked for us once again, just like it has done in the past and no doubt will again in the future.
What is A Simple Path?
This post is in A Simple Path, a twice-weekly series of short pieces inspired by my own life experiences. Each post is a simple path to experiencing something wonderful: maybe seeing life from a different perspective, or celebrating its beauty. Click here to read all posts in the series.