Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Last week I flew home on Columbus Day. The holiday sort of threw off my travel plans.

(Yes--I didn't know Columbus Day had the power to throw off travel plans. I didn't even know it was a holiday until I moved East. Don't get me wrong--I think Columbus and his travels are worth celebrating. Maybe not the manipulation of the native peoples and the beginnings of American imperialism, but the idea of exploration and expansion. You know.)

Luckily as I boarded the Marc train for BWI a couple of weeks ago, I saw a notice about no train service on Columbus Day. Phew. So glad I saw that and didn't get stuck with a hefty Amtrak ticket on my way home. There's more than one way to get home, right? I planned just to take the metro shuttle to Greenbelt and metro home. Plan B.

Luckily again, I checked the metro website the morning before my flight. Detoured again. The holiday weekend would see scheduled track work on the green and yellow lines, with complete closure from Gallery Place south. Phew again. I mean--that was my direct path. I juggled around the metro map and realized that I could transfer to the red line, then back to the blue line, then catch a bus at the Pentagon and make it home just fine.

Except. The red line is still slow from the horrible train wreck a few weeks ago. And I was tired and that bus would have tacked on another 30 minutes or so home. So I called sweet ME, who agreed to meet me at Farragut North on her way home from work. Perfect. Crisis averted.

My point is this: I think we often make great plans. Fantastic, perfect plans--to ride off into the sunset, or to achieve a certain goal, or to arrive at a certain destination at a specific time. Then something happens. Routes are closed. People fall through. Scheduled track work happens. Columbus arrives back in 1492 and the world celebrates for years after. You get the picture. The exciting, exhilarating part is this: figuring out where you go from here. Rerouting, as the GPS says. Examining your options and making a new plan. Finding a new course to the same destination.

That's it, my friends. Detours are GREAT.


Dani said...

Beautifully put, Reeder.

Laurel said...

Hurrah for detours.


The Wyler Family said...

lovely thoughts... just like always!

M said...

The best fortune I've ever gotten from a Chinese fortune cookie says, "You don't have to know where you're going to be headed in the right direction." I think that includes detours.