Mountain Road

Photo by Craig Adderley on

I know I’ve been on this mountain road before at night but it’s different this time. Maybe, because I’m dreaming and sense there’s a reason. Funny (you think?), that in this dream it takes place where we’ve just left the voting polls and we’re on the road to get onto the main highway for home but it’s shut down. There’s been some type of roll over, and, in the mountains that could mean hours.

I remember some years ago, when a logging truck lost it’s load, it took a good part of the day before it opened up again. There was another time when some type of tanker truck was in an accident and the highway was shut down for cleanup. It took hours to get home from work when traffic was rerouted weaving for miles through forest access roads to get around it.

What do we do now? We thought maybe we would see how far we’d get by walking; at least, it was doing something rather than just sitting in the car. There was one of two routes we could choose. One was go back to the car and back to the voting polls where we came from or walk out to the highway.

We chose to walk out to the highway – maybe not such a good choice, but everything was gridlocked and no traffic was moving. So, we began walking, for a couple of miles it seemed, up Crow Hill. After walking awhile past people sitting in their cars, it seemed senseless that we left our car like that. It was time to rethink this decision.

I wanted to continue on and hubby wanted to go back to the car and turn around to get back home from there. So, we decided to do both. We’d split up and I would go on and he’d go back and somehow we’d meet in the middle or at home. This is where a message began to form infused more with feelings.

This was not a random dream that just happened to come to me on election night. I sensed more in my heart for my neighbors, family and friends in our neighborhoods and across our country where we were at a crossroads with the choices we’re making. There’s not just a high road or low road – just choices. We make them all the time and find ourselves in the strangest places wondering how we got there.

Even now, as I sit here to write this the next day, rather than 4:30 am, I still feel the gentle tenderness of the message: that is, look at where I am and pay attention to how I got there. It’s not necessarily a bad thing – just navigation and choice. Most of the time, we get sidetracked, take a shortcut or we lose things along the way and have to go back and get them before we can begin again.

If we don’t notice, we can be way off course and it may take longer and be more difficult to get back. But, in the end somehow we’ll always find our home, that field beyond – together. It’s our choice and we can work together to make it easier.

Out Beyond Ideas

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing
and rightdoing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there.

When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, even the phrase each other doesn’t make any sense ~~ Rumi

(Excerpt from the translations of Coleman Barks © by owner. provided at no charge for educational purposes)

Pat from the ol’ kitchen table

Election Day

American Flag Photo – Microsoft Clipart

It’s Election Day for Americans. We’ve listened and watched as the candidates gave their spiel repeatedly on TV, radio commercials, through internet and newspaper reviews nonstop for the last 2 years.

By now, near sundown, I would venture to say most have cast their vote and maybe most 2 years ago already knew for whom they would vote.

Americans, we are a curious lot with our mixture of beliefs, passions, love of freedom and country.  Though weary sometimes of the process, we wouldn’t trade anything for the right to vote and honor it as a privileged part of our heritage.

I remember the year I turned 21 and was eligible to vote for the first time. It was memorable to me because of our location and the time in history. Our country was still fighting the Viet Nam War and my husband and I, stationed in the Air Force, lived in a small town in Virginia. Instead of base housing, we rented an upper-story vacant, southern house surrounded by a network of corn and potato fields and miles of country roads.

It was a slower pace of living, far from the big cities and traffic lights. A mile from our house was an old-style country store along one of those back roads. It looked as if it had been an old farm-house at one time with wooden steps going up an old porch leading to a weathered screen door on the front. It was the local polling place.

My husband being in the military had already cast his absentee ballot and accompanied me up the steps to inquire about voting where there was an old man cutting a child’s hair. Yes, this is where I was to vote and I truly didn’t know what to expect. It’s a little difficult to paint this picture, as I felt as if I had been transported to an era 40 years prior.

We stepped inside surprised to see a lot of people. They were picking up a few groceries and voting at the same time. I got in line with the others to get my paper ballot, then moved on to find my spot at one of the few counters spread throughout the store, write in my vote and deposit it in a big box by the cash register. There was nothing fancy or commercial, just simple and warm exercising my God-given freedom.

No matter what party you’re affiliated with or what candidate you chose, I hope you voted today and maybe stopped for a moment to feel the love in your heart for this great country and the many people who have fought and are still fighting for it ~~ Thank you!

“American the Beautiful” – Ray Charles