An Interesting Phenomenon

Have you ever noticed how the scenery is different as you travel in opposite directions on the same road? This is particularly true when traveling uphill in one direction and then traveling downhill in the opposite direction. I experienced this phenomenon several weeks ago.There is a road where I normally only travel in the same direction – northwest. On this particular day, for various reasons, I decided to travel this road going in the opposite direction, which is southeast, and I was traveling downhill instead of uphill. I had never really even thought about the slight grade changes before when traveling this road. (When traveling in a motorized vehicle, it’s easy not to pay attention to grade changes, but rest assured, when traveling on bicycle or foot, you notice all grade changes, especially uphill or downhill!)

As I traveled southeast – and downhill – I had views of things off in the distance. There was a large field,  I never knew existed. There was a nice house and yard, offset in the woods, I had never before seen, and I was offered vistas of the distant horizon and the onset of sunrise, all pleasant surprises.

Normally, as I travel uphill (northwest) on this road, I only noticed the forest and small fields adjacent to the roadway. As I experienced this change in scenery with a change in direction, I thought of scenes from tv shows set in San Francisco, for example. The scenery going up a steep hill flanked by row houses and cars is decidedly different than viewed downhill which may take in the bay and the Golden Gate Bridge.

As I travelled uphill, my eyes saw the adjacent right-of-way and the immediate surroundings – forest, farm land, or tall buildings and houses –  but traveling downhill, I took in the entire landscape, oceans or bays in the distance, and often as far as the horizon. And I thought: It’s as though when traveling uphill we have tunnel vision that is narrowly focused whereas, when we travel downhill we are able to see the entire “big picture.” The reality is that, regardless of which way you are traveling, you are surrounded by the exact same things. The only difference is what you see.

I think the phenomenon has a lesson for life in general: Often we have the same surroundings, but what we need is a change in direction so we can draw a different vision. As we know, it’s not always possible to change our surroundings.

How do you propose I change my direction you ask? Try Something New! (Day 25) is what I would say.

You can accomplish this by literally changing directions and driving a different route to or from work, yes even if it means leaving a few minutes earlier; however, if taking the literal approach doesn’t work for you, try a new restaurant, a new grocery story, visit a different church (just for one Sunday), cook a new meal – by yourself, with your spouse or with the whole family (this can be a challenge, but worth the effort – it can be as simple as pizza).

The list is endless and part of the fun can simply be coming up with “something new,” and certainly don’t limit yourself to just one thing (Word of caution, though, no cheating: you can’t just think about it though, you have to do it!)

Trying something new can bring about a rejuvenation that is refreshing and up lifting. It is an interesting phenomenon, just as traveling downhill instead of uphill.

Try It!

Remember: Cows do the same thing, and eat the same thing every single day.

Don’t Be A Cow! Try Something New!


Please share your experiences!


  • So true ! An no matter how long you traveled down the wrong path, turn around and take a giant step forward. You will be amazed how different everything looks !

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