Going my way?

October 14, 2010

Last week, I had the pleasure of accompanying my son John on a trip to Chicago.  (I’ll blog soon about the wonderful reason for the trip.)

The trip involved commuting to and from Detroit Metropolitan Airport.

So we parked our car in one of the outlying lots that have shuttle bus service to the airport terminals.  Of course, after our return flight, we hopped on a shuttle bus for the ride back to our car.

Unlike a car or standard bus, this shuttle had seats running perpendicular to the driver.  And since I didn’t need to drive, I could look at something other than the road in front of me.  That “something other” happened to be the concrete along the side of the main road leading out of Detroit Metropolitan Airport.

Now I don’t know how many people would want to look at the cement work on the side of the road at DTW, but I’m easily amused.  I noticed the decorative pattern stamped into the concrete.  The pattern consisted of squares, but each square alternated between those with horizontal lines and those with vertical lines. The pattern also staggered so that, if a square in the row above had horizontal lines, then the square below had vertical lines.  It was a basket weave pattern.

When the shuttle started to move, I noticed an interesting optical illusion: I could see only the horizontal lines — in other words, only the lines that were going in the direction I was headed.  While the shuttle was moving horizontally , I couldn’t see the vertical lines at all. Those squares on the wall with the vertical lines looked as if nothing was there.

Then it struck me: What I was really seeing was a metaphor. While I was in motion, I could see only what was aligned with the direction I was headed. Everything else looked invisible to me. On the other hand, If I had been moving in an elevator and then looked out, I would have seen only the squares with the vertical lines on them.

It was a visual reminder to me: Just because you don’t see something doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Sometimes, you need to slow down or stop in order to see things as they truly are.



  1. Hello.

    I waa trying to reach you, did you or your son lost phone in chicago.. if yes please send me an email..
    Limolady (chicago)

  2. Thanks, Shareen! We appreciated that you found John’s iPod and the driver returned it to us on our return trip to O’Hare.

    We really enjoyed our limo ride with you from O’Hare to downtown Chicago, chatting with you about your family, your can-do attitude and your experiences here in America and in your native country. Your story is very inspiring!

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