Main roads are made to get us where we’re going faster. But Interstates and major highways bypass a lot of the good stuff. The little country stores with the cooler on the front porch. The big sprawling oak throwing shade over a stop sign.
On my way to North Carolina, I recently followed a GPS suggestion that I thought might end up being a shortcut. I’ve lived in the same county most of my life and driven by that turnoff more times than I can remember, and yet I’d never taken it before.
But along that small country byway, someone had begun to restore an old historic-looking two-story brick house. The fields beyond were long and flowing green with white fencing marking the perimeters. Content-looking cows lazed beside a low bottom creek. I wanted to stop and study it a bit, think about the succession of lives that might have played out there, whether this road had once had a horse and buggy version. It was like driving through a real life painting, one that played out each and every day, literally a few miles from my own house. And I had never known it existed.
There’s something to be said for slowing down a bit and simply drinking in a different view.
Sometimes that’s all it takes to put us on a new road altogether.
I love books! From my earliest memories, I loved being read to and then reading practically every book in my elementary school library. There’s something about taking a little trip into a wonderful story that is its own unique pleasure. Over the years, my favorite authors have provided me with glimpses into worlds I would never have known had I not picked up their books. From Beverley Cleary to Lavyrle Spencer to Jodi Piccoult to Anita Shreve and so many others, I am grateful they chose to become storytellers. A great story has the power to move, change and shape its readers. To me, that’s an honorable calling and a task I aspire to.
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