Sweetheart Al and I did some traveling in August. We took a lot of pictures. Here’s one I took of Al photographing something. I loved the way the sky enveloped him with soft, inviting clouds.
Since we got back home, I’ve been having traveling dreams as I sleep. Al dreams about his work – building walls, laying hardwood floors, wiring or plumbing. I dream about traveling, getting from here to there.
Of course, we’re all traveling, aren’t we.
We don’t have much control over the beginning and the ending of our lifelong excursion…but we have a lot to do with the journey itself.
Most of us have heard the saying, "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." Which means, of course, that our life, our future (our journey of a thousand miles) depends on what we do or don’t do today. Our future is created by the choices we make in our present. Pretty sweet arrangement, huh.
I love planning trips – researching which routes to take, what interesting places to see, finding unique lodging, and so on. Usually our plans work out well, but sometimes we deviate from the plan because we discover something else that’s even more interesting. I think it’s good to be open to possibilities, even when you have great plans.
Life is like that too. You want to be an artist or a veterinarian and so you read about artists or vets and you visit galleries or vet hospitals and you take the courses you need to get into art school or vet school. You take those steps that lead you down the path toward what you want.
But on your way, you may find something else that’s so much more interesting it changes your direction. After a class in biology you might end up being a wildlife photographer or a biology teacher. Who knows? That’s part of the mystery of our journey. And the fun.
We’re all on the journey together, learning as we go.
Thinking about our life’s journey reminds me of the summer before my freshman year in college.
I worked in a bookbindery to earn money for college. It was hot, miserable work, but I love books, so I tried to find a way to make the job pleasant. I was on the re-binding crew. We’d tear off the old covers of textbooks, check for torn pages (and repair them) and then pass the books to the crew who would glue on the new covers.
Most of our books that summer were poetry textbooks. So to make myself happy despite the miserable work, I tried to memorize poems. As I’d thumb through hundreds of copies of the same book, I’d see the same poems over and over and try to learn them. One poem comes back to me now, as I think about traveling life’s path. It’s light and bright and easy to recall. I’ll share it with you:
Life is like a journey taken on a train
With a pair of travelers at each window pain.
I may sit beside you all the journey through
Or I may sit elsewhere never knowing you.
But if life should place me close by your side
Let’s be pleasant travelers it’s so short a ride.