Imagining Small Things

Daniel’s school is about 5-10 minutes away (depending on traffic) from where I work. It’s wonderfully convenient, especially if I take the side streets instead of the main thoroughfares to get to work.

One of the side streets I take is a winding, narrow street that has been gentrified. It has a mix of quaint houses and stylish new apartments. A few years ago, I truly would have been nervous driving down this side street (justified or not) but no longer.  The far end of the street closest to my workplace has the Governor’s School for the Blind and a historic park.

About three-quarters of the way along this street is a sign saying, “Hidden Driveway.” It has caught my fancy. I’ve been down the street enough times not to see anything that resembles what I would consider a hidden driveway. I assume that maybe what they mean is the School for the Blind’s driveway because I see no other likely candidates.

However, every time I see the sign, it gives me a thrill and sends my imagination into overdrive.  This street is tucked away enough to make me wonder what serendipitous things we might find there.  When I think of a hidden driveway, I envision an entire household living underground.  When a sensor beeps, telling them they are clear, part of the foliage on the side of the street is thrown back, and a car appears. It enters the street and the house recedes from sight again, the secret safe. Hidden driveway indeed.

Maybe this household has decided to live off the grid. Maybe they are protesting world conditions. Maybe they just want to reduce their dependence upon foreign goods. Who knows? I picture them defining their interaction with the world on their terms.

When a household is so different from yours (as a family living underground or hidden in plain sight would be), you wonder how they deal with typical family issues. How do they deal with the preschooler’s whine, “I don’t WANT to eat that?” Or the fight over who cleans the cat litter? Or doing dishes? How do such mundane tasks fit into the focus upon broader issues?

Shortly after the sign, I turn onto another street. Work is practically within sight. I miss the whimsy suggested by the “Hidden Driveway” sign. Reality will be crashing in again soon.  Maybe one day, if I’m really fortunate, I’ll see the people who live there. If I’m not so jaded as to make it impossible.

What are your magic moments during your commute?

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