Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Fun Commuter Illusions

My daily commute to & from work is about 90 miles, round trip. It's super-easy, too: I have only 2 guaranteed stops getting out of town, and 3 on the way back home. Granted, there are some other stoplights in there, but I don't always hit 'em. I drive straight north on a highway that's well-plowed in the winter, but I'm going opposite the direction that most traffic is, so there's never any hassle...which means, naturally, that I have the same good fortune on the way home.

I don't love my commute, but I don't loathe it either. It's a natural result of the world most of us seem to inhabit, which is to say that two working adults don't have jobs in the same town, so we try to settle somewhere in the middle. That means my daily drive to Mt. Pleasant is balanced by Miss Tessmacher's slightly longer - but less frequent - drive to her work in the opposite direction. I'm pretty settled into my commute, and while I don't care for the carbon footprint all that driving is leaving, I'm enough of a realist to admit that, right now, living in-between our jobs is the only option.

One of the actual joys of the commute is that I occasionally get recurring optical illusions. I wish that I had the foresight to take my own photos of these, because in most instances what I actually see is better than my Google-fu could find. Still, you'll get the general idea.

Illusion #1: Sun & Moon
This is pretty simple: depending on the alignment of those two celestial bodies, I think it's really cool to be on my way to work with the sun coming up in my passenger window while the moon is still fairly high in the sky out my driver's window.

Illusion #2: Cloudy Mountains
I've seen way better examples of this than the photo I could find...but again, alas, this is what I have to work with. I just love it when I'm driving - usually to work, not home from it - and see a long, low bank of clouds on the horizon that, no matter how closely I examine them, seem to be a mountain range. Very sweet.

Illusion #3: Color B&W
I just really noticed this one this winter, but for a moment it was so cool that I had to forcibly remind myself to look at the road, and not just gape in wonder around me. Simply put, the morning light was just that right non-shade of grey/purple/blue, and the newly-fallen snow was so purely white, that even though I knew the world was in color, it looked exactly like a black-&-white photograph from the 1930s or '40s. Which, of course, made the occasional splashes of true color (like the green road signs, or a brightly-painted house) all the more garish.

So, there ya go. Observances from my commute. Consider this your encouragement to, as they say, "Stop and smell the roses." Take a look at the world around you; revel in every small delight.


Blogger Steph said...

Ah, these are beautiful. And wise words. And as much as I wish I could see your own photos of what you actually see, I'm glad you don't whip out the camera while you're behind the wheel of your car. (I suppose you would get out.)

Kansas has the best skies. There isn't a whole lot going on on the ground, but the skies keep us going.

8:43 AM  
Blogger Fun Guv said...

Very cool. It's amazing what nature puts out ther for us to enjoy...glad you took notice and shared it with us.

That commute would probably be cool for the first few weeks just for the quiet time. At least it's not an hour commute in bumper to bumper traffic...believe me, I've done it, it sucks. It was only 14 miles one way, but took an hour on a good day ~ UGH!

9:20 AM  
Blogger Pam said...

This is the first time I've visited your blog in quite a while. I used to look at it all the time, but somehow got out of the habit. Anyway, I really like your pictures.

2:19 PM  

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