Sunday, July 30, 2017
The Long Way Round
I hope you have been enjoying the month of July. For me it has been eventful. My trip home from the Monroe Institute had as many turns as my trek through my inner psyche while I was there. Each time I have gone I have meandered a bit before returning home. It helps to soften my re-entry.
So by way of Baltimore, Mechanicsburg, Utica, and Columbus, I slowly made my sojourn back to day to day life. I visited old friends in new spaces. I held ceremony with new people. I laid the groundwork for future travels and opportunities. In each place I tried to be fully there, not looking too far ahead or behind. It is difficult when you pack several trips into one to center yourself where you happen to be. I just try remind myself that when I look back I'll be wishing I was there again. I had minimal social media and I tried to stay off the phone once I arrived at each destination. My mind did stray to absent friends, those that I really wanted to share the story of my travels with as I had in the past. The return through Ohio brought that into sharper focus, as I was going through a friend's stone collection to help their wife sort through it. The picture above was an unexpected find, gem grade green tourmaline in quartz. This was something I never knew my friend had; I found many unique pieces in my short stay there.
When we lose people in life we often wonder if we honored the time we had together. Maybe we have regrets, and for those of us who are fortunate we simply miss them. It's funny how we sometimes only understand a relationship in the rearview mirror of memory. Another friend I often thought was kind of spacey was simply experiencing chemo brain as she had cancer for most of the years I knew her. It isn't just relationships we see better in retrospect, it is our journeys. That is why the return home is vital. It gives us a chance to think on where we began as we head back towards it. I choose to take the long way round so that I may come to a bit of understanding before I settle back into the familiar.
So why am I telling you this? Well, often we rush through our experiences, so focused on getting there and back that we don't stop to ponder and reflect. We water down our interactions by not being fully present, playing on our phones while our friends and family wait for our reply. The siren song of 'what's next' can be irresistible, and yet it keeps us from truly living. We cannot live anywhere, but in the moment we are inhabiting.
As I rode home I noticed the roads ahead became like mirrors in the distance. I am puzzled how asphalt can turn into a reflection. How can the road reflect the sky? I knew this observation was somehow profound, and I also knew I would have missed it if I had spent the whole trip back on my phone (I have a headset I'm not suicidal). In the coming weeks, I suggest you take some time to be alone with your thoughts. Think about where you have just been before moving ahead into where you are going. Be present with your loved ones, because time is precious, and while media can wait, people cannot. If you miss ones that have gone on, take heart. You'll meet again. You're just taking the long way round.
Peace and Blessings,