Whenever I’m driving along a highway outside of rush hour, and there is a backup, my first thought (if I know there is no construction on the route) is an accident or some sort of “gapers delay” from that accident. What will I see when we reach the end of the traffic? A pile-up? An ambulance or fire truck? The contents of a truck spilled across the road? Rarely do I imagine something beautiful or amazing causing the delay.
However when I’m driving in Rocky Mountain National Park, and I come to a string of cars creeping along, or a line of vehicles pulled over on the shoulder, I know there something wonderful to stop and see. People driving through RMNP are hunting for beauty, hoping to see elk, moose or bighorn sheep, wishing for turkeys, hawks and eagles.
There are no bighorn sheep where I live, but there are plenty of eagles, egrets and hawks. There are no mountain views, but we have lots of lakes. If I try, I can find beauty during almost any drive I take. It’s just a matter of keeping my eyes open and my heart expectant.
If we must pause en route, why shouldn’t it be beauty that stops us in our tracks?
Maybe the reason I expect tragedy at the end of a backup is because we seldom search for beauty in our everyday world. Most days we don't have time to notice it, let alone make efforts to seek it out. We only stop for problems and misfortune, and then only if we have to. Can we change this?
If we are going to allow something to interrupt our routines and our busyness, why not let it be beauty?