We build highways with one purpose in mind: facilitating land-hugging, wheeled transportation. Occasionally, we’ll temporarily shut them down to accommodate a bicycle event, a road race, or a parade, but their primary reason for existence is to carry motorized traffic.

Yesterday I happened upon the scene in this photo. (If you want to see better, not-from-inside-a-moving-vehicle shots, click here.) A private plane, about a mile from its destination, ran into trouble and landed on the highway. Besides giving a few motorists heart palpitations, everyone emerged thankfully unscathed.

As my travel companion and I continued on our merry way, I started thinking about how similar a highway is to a runway, its proximity to the airport, and the pilot’s quick thinking–and how incredible it was that all those factors came together perfectly so that no one got hurt.

It also made me wonder what I have in my life that I might be able to use for some other purpose. It might be as small-scale as the hot air popcorn poppers java enthusiasts use to roast their own coffee beans, but it could be something more grandiose. What do I have, use, or do that could change everything if I just think about it from a different perspective?

In his moment of crisis, that pilot didn’t see a road; he saw a place to land his plane. Looking around my life, I know there’s got to be a runway around here somewhere.

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