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home : opinion : opinion August 14, 2020

6/5/2020 2:18:00 PM
Beauty In Delay

Marty Reep, Author
Speaker, Forward-Thinker

Four hours on the road. Close to home. Five miles from our driveway, we had to stop for roadwork. Waiting in line, I started to get annoyed that we were ALMOST there, but not yet.

“Seriously? We’re ten minutes from the house. What are they doing?” I asked.
“Looks like they’re working on the road,” my wife replied.
I turned my head slightly, looked at her, and grinned. “Thanks.”
“Well, ask a…”
“Hey, look over to your left,” she said.

Glancing the other direction, my eyes were filled with an amazing view. An expanse of flat fields, filled with rows of green-topped vegetables, stretched out in all directions, filling the open space with their bounty. Here and there, the fields gave way to gray-silhouetted mountains rising abruptly from the fertile bottomlands. Draped in low-lying clouds, they stood looking back at us, unpretentious, but solid. Tilted evening sunlight peeked through the clouds and strafed the right side of mountains’ lines. Sharp edges created by the side lighting were softened by the growing grayness of the hour.

Diffusion of the elements made watercolor textures fold over top of each other, mounding up together in huge piles.

“Isn’t that beautiful?” she asked.
“Yes, amazing.”
“Maybe getting to see that is why we have to wait.”
“You mean beyond the directive of the of the yellow-vested guy with the STOP/SLOW sign?”
“Yes, beyond that.”
“True. If we weren’t delayed, we might not have seen this view.”

Looking ahead of us, again, to the front of the line of cars, I saw a road worker making his way down our patch of blacktop, stopping briefly at each car ahead of us. Correspondingly, each car he talked to either stayed where it was in line, or it pulled out and turned left at the intersection that was being worked on.

Intersection. Crossroads. Under construction. Uneven ground. Rough road ahead. Each of those things seemed ironically fitting for the trip. Yet, there, in the midst of it all, were the mountains.

The hard hatted, yellow-vested guy walking toward us had no control over how fast the scooper scooped gravel and packed it into place. I wanted him to, but he didn’t. I wanted him to have more power than just turning his magic sign from one side to the other. And maybe he wanted that, too – but, he didn’t. What was I seeing as I looked? What filled his eyes? Did he see the mountains, just past the cars and the trucks and the blackened thoroughfare we called “road”?

“Good afternoon,” he said. “Because there’s no timetable for getting through this intersection, we’re giving people the option to either stay in line or to turn left and go through town.”
“Hmm. As tempting as it is to play the timetable odds, I think I’ll take Option B and go through town.”
“Okay, Sir. Put your signal on and pull out of line. Have a good afternoon.”
“Thank you.”

Easing through the intersection, we crossed the rough patch that the trucks and scoopers kept beeping across and patch-pounding. Irregular shaped lines filled the spaces under our truck’s tire treads, giving credence to the need for repairs on that section of asphalt-covered two-lane.

The other travelers in line behind us would have to make the same decision. And even others were coming at that connector area from two other directions. Likewise, each of them would have to decide – decide whether they saw the line of cars and road equipment, or the beauty in the delay.

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