A Natural Outlet
Realizing that I had to go to the outlets to return purchases before the 30-day window slammed shut was not a welcome addition to my day.
This time of year, our schedule is frustratingly erratic with weather delays and school holidays. Any unscheduled moment I have is immediately filled with things that keep getting moved from one to-do list to the next.
But, I set out for White’s Ferry and the Leesburg Outlets; resigning myself to another day of derailed plans.
To my surprise, as I drove the winding route that would ultimately lead me to the Maryland side of the Potomac River, my stress level dropped. I stopped thinking about all the things I needed to get done and started enjoying what I was doing. I slowed down a little and focused on the backdrop of the two-lane road. A light dusting of snow covered the fields that were idle save for the tracks of the wildlife that had traveled there before me. A simple, red barn was magnificent in contrast to the blanket of white it sat upon. I glimpsed Sugar Loaf Mountain in the distance, majestic as its peak disappeared into the misty horizon.
And when I reached my destination, the river did not disappoint. Shards of ice drifted lazily with the tide and flirted with the ferry as it chugged its way to the shore.
The bare trees with knotted, weathered branches stood watch on the banks. Likely, the same trees that graced the embankment when the Jubal A. Early made that first trek from shore to shore decades ago.
Where else but in Montgomery County can you have all of this 30 minutes from the free capital of the world?
As my plan for the day changed, so did my appreciation of my surroundings.
Only here can you hike Sugarloaf Mountain. Visit the wonders of Great Falls. Or see working farms with acres and acres of lush land.
All that nature has to offer is at our doorstep as well as cultural, entertainment and educational offerings as well.
I did not accomplish all that I wanted yesterday, but I got what I needed. Amid all these sights, what I really saw was that we are lucky to be right here, right now.
My diversion turned out to be just the outlet I craved.