Planned Spontaneity

There are those who need to have every detail of each day planned down to the last minute, with little room for even the slightest compromise or delay. And then there are those individuals who prefer to fly by the seat of their pants; no blueprint, no nothing, open to whatever adventures might beckon.

Me, I would definitely put myself in the former category. Routine is my friend; schedules my muse. There is something about the sense of accomplishment one gets from checking items off a “To Do” list that lends itself to peace of mind. Of course, life itself is not simply one giant “To Do” list. It requires a measure of flexibility and the ability to roll with those punches that may come flying your way.

This is where that spontaneity comes into play.

Case in point: I recently set out one Saturday afternoon to embark on a belated birthday celebration for a close friend from high school. The plan – to head to the beach for our first, post-Memorial Day outing, followed by dinner and maybe some prime sunset viewing and photography opportunities. “Happy Wanderers” we are, indeed.

Of course, no sooner did I pack my beach bag, when the clouds rolled in, the winds kicked up and the sun disappeared behind a deep haze. Perfect sun bathing weather indeed. Alternate plans, anyone?

Determined not to let the entire day go to waste, we feverishly started brainstorming, checking weather forecasts, tracking the storm radar and hoping for the best. Instead of heading out to the sand, we parked at Field #5 at Robert Moses and decided to take a little stroll over to Kismet, Fire Island for lunch, wander around a bit, and head back – hopefully before the skies decided to open up with the impending thunderstorm that had been threatening all day.

Phase one went off without a hitch, and the sun even managed to show itself for the majority of the journey. Imagine that. Phase two consisted of a quick little stopover at Gilgo Beach – after we both realized that neither of us had ever been there – before heading up to the Northport area for dinner and then to a laser light show at the Vanderbilt Planetarium.

And then came the rains. Drenching, sheets of rain, pouring down on the windshield as we made our way down Ocean Parkway toward the bridge. Maybe there’ll be a rainbow, I mused, as I peered through the wipers. Then this detour will have been completely worth it, this trip to the beach on a cloudy day, interrupted by torrential rain, ending with one of nature’s most magical creations…

And then, there it was, straight ahead, stretching over Cedar Beach. I looked at my friend and said, “Shall we pull over for a photo op?” Of course. Always time for a quick detour.


{Published: June 22nd, 2016}

Jamie Lynn RyanComment