Sunday, March 11, 2012

Turning Back for the Donkey

"Sometimes you just gotta turn back for the donkey."

I had no idea what my daughter meant. What donkey? We were on our way to lunch at a new place. I did not see a donkey.

But my daughter had. She and a friend were driving through town one afternoon last week when she spotted of all things a donkey on the side of the road. They drove past, but then my daughter told her friend to turn around. She wanted a better look at the donkey.

The little animal was still there, peacefully ambling down the side of the road as they cruised past it slowly. "He had curly hair on his head," my daughter noticed. "I didn't know donkeys had curly hair."

If you don't turn back and take a second look at things, it turns out there are lots of things you never learn.

We took an extra hour to eat lunch today because we went someplace new. Sure, we could have done the same old thing in town, but we got a chance to experience something different because we took a little extra time to explore the world. We turned back for the donkey.

I spend a great deal of my time on the same old thing. I don't usually stop my routine or go a little out of my way to drive down the street where the flowers are already blooming. I don't take the scenic route to work past the artesian spring. I haven't set up the telescope in an embarrasingly long time.

As a result, I'm missing all kinds of experiences and interactions with the world and with others that would only make life much more interesting and more fun---all because I won't take a few extra minutes out of my daily grind to turn back for them.

But my daughter's words have stuck with me. "Sometimes you gotta turn back for the donkey."

I'm going to start turning back for the donkey way more often.


  1. Turning back for the donkey is one of life's greatest joys. Glad you're taking the time to look in the different direction. Writers need to do that.;D

    Cuz Judy

    1. Ah, yes! That's where our best inspiration comes from! thanks!!!

  2. Awesome post, Arley. And as a donkey lover and owner, I especially enjoyed it. Yep - not stop and smell the roses, but turn back for the donkey. I'll remember that one. :-)

    1. Oh, that's right!! You have so many wonderful animals--and include them in your work so beautifully. My daughter Camille has a very soft spot for donkeys. My husband jokingly promised her one when she was little saying she could ride it and she was so disappointed when he failed to deliver! She has never let him live it down that she still hasn't gotten her donkey!

  3. I'm going to adopt that phrase. Great post.

  4. Hi Arley! I tagged you in the Lucky 7 Writer's Meme. Aren't you lucky? You can find it here: Have fun!