And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair. ~ Kahlil Gibran

Friday, February 27, 2009

How Life Happens

He used often to say there was only one Road; that it was like a great river: it's springs were at every doorstep and every path was it's tributary. "It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out of your door," he used to say. "You step into the Road, and if you don't keep your feet, there is no telling where you might be swept off to."
The Lord of the Rings
Frodo about his uncle Bilbo Baggins, Chapter 'Three is Company'.

While listening to Big Sprout tell me of her plans for life, I noticed how her eyes sparkled; how her face flushed with excitement. I remembered how it felt to be young, with all of life spread out in front of me and no restrictions on where I could end up except those I put on myself.

I found myself wondering how I ended up here, in this time and place. I found myself comparing this small town life of domesticity with the dream life I had created for myself as a child. I thought about the choices I have made, and I realised that I didn't keep my feet when I stepped out my door. I let the current of life take me where it would, and found myself entering the domain on my personal life map that had (up until now) read "Here There Be Dragons".

The journey has been full of surprises and unexpected detours. I have battled demons and witnessed great wonders, some of which I never would have done or seen if I hadn't strayed from the path I so carefully set for myself in my youth. I find that I am unable to regret leaving that well-ordered path, for it has brought me some of the greatest joys in my life. My children, my husband, my work....none of these things factored into the life I had set out to lead. Yet my life is richer for them.

So I smiled at my little dreamer, and I told her how wonderful her plans sounded. I kept to myself the knowledge that at some point Life would put a roadblock up and that it would be up to her to decide if she would go over, around, or choose another path entirely. I enjoyed her enthusiasm, and wished her the best of luck in accomplishing her greatest hopes. I just hope that she never forgets to enjoy the journey as much as she anticipates the destination.


The Rambling Taoist said...

That was very beautiful and poetic.

It is indeed interesting, from time to time, to retrace the trajectory of our lives -- what we thought our life would be when we were young versus how our lives have actually panned out.

I've made numerous mistakes and taken countless missteps along the way, but aside from the pain to others, I wouldn't wish to take any of them back because they have led me to now. Just one minor change along the way and who knows where any of us would be?

Lisa said...

You know, I've had people tell me that my childhood had some tragedies that they wouldn't wish on a person. To them, I always say, that I wouldn't be the person I am now, if not for all of it. The good (there was plenty,) the bad, and the very very sad. All of it makes me Me.

I was so worried that somewhere in your post you would be regretting the path not chosen. I'm so glad to be wrong!!

barefoot gardener said...

Rambling Taoist-
Welcome! I am so glad you enjoyed the post....

I could never regret the paths I have you said, to do so would be to regret who I am.