It’s interesting how just when you think you’ve got life all mapped out, there is unexpected construction on your freeway. There’s traffic and delays, and frustrations. Perhaps you just get stuck right where you are. Or, maybe you manage to break free from the road you’re on. You strategically make your way over to a side road to try to get yourself around this mess. It is frustrating at first not knowing where you are, or where this road leads! It’s stressful wondering how this is going to impact your ability to make your destination. But at some point you look past the painted white lines and see that this place is just beautiful, untouched, and well…much less traveled by.
I found myself broken down on the path I had planned. Stuck in traffic beyond my control. I made my way over to the side road…reluctantly, cautiously. I didn’t want to leave my freeway. And, I became impatient and frustrated over the detour ahead. But it was either that, or sit there in traffic that was showing no sign of budging. So, I did it. I made a way for myself. Now that I am on the side road, well…I like it. Life is so peaceful, so serene, so unrushed. I’ve given myself permission to drive slower and to make more unscheduled stops. I quit looking at the time, and seldom stress about the destination. Sometimes it’s windows down and radio up, baby! Other times, it’s quiet and contemplative. At this point, quite frankly I hope I never make it back to the freeway. I want to make my own way, at my own pace.
I’m finding over and over again that
life is so much more about the journey
than it is about the destination.
One of the treasures I have found on my side road are rich relationships. See, you don’t make time for those when you are on the freeway because you’ve got to hurry! You’ve got things to do and places to be! Even though relationships have always been very close to my heart, I don’t think I have really taken the time to invest in them the way I would have liked to. It’s actually become one of the things I love most about the side roads…making time for the people I love most. And, they make time for me. And, I feel genuinely loved and accepted for exactly who I am…and I suppose I am a little more disheveled making my own way down an old dirt road with the top down than I was a year ago on my freeway with windows up and AC on.
I took a “side road” tonight, a “Sunday drive” so to speak. No plans, no rush, destination unknown: I tossed my backpack into the front seat and headed to 7th Street in search of the perfect patio. Actually, the place where I started at had no patio at all, but it was still a perfectly lovely place to begin. It was fun taking my time, reading, writing, watching people go by. And, just as side roads will do, it created for me an unplanned opportunity to spend time with a precious friend. She invited me over to sit with her on her patio. What a delightful turn my road took tonight! My contemplative evening alone ended with talking and laughter, and being all silly and girly on her beautiful backyard patio!
And, I left happy. Content. I am loving the unknown little side roads with their gentle twists and turns and scenic places to stop and take life in. I am learning to treasure the pace and the peace I find on the road less traveled by.
…Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.