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  • Epiphany: Wandering Part 1

    by Terry Bouma, LCPC

    I love to wander, driving on roads that are unusual and unfamiliar. I’ve done this for years. When my girls were young they’d ask if we were lost. Most of the time I could honestly say no, though I couldn’t have said exactly where we were. They got used to it. Though now they prefer to take the most direct route to get somewhere. My bad.

    Today’s trip started out like this.

    Pretty, right? Both sunny and cool. I see things in the woods that aren’t visible in any other season. That’s an important thing about all kinds of winters. When the leaves fall off and the colors fade, even if for a short time, look more deeply into the trees. There is water, life, and remnants of days gone by that may need sorting into what will come back to life and what needs to return to dust.

    This is the name of the road… nothing deep, though I wondered if this was a legit distillery, or if there was an old man named Price who had the neighborhood’s moonshine still in his backyard.

    Here’s the only other sign I saw after turning onto the road. Such practical advice, so… personal. Subtext, “don’t be an idiot.” I often offer this same thought to my clients (not the don’t be an idiot part), when they are prone to flooding emotionally. It’s okay to take it slower so you don’t drown- to wait until the current isn’t rushing to walk through, since you can’t really turn around when it comes to healing. The only way through it is through it. What saves us is that we can choose the time and the helpers. Today, there was no flood here, so I kept going and the road kept narrowing.

    Until I got here. It’s just like a “flood” to be where there’s no nice sign, right? The road is out, the water is up where you least expect it. I thought back to the previous sign, assessed the water, the road, and my ride… the sign was smart, the water shallow not rushing, and my ride “trail rated.” So, knowing the worse that could happen was getting stuck in the mud, I crossed. Surely, someone would rescue me (however grudgingly) if I had chosen poorly.

    I crossed easily though the creek bed was squishier than I wanted. Maybe I need to get out more, but it was a little exciting. Sometimes with all you have and all you know, there’s still risk you can’t fully calculate. It reminded me of one of my favorite Sondheim lyrics, “the choice may have been mistaken, but the choosing was not.”

    Epiphanies! Wandering on a new road, being aware, seeing life in the bleakness of Winter, encountering signs, choosing to move forward, finding courage to face the unknown. And God, graciously near, revealing the many sides of wading through all kinds of waters. Old Man Price, if you’re listening somehow, thanks for letting me drive down your lovely road.