Words and Photos by Sam Nute
As a native New Englander, I have to say we’re rather spoiled. Within the boundary of our six states, we’re given four beautiful seasons, sports fans that other teams can only dream of, and raw, natural beauty everywhere we look. But in a generation where the majority of society is always thinking three steps ahead, constantly rushing, and spending more time online than off, it seems as though they forget to value the everyday sights, sounds, and experiences that New England has to offer. Hurrying through the day may save a little time, but one will find that they’re missing out on a lot more than meets the narrowed eye.
My daily commute takes roughly two hours. Sure, I could get home a few minutes earlier by primarily taking the highway — which I have been guilty of on occasion. But to me, New England merits much more than that — dirt roads that wind through the back country, roadside brooks brought to life by freshly melting snow, and the smell of a distant fireplace on a cold, brisk day are all waiting to be admired. If we just slow down, break away from our laptops and smart phones, and at the very least look outside for a while, we can begin to appreciate everything the northeast has to offer.
On any given day, I’ll stop half a dozen times while I’m driving to and from work. You can find me on “the road less traveled”; eager to take my mind off the mundane commute to explore along the roadside, breathe in the fresh air, and take in everything around me.
Coffee in hand, I’ll chase shadows from the trees and attempt to photograph some morning fog. In the evening, I’ll hop out of the car ready to catch a glimpse of the setting sun and capture the last moments of sunlight.
I’ve come to find that my happiness is derived from the experiences had towards my destination, not from rushing to the end of it. A lot of people may think their commute is just a blur — a waste of time in their day, only concentrating on getting home as quickly as possible. To me, it’s time to myself. Free time to explore, get away from it all, and admire the beauty of New England.
Whether your explorations lead you to a newly discovered place, a different look at a familiar path, or a dead end, each has their own unique elements waiting to be discovered. I urge you to take a different route, slow down, and just take a look at what’s around you. You’ll be amazed at what will appear. In the words of Ferris Bueller:
Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once and a while, you could miss it.