Driving home yesterday, I had an experience that I know will stay with me for years. It wasn't big or overly exciting. It was ordinary.
I had dinner with a friend and headed home just as the sun was beginning to set. I live a bit outside of Atlanta and to get to my house you take a 4-lane road west for about 20 minutes. I happened to hit this road with the sky full of white clouds and the colors of sunset. Yesterday, was just like any other day.
The difference was in my perspective. I'm so often caught up in the troubles and worries of the day that I find myself just sitting and thinking in the quiet of my car, not really paying attention to the scenery around me. I'm engaged enough to drive safely, but mentally removed enough to get some productive thinking done. Today, was different.
I pulled myself out of my head, rolled the windows down, and turned on some music. Instead of focusing on a problem or planning ahead, I sat exactly where I was and let everything come to me. The sound of crickets ushering in warmer weather, the smell of fresh cut grass, the brush of the wind, and the colors of the sunset. It was beautiful.
Sitting in my car on the quiet roads I realized I was experiencing an ordinary moment becoming infinite.
Ordinary moments become infinite and beautiful when we stop to give the seemingly mundane the attention it deserves. I drive this road almost every day. It's a normal road surrounded by forests and hardly any construction. It almost feels like you're driving out in the middle of nowhere. There is nothing special about this stretch or it's surroundings, but tonight I realized just how beautiful my ordinary commute can be.
In fact, I know that when I'm old and thinking back on my life, driving down this ordinary road will be part of the definition of this season of my life. I'm sure I will have fond memories to look back on and driving down this road at dusk will always be with me. It will rank right up there with memories like the laughter of my college roommates, the oppressive heat and sweat of playing basketball outdoors in the summer, the loving smile and captivating eyes of my wife, the voice of my future children, and the sight of my dog spinning in circles of excitement because I'm home. The power of the present and reveling in the beauty of the world around us is profound and lingering. I wish I spent more time in these moments than worrying about paying bills or how to solve a problem at work.
Let's have more ordinary, infinite moments and less stress. It's without a doubt a better way to live.