In the mornings before work I walk down Milford Street to where I park my car. The morning air is cool and my mind is calm without the demands of the day to overwhelm me. I notice details like the raised carvings on a neighbor’s porch, or the electric lamps sticking crookedly out of a garden, things that make the world a more interesting place.
It is during these three minutes—the elongated stretch after leaving the apartment but before putting keys in the car’s ignition—when the day’s opportunities are open and waiting. I do not have to drive to work if I do not want to; I could easily go somewhere else where I could discover something new or pursue some goal I would like to achieve. Now that summer’s begun and I no longer wear my button-down shirts and ties, the morning walk could easily be the start of a long journey to a place I have never been.
The feeling exists for those few minutes and is gone, because the drive to work is familiar: I know where I’m going and I’ve been there before. The feeling does not exist on the way home, when the workday is complete and tasks accomplished. Evenings abound with other possibilities, but I think about the daytime ones most.