Wednesday, September 10, 2014
I commute from Yorktown to Richmond every day when I don’t travel to somewhere in Virginia. An exception is Fridays when I telecommute. My favorite commuting routes brings me into Yorktown proper, along the Parkway, and only then will I pop onto Interstate 64 and do the rest of my commute. On the way back I take a similar route. Having these small traditions or shall we call it rituals is very important to me and I suspect, to many people. For me, it gets the work day started and, in the afternoon, it is a nice end to a busy day and a crazy commute.
What I don’t understand are all these commuters that get antsy and try to pass you on the Parkway while you already drive two or three miles over the speed limit. To me the Parkway is not really for commuters; it is a ritual, a way to relax and almost meditate.
I clearly suffer from horizon deficit disorder (I just made up that term, but I have it). I need to be able to see far and preferably see the horizon. In the 80s we lived for three months in Durham, NC; and I still remember that feeling of claustrophobia; all those trees everywhere and no horizon. I grew up on an island in the Caribbean and remember that on clear days we were able to see the mountains of Venezuela, more than 40 miles away. I need to see the horizon, or at least past the next tree and this is why this ritual is so important to me.
This morning was magical. We have had two days of rain in our area, and some was very heavy. The town of Smithfield reported 12 inches (or 30 cm) of rain during the past two days). So it was great to see the sun peak out of the clouds this morning. Looking at the horizon I was amazed by the interplay of sun and light in our partly cloudy sky. I saw sunbeams streaking down, while a tanker waiting to load (or unload) at the oil terminal was in the shade of a cloud. I had to stop and take this photo of the scene.
Back in the car, driving down the parkway I all the sudden saw a bald eagle coming my way flying above the trees. Bald eagles are gorgeous majestic birds and I was absolutely amazed how big this one was, soaring over the trees, wings wide and looking in the direction of the river. It was absolutely magical; a great start of a new day. I just wonder how many commuters experienced the same thing.