Monday, November 24, 2014

The blessing of detours

I was almost on time for work today. That is, until I forgot I was going there and drove right past it.


In my own defense, I'll remind you it is the Monday before a holiday weekend; I think maybe my brain is already on vacation.

Anyway, I drove right past work and didn't realize it for a couple of blocks. When I did, all I could do was circle around in a big loop and try again. Immediately, I found myself stuck behind a school bus.

I watched all the kids got on, and yet the bus didn't move. I wondered what was taking so long, and then I noticed a little kid running down the sidewalk. He was maybe six or seven, with a backpack almost as big as he was dangling from one upheld hand, his un-zipped jacket flapping behind him like giant yellow wings. He was running so hard, he literally ran right of his shoes! He had to stop and run back, in his socks, to cram his shoes back on before resuming his dash to the bus. He flung himself board, and off the bus went.

The bus made another couple of stops before we parted ways a block or two later. As I made the turn into the parking lot behind my office, I noticed a splash of blue and orange at the top of a tree. I looked up and saw it was a kite, caught in the uppermost branches.

The little guy's super hero charge to the bus, the kite, and even the parents waiting at the bus stops all sparked my curiosity. There was a story in each of those moments, a tiny little story arc, a micro drama unfolding. I that find fascinating. It is why I love writing flash fiction so much, because it lets me zoom in to magnify just how much can happen in a single moment of life.

I was pretty aggravated when I realized I'd driven right past my job, but my unexpected detour turned out to be the highlight of my morning. I'm reminded that sometimes the bigger detours in life turn out the same way, bringing blessings we never anticipated or would have missed out on.

I am thankful today for detours, for the unexpected, and for the richness of story, hidden in seemingly mundane moments.

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