The Fable of Any Road

It’s a wind chime day, and it rained last night and looks to rain some more. The leaves are still green, mostly, and the Black-eyed Susans are still gathered, perhaps fading at the edges. Barely one week left in summer, or so says the calendar, but in this part of the world, summer can be fleeting and the darker months linger past their welcome.

I don’t mind a dreary day. It makes the warm coffee more special, and comfort food has a chance to fulfill its purpose. My mind wants to fill my conscience with a list of things I could have done all summer, but there’s still a scoonch of summer left to do some of it, and the rest can wait. I see the list of all I did do, and that will have to be enough. I can’t call back the summer anyway and, Lord willing, I’ll have another season for those tasks left undone.

I must remember to be more intentional, to set an agenda for the new day’s action, and follow it as best I can. Too many days I fritter away aimlessly, thinking, “I wonder what I can do today, only to reach sunset and think, “Oh yeah, oh no, I know what I could have done.”

There’s always tomorrow, I think at that point, but then another aimless day comes and goes. I find that if I set a plan in stone, I resist its merciless face, but a plan too flexible is a wet noodle with no power or fire at all.

“Where are you going, young man?” the old man asked along the way.

“I don’t really know,” said the young man.

“You’re in luck, or maybe not,” replied the old man. “Any road will take you there.”

“I’ve heard that one before,” the young man scoffed. “It sounds so wise, but a long and winding road gives me time to enjoy the scenery along the way.”

“Absolutely,” the old man agreed. “You can even double back if you decide you passed your real destination. Just try not to regret the days you could have been spending settled there. The journey is as rewarding – more so, really – than the final stop.”

“That’s what I’m saying.”

“Still, a bit of finding where you want to go beats meandering, and that’s all I’m saying.”

And what do you know, the young man set his sails that day and discovered it was so.

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