Eyes Wide Shut

"Never be so focused on what you're looking for that you overlook the thing you actually find."

~Ann Patchett

For the last 10 years, my husband Tom has commuted from our home to his office in Vancouver, Washington. Leaving home on Monday morning, we had the exact same routine every week. He’d pack his bag the night before, get up early, shower, get dressed, have one cup of coffee, eat breakfast while we played one game of Backgammon, load up the car, take a travel mug of coffee, and head down our road. The routine was so familiar we could almost do it with our eyes shut.

From door to door that commute is exactly 88 miles, driven on the same stretch of road, along the same stretch of the Columbia River, in the same car. If it wasn’t so dangerous, he could almost do it with his eyes shut.

One day last year however, he almost drove off the road, and it wasn’t because he was sleepy or on auto-pilot. Quite the opposite, he was wide awake with his eyes wide open. Which is what allowed him to see this…

UNTOUCHED photo: Tom Pierson

UNTOUCHED photo: Tom Pierson

On auto-pilot, we might get where we are going, but completely miss the trip.

(For more inspiration about coming upon the unexpected, visit a recent post by David Berry complete with sound effects.)