An Unexpected Journey

Sometimes our lives take unexpected turns... We might undertake an unforeseen journey...

Today, on this first day of April, spring seems to be finally in the air. A week ago today, we had so much snow on the ground, we received the gift of an unexpected picture-perfect postcard moment. Significant snow had eluded us all winter and I had given up the hope to take in such a beautiful scene. But today is entirely different. It's been sunny for the most part and definitely much warmer than it was just seven days ago...

Today is also Monday of the Easter Season, and for those who followed my entries of the last few days, you already know that Holy Week took on a special meaning and sacredness this year.

I wrote to a friend yesterday that this journey was entirely unexpected for me. I did not set out to be moved so profoundly and did not intend to fully immerse myself in the week. And yet, I was led to do so...

I wrote to another friend today that life doesn't always follow the path we have intended or planned, but it is what we do with what we are given that makes the difference. Sounds logical and easy enough to accomplish, but it never really is...

After waking up this morning, I went down to the river, and it was perfectly still. One of the maple trees still had dew on its branches, looking as if it were encrusted with jewels and diamonds. The branches appeared to be cantilevered on the dew drops in ways that defied nature. I tried to take pictures of it, but my phone camera could not capture the breathtaking sight, so you will simply have to take my word for it.

When I returned home, I found a wonderful poem by Mary Oliver awaiting for me in my inbox. It seemed to summarize some of my experiences and deep connections of the week. This poem answered some of the questions that arose in my thoughts this morning, and so I share it here for it may speak to you as well...

The Journey

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice--
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do.
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations.
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do--
determined to save
the only life you could save.

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