…and each road leads you, where you want to go.

The absurdity of thinking that a gravel road is something we shouldn’t travel on has gotten lost on me these last few weeks. As the world turns and shakes and prepares for so many uncertainties, these roads are something that brings up memories of my youth, and scary movies, and underage drinking, and trespassing. Where it will lead and if we will get out without turning around could be a pretty cool drinking game. Yet if we didn’t take the chance, would we regret it?

The poets all told us to get out into nature, for it was there that we would find answers. And solitude. Thoreau, Frost, Byron, Longfellow, Whitman, Shakespeare. They told us. Yet, did we listen? Friday Funday should be on everyone’s list of things to do. And it took a pandemic to make it happen. Some observations while taking the road less traveled by: Did you know that there is a bird sanctuary among the dirt roads and hundreds of sand hill cranes gather in such areas? And I mean hundreds. Did you know that those that live among dirt roads for some reason block their driveways with cattle gates? Did you know that Dead End signs, really mean, Dead End, and can end in a whole lotta laughs because you didn’t really think they meant it? Did you know that at the end of the Dead End signs, there is usually a house, or farm, or some kind of living space? Did you know that Grange Halls were a thing? Did you know that old abandoned school houses are really really really fun to look inside?

Did you know that small towns still exist, with one 4-way stop and a Dollar Store and a high school and a gas station/convenience store/grocery? Did you know that if you stop to look at rocks along the way, you can envision them in your own yard? Did you know that there are lots of beautiful, exquisite rolling hills? Did you know that at these random places, markers are placed on rocks to tell you the history of the land you are walking on? Did you know that cemeteries are romantic and nostalgic and make me want to whisper? Did you know that lakes, and streams, pop up out of nowhere along a dirt road? Did you know that getting lost on these old roads could be the best part of your whole year?

These are uncertain times and they tell us the whole universe has been turned upside down. Yet, has it? Perhaps among all the crazy-ness and sadness and anger and uncertainty and changes, it’s been a time to simply take a road trip. And laugh about dumb stuff and tell stories about our youth and reflect on the roads we used to travel. And perhaps, just perhaps, get to know each other a whole lot better.

I hope the days come easy and the moments pass slow, and each of these gravel roads leads you, where you want to go. Pay attention to what they say.

With love from Grand Haven,