A Decidely Uncommon Commute

In “Anecdotal Tales”, stories will be told. Some will be fun, some will not. Some will be great, some will be less so. Some stories are true, some are merely possible. This is one of them.

A Decidedly Uncommon Commute

It was like lying in a great solemn cathedral, far vaster and more beautiful than any built by the hand of man.” -Theodore Roosevelt on camping in Yosemite National Park

There are things that I do not understand.  Key among them is how the folks on my bus can pass on a free pick-me-up.  People will pay something like twenty dollars to go to the top of the Space Needle.  But put them on a bus and they completely zone out on what they could see for free.

All is quiet.  The last few days of sporadic rain have been swept away.  The sky is filled with the morning hues of light blue and only the perimeters of the sky are touched with clouds.  Like the morning fog that is beginning to fade away, the clouds will soon be a thing of yesterday.  There is a touch of pink in the sky, but the morning doesn’t brag.  The scenery remains confident that those who are looking will appreciate the day without any fanfare or dramatic touches.

Then one comes to Lake Washington.  As the bus drives across a skinny metal and concrete construct, nature shows us how it’s done.  On the right, my fellow commuters and I are granted a brief glimpse of the Olympic Mountains.  Always covered in snow, always majestic; it is a nice “hello” as we make our way downtown.  Then it happens.

It gets me every time.  We drive over a clear blue lake.  The city and the universities do their best to clutter up the skyline; they can only succeed so much.  There is not stopping the Cascade Mountains.  They fill the left side of the freeway.  For a solid fifteen seconds, there is no escaping them.  One hopes for a quick view of the larger mountains on the edge.  Rainier is the diva of the show.  It knows how great it looks and only appears in its full splendor when conditions are perfect.

Even without its headliner, the Cascade Range is jaw-dropping.  It rises and falls with peaks and valleys that any roller coaster would be envious of.  It looks down kindly on Lake Washington beneath it.  Every morning that I am on this first bus of the day, I take in the mountains and hear them calling to me.  I tell them I can’t skip work, I’m “needed” in civilization.

That is usually about the time that I look around at the people riding this bus with me.  They should be enjoying this view; they aren’t.  They sit there staring at their phones.  Whatever has been posted on their e-mail’s newsgroup is more important.  They just have to read that one more page in their fashion magazine.  Spread out before them is a view more spectacular than anything they will see for the rest of the day, let alone in any magazine.  They would pay for a print of this backdrop.  Yet in real life, they ignore it.

I like to think that this story will change.  I dare to hope that all the characters in this story undergo a dramatic shift in their attitudes and wake up to all this wonder around them.  It is only ten-fifteen seconds; surely they have that much time.  For now, the story is still being written and the supporting characters confound me.  Of course, maybe the thing that they don’t understand is how I can possibly ignore my phone for an entire bus ride.



About Cosand
He's a simple enough fellow. He likes movies, comics, radio shows from the 40's, and books. He likes to write and wishes his cat wouldn't shed on his laptop.

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