The Journey versus the Destination


Until yesterday, I always thought I was a destination person.  Set goals, act, get it all done quickly and efficiently, achieve!!  Suddenly, while driving home from Austin, realization struck in  the form  of wild flowers.  Traveling to Austin, I oohed and awed so much over the blue bonnets, daisies, gaillardia, and others I did not recognize that my daughter finally exclaimed, “Mom, you have said that over and over, really!”  I asked, “Don’t you think they are beautiful?!”  I could hardly believe her response, “Yes, but they’re just flowers,”  Just flowers!!!!  I wanted to stop and look closely at them, to take photos, to touch them.  Instead I said to myself, “You can do that on then way home.” But I didn’t. From Austin to Marble Falls, the road was too winding with no adequate place to stop.  Besides my daughter slept blissfully beside me on the passenger side; I didn’t want to awaken her.  Furthermore, she had previously emphasized the point that we needed to get home buy a certain tine.  Tomorrow, my grandson had school and I had to go to work.  It was a nine hour drive. For hours from just east of Llano past San Angelo, I kept thinking I’d stop.  The flower species and colors changed.  I saw other people stopped, taking photos and touching the flowers.  As I drove it hit me:  my personally preferred form of travel involves wandering.  Yes, I know the destination, but I want to see the places, the people along the way, to stop, to explore what holds my interests.  It is the journey, the process, that truly enthralls me.  This is the reason, too, why without a lot of thought, I chose one route to Austin and another back.  Curiosity, a love of differences, of change, of variety. I never stopped. I kept driving until my daughter awakened just before Sterling City and we switched drivers.  By then the flowers were fewer and farther between. And it hit me that this too was my father’s preferred form of travel.  He lived on the same farm for 90 years and in the same house for 80, but he loved trips.  Every year we took at least one.  We always had a destination, well, sort of, but we stopped whenever and wherever we found something fascinating and wonderful.  As he would have put it, “You never know.  You might find something in an expected place and want to stay there longer.” Since I took no photos on this trip, I decided to share photos of the flowers I found blooming in my xeroscape garden at home when I arrived.  Yes, they are lovely and I love them, but I will wonder for weeks what I missed along the road.

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