Friday, November 20, 2015

Missouri: Happenings On the Road

Sunrise on Highway 179, Missouri. November 2015.

Early one Sunday morning, I started back to South Louisiana from a visit to Missouri.

Here are some things I saw along the way:

An extravagant sunrise in video below on Highway 179, north of Jefferson City, with a cameo appearance by the Missouri River, accompanied by the sexy, bluesy Clifton Chenier waltz, I Am a Farmer (Je Suis en Recolteur):

South of Freeburg on Highway 63, in the video below, some wayward cows took a Sunday stroll along the road. I'm sure a farmer received several phone calls from local drivers-by: "Lloyd, your cows are out again!"

Just north of Rolla, still on Highway 63, was a crash scene that looked deadly: 

Scene of Highway 63 crash.

When I passed by the scene after about a 20-minute wait, I saw the crashed car, horribly mangled. It was a wonder there were no fatalities (which I learned by checking the Missouri State Highway Patrol crash page).

When I drive by such events as a crash or the cows being out, it makes me think about how travelers zoom by live scenes all the time. To us, the scenes are a backdrop to our day's "movie." So often, what are still photos from a traveler's moving landscape, could be life-changing moments to individuals we flash by.

On a bus trip in Ethiopia, from Addis Ababa to Gonder, I saw something I still ponder about. Out the bus window, I viewed several girls and maybe a woman running. They were running to a point our bus had not yet reached. They appeared alarmed.  Presently, our bus passed a man. He was on his knees. Or maybe sitting. I don't remember. But his mouth was open in pain. There was blood. The bus continued. I saw other girls, maybe women, running, alarmed. These women ran toward the man our bus had passed. What happened? Did he heal? Did his injury hurt the family's well-being? Did it look worse than it was? Was it worse than it looked?  

The crash on Highway 63, early on a Sunday morning in November - none of us gets up in the morning and thinks, "today I will be in a crash, and suffer serious injuries." I remember this when I embark on a long trip. I remember not to take safe arrival for granted. To not waste life-moments by revisiting the unchangeable past or projecting into an unknowable future. To pay attention. To seek beauty around me. To feel grateful. This requires work on my part because I am easily distracted by a brain that likes to stir up trouble.

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