Country Roads, New Directions...by Andrea Kelter on 07/08/15
I was meandering along the Dark Harbour Road one evening about ten days ago, and the light was so beautifully golden that I picked up my phone and took a shot right through my truck window. At the time I was playing "Can you guess where I am?" by text with a friend who was also on one of the roads on the island...it was all in fun, and we were laughing. But when I got back to the trailer, I took at closer look at the photo, and despite its technical imperfections, I just love it. The light is so calm, pure and golden - and the road is so inviting (isn't it?) - it just makes you want to keep going until you find the end. Every time I look at this photo, I hear John Denver singing "Country Roads....take me home...to the place I belong...".
I just love country roads. They create the same soul-soothing joy that sitting in front of my machine quilting does. They're a great place to lose yourself...and find yourself. Particularly in times of transition and change.
I believe, in general, times of great change are good. You're shaken out of ruts you may not even know you're in, you rediscover excitement, challenge - and in the best scenario, reach down deep for the best in yourself, and tackle the transition with energy, courage and enthusiasm.
But some changes are difficult, even when inevitable. Changes to relationships, whether familial or romantic, can be very, very hard.
My life is at a crossroads at the moment. I am ready to move forward with the next phase of my life, which includes opening my own business and becoming a snowbird for about five months of the year. It includes selling my house, and living aboard my RV - being a person of "no fixed address" - well, actually, I will have a fixed address - but only for seven months of the year...
I am ready, and eager to get started...but. The universe at large is saying "Not quite yet, Andrea. There's something you must see through first." And that something is a very serious illness in an aging family member, an illness which, most likely, will not have a happy outcome.
I find myself torn between an eager desire to help, provide shelter and be of assistance; coupled with resentment that I am caught in the crossroads and cannot move either forward or back. Is it human nature? I think so. Will I be happy I took this family challenge on? Almost certainly yes. Is it making me crazy that I have to wait? Yup.
Some years ago, Barbara Taylor Bradford wrote her first big novel "A Woman of Substance". The heroine, a Yorkshire girl named Emma Harte, battles her way from poverty to wealth and builds a hugely successful retail empire, mostly by her own wits and effort. At the end of the novel, she is asked what she considers to be "the secret of life". And she replies, "It is to endure."
I think that's true, to an extent. But life is, or should be, so much more than just that. Even in the challenging times, finding the beauty in small things brings joy.
Like this lovely cosmos flower, on a friend's deck a couple of weeks ago.
And the loveliness of Fundy on a summer day as the Grand Manan V rounds Swallowtail Light as she heads into North Head.
And the once-in-a-lifetime magic of witnessing Venus and Jupiter line up to (almost) form one intensely glowing, brilliant "star" low in the western sky on June 30th.
Is the secret of life "to endure"?
But in my book, the secret of life is to endure without loss of that essential joyous spark within. Because it is that joyous spark that marks our time on earth as meaningful and beautiful in every way. Without it, we merely exist. With it, we live.