A little confession. Every day, I spent a little time at Hooters. Maybe, WITH Hooters, is a better way of putting things. You see, in the early morning hours, I can hear a Great Horned Owl outside my office window. She must be sitting in some tall tree, fairly near the house. Hoo, Hoo. Hoo. Hoo. This is such a gift.
It has been going on for a long time now. In fact, I can’t truly remember when I first started hearing this. But, when it DID first occur, I immediately went to Cornell Labs Website. They have the Complete & Guru Website of Bird Identification.
So this morning, I went back to their site because I wanted to “embed” an audio file here. Of that Great Horned Owl. Which I hear most mornings. But. The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry. The Cornell site looks like a 3rd grader took a crayon to the motherboard of their hosting server. It was a big holy mess. Which means I had to go another route.
When things like that happen, when I am writing, I frequently feel like I might be barking up the wrong tree that day. You know, that I took a wrong turn, and I should really be writing about another topic. I think they are called, Detours.
I am not very fond of detours. When I am driving, or otherwise. Oh. You know the drill. It only happens in two situations. 1. You are very late something. For work, or an appointment, or some such thing. You have 11 minutes to get there, and suddenly, those big orange pointy signs pop up. DETOUR. You have no choice. (And, to top it off, some incredibly annoying song comes on the radio, but you don’t want to look down to change the channel, for fear you will miss a driving detail.) So 39 minutes later, you arrive, after turning at orange arrow, turning at orange arrow, turning at orange arrow. And you are peeved.
The second scenario is when you are on vacation, or driving in a foreign land. Somewhere completely unfamiliar. That is the other time when Detours are born. You begin to follow, like a good-law-abiding driver. And you THINK you have been paying attention. But suddenly, that grain of doubt makes its way to your brain. You begin to question yourself. You say… “I’ve been driving on this road for an awfully long time now. Has anyone seen any signs? What road are we even on?” Yes. Like ANY of that will help. Most of the time, during mid-panic, is when another orange arrow shows up, and you continue to follow along. Like a Lemming.
Detours in cars are one thing. The more serious version, by my estimations, are those detours in life. It could be simple. You have your day completely mapped out in your mind. The schedule of things to be done, the places to go, the people to meet. And then the monkey saunters down the street with its little wrench in hand. Wham-o. Something gets skewed and you have to improvise. And from there the dominoes begin to cascade. You are on a serious detour.
Still other times in life, we are given much more difficult detours. The bad news. The accident. The mishap. The thing you did not see coming.
In any case, we have a choice. We can stop the car, and not move another inch. And sit, staring at the bright orange sign, as we seethe. Or, we can take a deep breath, and start following the arrows, making our turns when it is time. One, at a time. Doing the next thing in front of us. And eventually, reaching our destination, whatever it may be. Detours.
Yep. Either way. Resist. Or Go.
Have I mentioned that I truly love the Great Horned Owl? The silent, knowing one. Those beings of wisdom, and foresight. The keepers of sacred knowledge. The ones who sing us songs, on the darkest of nights. When we are quiet enough, and smart enough, to listen.
“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.”
“The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.”
“May you live every day of your life.”
― Jonathan Swift