I might be forgiven for expecting to board a southbound bus at a southbound facing station. My route included three phases, the bulk of the ride taking place on an express bus which would follow the highway and was expected to take about a hour or so. I boarded the bus with the correct number going the correct direction and thought: “Whew! I can relax for a bit.” It was then that the bus took a turn, and then another, and then started to head north. 

It turns out, that the particular route that I was attempting to navigate for The first time, had the unexpected quirk of making a U-shaped diversion for several blocks in order to have two pickup locations along another feeder route. The stop where I’d happened to board was on a leg of this diversion where the southbound route actually team north for a few blocks before entering The highway. 

Realizing my mistake, I quickly exited, crossed the street, and caught the actual southbound bus within minutes. Luckily. The detour cost me about twenty minutes of commute time, but luckily I’d left the house ridiculously early in order to compensate for complications of this kind. The remainder of the trip was uneventful and I still managed to arrive at work with enough time to spare that I managed to pick up twelve pennies off the sidewalk along my way. Lucky me. 
Today is attempt two. Even knowing what I learned the hard way, it takes a leap of faith to wait at the northbound stop with the expectation of going south. How often in life does this happen without our realizing it? How often do we think we know where we are going, only to find ourselves turned around and heading exactly the wrong direction? How often are we able to correct for our mistake and get back on track? Are there experiences that you can only get by making the mistake first? If I hadn’t gotten on the bus going the wrong way, would I have learned to wait in faith at the other stop? 

At any rate, I’m on the highway now and seem to be heading the right direction. May this be true of more than just my morning commute.

~ by Gwydhar Gebien on September 28, 2016.

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