This morning on my way to Framingham State, I shot a picture of a sign framed by red ivy leaves on a brick wall. It’s an image I first noticed when the ivy on this particular wall started to turn last month, but this morning was the first time I got stopped at the light at this intersection, giving me a chance to capture the shot.
It might seem strange to compose photographic shots on my morning commute, but many days the time I spend in my car driving to or from that day’s campus is the one time I’m really quiet and relaxed, not thinking about much of anything besides the road right in front of me. When I used to drive from Massachusetts to New Hampshire and back, that long commute gave me ample time to meditate: a chance to “be here, now” in my driver’s seat. It’s more than a bit ironic that I could “be here, now” while zooming down the highway, en route between Here and There, but I found if I turned off the radio, a car is a closed environment with few distractions.
These days my commute is much shorter, but I’ve maintained that previous practice of keeping the radio switched off during my drive to campus. Whether I’m driving three miles to Boston College or twelve miles to Framingham State, my morning commute is a kind of daily quiet time, one of the few times during my waking hours when I don’t have to multitask, thinking ahead to X while currently devoting myself to Y. Although there are some mornings when I spend my commute worrying about the day’s to-do list or making last-minute mental edits to the day’s lesson plan, for the most part I simply leave my mind alone, letting it wander from one idle thought to another like a mellow old dog you trust off-leash, knowing it doesn’t have the energy or youthful foolishness to roam far.
It is at times like these, when I’m not looking for them, that ideas and inspiration arise, even more so than when I’m consciously seeking them. It is at moments like these that an idea to pursue later might arise, or an image might appear that begs to be photographed the next time the traffic light turns red. You never know what you might see on your morning commute, so keep your eyes open.
This is my Day 5 contribution to NaBloPoMo, or National Blog Posting Month, a commitment to post every day during the month of November: thirty days, thirty posts.
I shot all of today’s photos from the driver’s seat of my (stopped) car while commuting to or from Framingham State or Boston College: selected scenes from this past month’s daily commutes.