When you come to the fork in the road, the old wheeze says, take it. But in life, alas, those crossroad moments are never as clearly delineated as we’d like. A sign post would be nice. Yellow traffic arrows on the road pointing us on the way, even better. Someone with a whistle and nimble gestures to guide us through it all, would be wonderful.
But life doesn’t come with roadmaps. It doesn’t come with obvious roads either. In fact, if life is a journey, as the cliché says, most of it will be off-road through very rough country. And the exits, and routes will not be marked.
Be literal for a moment. Imagine attempting to navigate an unfamiliar wood wearing a blindfold. Even wagging your hands out front defensively, you won’t make a lot of progress before running hard-smack into the bole of an uncooperative and unyielding tree. Or tripping over exposed roots…and slamming hard-smack into the bole of a tree.
As we make our way along the journey to wherever our lives lead, we’re not a whole lot more visually enabled. Through the unknown territory of most of our challenges, we are just as helpless, just as likely to cosh ourselves on some unyielding problem.
So, what recourse? I’d love to say I know, but I’m as blind as most and blinder still than others. Maybe we should seek to find a north star to steer by. A person, a belief, a dream; some personal true north to lead us straight on till morning, and to the completion of our travels through life. Otherwise, we careen crazily through it all like a pinball, miss all the good stuff, but find all the trees.
So, find your star, follow it home, get through with as few concussions as possible…
And, somehow, enjoy the trip.