Whichever Way You Go
“I can’t say I was ever lost, but I was bewildered once for three days” –Daniel Boone
Another reason for me to feel sizeable respect for dear Daniel – only three days of bewilderment? No wonder he became a tv star and iconic figure – the guy knew where he was going. I imagine him looking for animal scat, tasting berries and understanding the topology of the land so well that he never needed to ask for directions. I’m bewildered most of the time – and that’s with a GPS system.
I’m not even sure I know how I ended up here. Recognizing that I have been with myself throughout the last fifty-eight years (with some minimal exemptions through infancy and a few times in college), it seems somewhat disingenuous to beg disbelief, yet…how many of us can say that our lives are playing out exactly according to plan? This isn’t a bad thing – it’s a respectful nod to the reality that for all of our planning, devising, fantasizing, considered thinking – life is going to happen and unfold in ways unforeseen, ways both magical and horrible. And for all the control that we wish to assert over our lives, we also have to let go and let it happen. Because it’s going to with or without permission.
This is a hard pill to swallow for those I know who are pretty controlling. And yet, it can also be freeing. I choose to believe that the fates have been inordinately kind, giving me moment after moment to savor, chance after chance to try again, years of frenetic activity and days of magnificent solitude. My losses have been deep and define my emotional shoreline, offering protection against day-to-day irritants that no longer cause further erosion. Love is represented in the highest elevations and they continue to rise. Laughter, like wildflowers gone amok, proliferate the land I walk. And all that is unknown is the forest I hesitate to enter, at times choked by fear and other times brazen with curiosity. But given my poor sense of direction I’m probably not all that intrepid – I only go as far as the light allows, for I have to be able to see my way out of the density of trees. This I think is the caution that comes with learning a few lessons along the way.
And so it is this morning, with the Sirs asleep (one in my lap, the other on my foot), hot coffee in hand and the most comfortable silence imaginable, I can tell you that I have no clue where this road leads. What I know with certainty is that I’m walking on some spectacular ground, surrounded by the whispers of my friends and family on the wind. I’m planting as much of my best as I can, for I do believe that you get out of this journey what you put in. And with that knowledge wherever I end up, that’s where I’ll be. Ooh la la..