June 25th – National Columnist’s Day!
Do you ever ask yourself what a journey is made of? Ever wonder how journeys evolve? One of the most intriguing questions inquiring minds want to know is, “How long does a single journey last?” As we grow older, the answers to these mind-boggling yet awe-inspiring examinations become easier to comprehend – and to swallow. We are the journey – and the journey is us. We create the journey, inspire it, embrace it or decline it. Its evaluation and significance at best, generally depends upon us.
Robert Frost once said, “You’re searching, Joe, for things that don’t exist; I mean beginnings. Ends and beginnings – there are no such things. There are only middles.”
Whether we are traveling on sand, by air, submarine or in our own mind, we are traveling somewhere all the time. Years of countless encounters have taught me to respectfully embrace the journeys in my life: be they brief, elongated, agonizing, pleasurable, nearby or far. Journeys never conclude to assume their position, take flight or divulge incalculable lessons for the road ahead; they must continue to mature, as we.
I heavily thought about journeys this week. As of today, I was due to engage in a writers retreat joined by one master novelist and a small group of esteemed writers on the soothing sand of Montego Bay, Jamaica. However benevolent and magical this much needed diversion would have afforded me, time and space did not allow for my presence. Even so, I am able to deflect my mind from its present position and be there for a brief moment…while joining them in silence. As well and when desired, I am able to evoke the abundance of precious hours inhaled, while writing and sinking my feet in the sand full of multihued seas shells on Neptune Beach and during my deviation to Florida.
An excerpt taken from the recently published and anticipated award-winning women’s anthology, More of Life’s Spices, Seasoned Sistah’s Keepin’ It Real:
“Journeys are fascinating, necessary and important. They grant us stamina at the starting point, esteem for the interim and introspection for the long haul. This coastline of comprehensibility brought rescue, restoration and rebirth to my spirit. While events of the past have brought about some of the most unsettling memories of my life, they have equally afforded many of the most transformative and spiritually convincing recollections to eternally retain. Necessary encounters have compelled me to appreciate journeys for what they truly are – significant engagements with calculated directions for the bridges we must cross.” ~ Rochelle Soetan “Road So Clear” p.145 -146
Writing has been a journey I have embraced for more than 34 years and as early as I can remember how to hold pen to paper. It has freed my soul in ways immeasurable and taught my spirit how to balance freedom and discipline in a shared space. The backdrop of nature frequently appears essential and penetrates a great depth of the insight cultivated within a writers life. At times, I can still catch a mental glimpse of the belly of the sun slowly fading into the distance of the Atlantic Ocean; just as today, I can only visualize the Sun saluting the water’s edge of Montego Bay with much anticipation of yet another advantageous day. In view of this, I salute my fellow writers who reserved the time and space to honor their voice, restore their spirit, and augment their strong points while on this retreat.
Circumstances may sometimes oblige you to take a detour from A and B, and you may very well end up at Z. That’s okay. No grand cosmic law forces us all to be efficient. Our lives are entitled to meander and frequently, the most profound lessons we learn and gain are from the sidetrack – not the main route. From Jacksonville to Jamaica, I have learned to listen to the journey of my heart.
If you cannot be there, wherever you are – be there totally with all you’ve got. Journey on!
Love and Light for your Tuesday!