We walked uphill again, craning our necks to see if we had made the right decision. Our feet cried, weary from four days of walking. Our mission – to find the Jefferson Memorial. Although I had been to DC many times I had never experienced the Jefferson. Today, my friend Carolyn and I were going. The only problem was, we didn’t have a map with enough detail to provide adequate direction.
So we meandered from L’Enfant Plaza in the general direction of the tidal basin. Being adventurous and craving new experiences, I liked this approach. With the exception of my feet, I was perfectly happy to find my way there. But after our umpteenth uphill trek led to another dead end, I began to question my sanity. I’m sure Carolyn had already come to the conclusion that I was certifiable. She had suggested a cab several blocks ago.
Frustration and weariness set in. In an effort not to dissolve into tears, I looked around at the architecture of the buildings lining our dead end. Carolyn looked for a cab. Then, as I turned around I caught my breath. The post card view that I encountered stopped me dead in my tracks. Before me was a perfect pink-tree lined view of the Capitol. I had been so focused on the destination that I had taken no notice of the tree-lined median we had been walking along. I snatched my camera and starting shooting just as Carolyn hailed our salvation – a cab.
Relief sat in as we rode to the Jefferson Memorial, but my mind whirled a million miles a minute. If we had gone directly there, found our way easily, we would have missed what turned out to be one of my favorite moments of the entire trip.
Isn’t that just like life? How many times have I whined and complained about the circumstances I’ve found myself in? A frequent student of hindsight, I have learned that those very circumstances often lead to something beautiful if I will just look up and quit navel gazing.
We made it to the Jefferson Memorial and while it was amazing, I will never forget the unexpected view I found as I traveled in the wrong direction. Every time I look at the picture I am reminded that someone larger than me is in charge and even when things look bad, there is always an unexpected view waiting to surprise me.