I didn't find what I was looking for, but it was kind of nice all the same.
I heard a fire called out on the scanner. I gathered it was Heritage Lake, but I never heard an address. I got into my car anyway, hoping I'd see smoke, fire trucks or something else that told me I was going the right way.
I drove through Fillmore, and ended up out in the country. There were sprawling white fields, majestic, frosty evergreens and quaint little houses with smoke coming from their chimneys.
I knew I was lost ... and normally, I would have been scared. I have no sense of direction, and if I realize I'm somewhere totally unfamiliar, I generally panic.
But somehow, getting lost today filled me more with a sense of serenity and wonderment than anything else.
I knew pretty early on I wasn't going to find the fire. As a newsperson, that bummed me out. Our days are packed, and taking 90 minutes out of the middle only to come up with nothing is not something we like to do.
For a long while, I wasn't sure where I was. Instinctively, I knew I was close to Fillmore, so if I didn't venture too far off the road I was on I would eventually see something I recognized.
I kept driving down the twisting roads, taking in all the wintry beauty. I couldn't drive quickly, lest I put my Vue in a ditch, so I resigned myself to the fact that all I could really do was meander.
I've been pretty stressed out lately. In fact, I failed a stress test at the doctor's yesterday.
My life moves pretty fast. I admit that I often get so caught up in getting things done and checking items off my to-do lists that I forget to look around and realize how much this world offers that I should be thankful for.
Quite honestly, my life is an embarrassment of riches in that regard.
I got to thinking that maybe someone was trying to tell me something through my wild goose chase.
Sitting in my car, 20 miles from the office, there was nothing I could accomplish. Nothing was getting done. I had a half-written story up on my computer that needed to be finished and a half a dozen e-mails that needed to be dealt with. I just knew my phone was ringing off the hook.
Instead of taking care of business, I was tooling around the countryside, listening to Fleetwood Mac and watching birds fly along fencerows.
I'd be willing to wager that my blood pressure went down a few points during that ride.
Time is such a gift.
I think Ferris Bueller said it best when he said, "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."