On a recent visit to Williamsburg, I noticed the variety of pathways. Some snapshots came tumbling out of my life box.
Once, I accompanied a little friend home from kindergarten. My memory of most of that event is dim. But I do remember the sidewalk. The surface was gone and we walked on loose pebbles close to a high hedge. I must have stayed for a while for I also remember a very tall man walking me back through the pebbles, past the school till I recognized my street and skipped home. I was not allowed to repeat my visit.
Older, I had a long walk home from school, usually alone. On sunny, hot days there was a decision to be made. Should I walk up the hill in the heat or cross to the shady side and risk being menaced by the collie dogs? When they were out, they ran along the top of a two foot high wall and barked shrilly in my ears causing me to tiptoe along the curbing and wait in dread for the cross light.
One last snapshot set from schooldays shows me, my little sister and another little girl waiting as the snow grew deeper and the busses fewer and more crowded. No room for three children. With no thought to ring the door bell at the school, I decided we would walk to my Grandparents home. After all, I had heard those tales of my parents walking home in all kinds of weather and although I had never done the walk, I thought I could find the way. Trudging on that very long, dark, cold and wet way, we were warmly greeted by a very surprised grandmother and taken to dry by the old coal cook stove. I, for one, was relieved to be “home”!
Life paths can be similar I think. Sometimes, I walk along anticipating adventure and fun but not paying any real attention to where the path will take me. Sometimes the way is known but seems fraught with distraction and danger. Life storms make me very uncomfortable and longing to arrive in safety and warmth and peace – home.