From the waiting area in my chiropractor’s office, I have a vantage point of the heavy traffic five stories below. I can remember going past this intersection countless times, and not even being aware of how many cars had been driving ahead of me or or even coming up behind. Or even more, that maybe there was someone watching me from five stories above. I have a tendency to dwell in my own little space with little regard to the individual lives around me.
Being in a waiting area, I had nothing but time to reflect on that further. I chose not to play sudoku or scroll social media on my phone. I stared out the window. I watched the intersection with hope that traffic would continue to flow smoothly. I waited for my turn with the doctor the way all the red brake lights waited for their green light. I enjoyed how each individual car made for a beautiful flow of life on a concrete road.
Then I got to thinking about my current intersection. This moment in my life where kids need me less and my parents need me more. This reality of my body finding new ways to signal that I am doing something wrong with my diet or habits or sleeping posture. This time of shared digital family calendars and multiple vehicles in multiple places around town at a given time. This effort I am making to hold fast to memories and tradition all while holding it all loosely in the shifting sands of change.
It all feels so overwhelming until I remember I am not alone. I am so grateful to be in a shared community with people that have traveled this road before. Those who have more life written on their faces that can say they lived through it. Those with the wisdom ribbons of silver hair sharing their insights for us newbies. Those who move slower but invite me to slow down with them.
And then there are those for whom I AM that person with more experience and stories. There are those beyond my own children that look to me for guidance and possibly as an example. I am someone’s “I’ve been down that road” storyteller. I pray to steward my learned wisdom well and be open to learning new ways from those who follow after me.
The shared experience of being a spiritual being in a human body is like being a person in a car. There are people in those cars… There are those who pursue being first or being most important. There are those who are a bit clueless and cause trouble for everyone on the road. There are those who find their way even if they have no clue about directions.
I guess to complete the metaphor, there are also those who watch from above, seeing the whole picture, cheering us on, wanting the best and smoothest road possible for everyone. They have moved past their automobile frailty and get to just watch. I hear their encouragement. I remember their words. I feel their love.
The words from a song our youth sing feel fitting:
We are pilgrims on a journey,
fellow travelers on the road
We are here to help each other
walk the mile and bear the load.