Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Philosophy From Behind The Wheel

I was strapped down and buckled in. We pulled out of the driveway and headed up to the office. I hadn't used the WheelTrans system for a while so it felt odd to be in the van and tied down. The driver informed me that we had lots of time because his other pick up had cancelled, I was going to get a non-stop ride. We headed up Avenue Road and then he took a turn onto St. Clair which surprised me. I've ridden with many drivers but have never turned onto that street. We drove only a couple of blocks and he turned north again on a sidestreet that I'd never been on before.

The road was completely clear of traffic. It was a beautiful sunny morning and the light dappled green through the trees. The houses were spectacular and the gardens lovely. I mentioned that I'd never been on that street before. He said, 'I like riding one street over from the one that busy people travel.' Then we fell into a relaxed conversation about various houses, we imagined aloud living in places that magnificent.

Suddenly we were on Eglinton and we drove the rest of the way like I'd done a thousand times before. I arrived at work in plenty of time and thanked him for a lovely ride.

Later on in the day I had a staff come to me with a question and a concern. I was busy doing something that needed to be done. But I decided to ride one street over from the busy one ... and took the time to listen and, in the end, learn.

Even later, I had just put the phone down after having written a list of tasks that I need to get done this week and was looking for a file to attach to an email. A woman with a disability popped in to say hello. I almost gave her the 'I'm busy' smile but I decided to make my way down the street one over from the one that busy people travel. Again, I listened, I learned, I even laughed.

Oddly, he got me to work faster.

Even more oddly, I got more work done.

Perhaps there is a deep philosophy to be found in driving a cab and riding one street over.


Kate said...

I love the way you think!

Belinda said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Belinda said...

I loved the ending, but my initial response was how scary it would be to be "taken," out of the expected route, without warning, without control, especially since you wrote of how you were "strapped in." What if he was a man with sinister intentions, I thought. Ohhh, I'm starting the day in a melodramatic way!

I loved the analogy of taking the route a street over though. It's a route I need to learn myself.

liz said...

What Belinda said.

Shan said...

My mum calls me Backalley because I am always dodging along the quiet streets, avoiding the heavy traffic. As a life philosophy, it's sound.

CJ said...

Wonderfull analogy. Love it!

Maggie said...

Just stumbled on your blog, and I absolutely love this post -- it's beautifully written. It truly is so important to take the path less traveled once in a while and enjoy the scenery. Thank you for this reminder!