Well, life has nuanced my view a bit. For example you can see Galiano Island from Saltspring, but no ferries connect them and we met middle-aged people on both islands who had never visited the other one. And imagine my surprise when I once headed east in Montreal and found myself back at the same intersection an hour later; only then did I remember that "cote" meant "side" ( as in mountain). I had circled Mount Royal.
The implications of the adage have particularly struck home this spring. For the last two months our major and aged thoroughfare has been undergoing trunk sewer replacement. A two-minute trip across the river now takes twenty. When the annual marathon was added to the mix, we had to backtrack twelve miles to cross.
Ironically, the incessant thinking about routes has clarified my mind about the virtue of the circuitous nature of rivers and the otherwise inaccessible places they preserve. We have been paddling rather than driving lately, and particularly appreciating the meandering nature of river travel. We enjoy the inevitably grumpy great blue heron who always flees downstream only to find us dogging his steps bend after bend. Yesterday we caught a glimpse of the wonderful old maple of "The Ancients" 2, though it was almost unrecognizable because higher water levels were covering its gnarly roots. We ducked swallows as they swooped from high sandy banks to feed their kids. We found patches of wild iris and fringed polygala. I have taken a gazillion digitals to paint from.
In short, we've been choosing the three-hour paddle over the ten-minute drive. Everywhere we found life proclaiming itself, even in the canoe itself, where Theodore was making his maiden voyage. After he gave up trying to climb on Jon's lap, he wedged himself between my knees in the bow and started to enjoy the ride. He was so happily exhausted that evening that his snores drowned out the conversation.
So perhaps the phrase should be "You CAN get there from here - eventually." And perhaps adding distance, time and effort can actually enhance the experience if the circumstances are just right.
At least we think that's what Theodore mumbled as he was dropping off.