Where Many Paths and Errands Meet

The Road goes ever on and on
    Down from the door where it began. 
Now far ahead the Road has gone
    And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
    Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
    And whither then? I cannot say. ~ J.R.R. Tolkien                                    
 

Sitting here with the rays of sunlight equally supplying warmth and brightness to my day as I gaze out the window on a field carpeted with the growth of continuing life. The sun providing patches of shade in collaboration with the trees.

My son fashioned a swing that hangs in a nearby tree for Ella to enjoy. I push her as her little legs dangle, her toes often pointing toward the earth while her face alternately looks at me and the sky above. Intermittently letting out a giggle. “Agin. Agin,” she commands. And again and again I push her. Relishing in the shared moment of simplicity. 

But today as I gaze out at the swing, now hanging empty, the gentle breeze pushing it in my absence, my thoughts venture into more complicated areas of life. Sometimes harsh winds pushing me forward and back. Sometimes gentle breezes whispering to keep going. Assuring me everything works out, finds its place, in its own time.
I wonder about this journey I’ve accepted. I can’t say chose, as I am no longer sure whether it chose me, or I chose it. Perhaps, we chose each other. The journey continues. It would continue without me, but we continue together, one foot in front of the other on the paths it selects.

“Journey” The word has grown a character. It chooses the path. It chooses the duration and the obstacles. It chooses the moments of rest. I have become the often unwilling travel companion. At times a pleasant traveler; at times one who questions repeatedly, “are we there, yet”, “how much longer”? At other times, whining “I’m not ready. Just five more minutes”?  Some moments obstinately folding my arms, standing square, determinedly defiant and uncooperative.

I travel. Sometimes weary. Sometimes energized. Always inquisitive. I travel a required road. Journey beckons me on. It coaches “come on, you can do this”. Journey understands the sacrifices I have made when there is no one to understand, not even myself. It makes demands of me, yet, offers respite in moments when I self-indulge and wonder what paths lie before me. It is a road of many paths.

There are indeed times when I long for the journey to end. Times when I want it to endure, as for it to do otherwise would require an ending I am loathe to experience. A paradox.

What I do is not significant, but necessary. Longing for freedom within the security of boundaries. Understanding the journey itself is a paradox of spiritual interface and dialogue and that to travel consciously the paths it offers, more is required than human reasoning.

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