It is most certainly what is called a “first world problem.” The road I normally drive to work is closed. For a week. If you don’t count the road I live one, it’s one of three roads I travel each morning from home to work. The road I live on happens to be a four-mile-long dirt road and luckily I live at one of the ends, just off the first of those three roads (all paved and mostly navigable at forty plus miles per hour) I take to work. Except now that first paved road is closed. Just a small section. Right at the end of my dirt road. And so, for this week, my only way out is to travel across the four-mile-long dirt road. It’s slow. It’s bumpy. It has a few hairpin turns. It’s narrow. And it’s really, really dusty. It’s not unusual to encounter runners, walkers, riders on horseback, and deer on my dusty, narrow dirt road. In some spots it’s barely one car wide. Did I mention it’s slow? Traveling this route adds about 15 minutes to my drive. Each way. 15 minutes is not insignificant in the early morning.
And…my dirt road is beautiful. Rural. Usually quiet. Expansive farms outlined by black four-board fences line the route. A rolling pasture with cows is not even a mile past my home. Just beyond that are fields with donkeys one one side and two handsome horses on the other. Some parts of the road wind between thick forests and I’m briefly surrounded by tall trees and a green canopy. I catch a glimpse of the rushing river as I pass the part of the road close to a steep drop off that runs right down to the water. I drive slowly, looking from side to side, listening to the silence before I emerge onto the paved road where I’m forced to pick up my speed, pay attention to traffic, and turn my thoughts to the day that lies ahead.
My closed road first-world, week-long problem is a gift. I know that.