On my way home from work, after being confined in my corporate crib for more than eight hours, I choose to take the scenic route.
Every day of the week, unless it’s raining really ugly, I would drive along the quiet street of San Felipe, the long stretch of road running through the finer residential areas of the city of Houston where plush neighborhoods and their fancy houses sit, hidden behind tall brick fences, iron gates, lavish trees, and lush hedges.
I never mind the longer drive home as I enjoy the humongous trees on both sides of the road, shielding motorists by offering their protective shades from the blinding glare of the sun and providing that delightful, calming, and romantic scenery as our vehicles lazily traverse the paved lanes.
Sometimes I turn the radio on or play my favorite music from my car’s outdated CD player or the playlist that I created from the Spotify app on my mobile phone.
Sometimes I just listen to the sound of silence in my car as random thoughts from days past and the last 24 hours flow through my brain.
It is my moment of musing, sixty minutes of uninterrupted thinking, about the countless subjects on my mind, mundane and essential – the outcome of which usually ends up on my social media posts later on in the day or on the pages of the novel or freelance project that I am working on.
For the last eight months or so, my scenic route had been responsible for the development of the plots, the actions taken, and the dialogues spoken of the characters in my first self-published novel “Fobolous”.
It was there in the street of San Felipe right in front of one of its traffic lights that I realized what Daniella, one of my characters in the book, was capable of and how James and Janelle, my novel’s main characters, could rise or fall from the lashes of her looming ferocity.
It was then that I realized three important things.
One, that a scenic route is essential in my life as a writer. I need to have a quiet place to think, pour all my wares, before sorting them out one by one meticulously, delicately, setting some of them aside for future use, so I can eventually complete my manuscript.
Two, that a scenic route can lead us to a destination of our own making. In my case, it led me to the completion of “Fobolous” and its satisfying ending. It also took me here, the home of my blogs and personal musing that I no longer have to keep to myself when I’m cruising the street of San Felipe. I can actually share them with you and others out there who may find them useful and relatable.
Three, everyone needs a scenic route regardless of profession or passion. We all need to take a breather, a quiet place to disconnect from the outside world even for just a moment so we can listen to ourselves.
Because for every trip that we take, regardless how short or lengthy it is, we’re going to have to park our cars eventually and that’s when we’d realize the world did not wait for us while we’re gone. It didn’t stop revolving. We still have to hop on its rhythm and subject ourselves, voluntarily or not, to the demands of living. And who knows how long it takes before we get pulled again in different directions?
As I write this piece, my first official blog post on my website, I hope that you find your scenic route and that you take it all the time unless it’s raining really ugly.
And one day, I hope you’ll find it in your heart to share with us, your fellow “scenic-routers”, where your short or lengthy travel has led you.
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