Enjoy the Journey – by Robynn
I know it’s a horribly cliché title….but it came to mean something very significant the other day when I was on my way somewhere….!
Tuesday, September 23, I spent the entire day traveling. Departing from Manhattan, Kansas I made my way to Prince Edward Island on the far eastern side of Canada. This is a dream destination for me. Ever since I was little girl and was first introduced to Anne of Green Gables I have dreamed of going to Prince Edward Island. I never in a thousand years thought I would ever get the chance to go. But here I was on Tuesday traveling to a dream come true! I was so excited!
Early in the morning, while the house was still sleeping and the daylight still dosing, I crept downstairs to make coffee. I showered quickly and begged my hairdryer to whisper. I gently woke Lowell, my driver, slipped on my shoes, picked up my purse and headed out the door. I wanted the day to past. I wanted to be in Prince Edward Island. I wanted a glimpse of those childhood green gables!
I urged myself to sleep on that first leg to Chicago. Experience has taught me that sleeping through things makes them pass painlessly and quickly. I awoke as the plane kissed the tarmac. Jumping out of my seat I deplaned and set off determinedly for terminal 2. Let this day zip by…. I was a woman on a mission!
As I sat at my gate, sipping my coffee, I got a text. “Are you home?” I chuckled to myself as I casually texted back, dropping Prince Edward Island subtly into the short message with a smile on my face. The response that came flying through the cell phone waves hit me like ice water in the face. It was a death text. A dear mutual friend’s son had committed suicide. Tears leapt to my cheeks. I put a hand over my mouth to stifle the sobs. Suddenly life slowed. I saw people faces. I wanted my own children. I wanted to tell them a hundred things. Suddenly everything meant something and simultaneously everything meant nothing all at the same time. I called Lowell. We cried together. We prayed for the boy who is gone now. For his family. We prayed for ourselves. For our three. We sat quietly he in Kansas me in Chicago O’Hare.
And I wanted to live slowly. I wanted to slow the day, the coffee, the lay over. There was no longer any urgency to get there. I breathed out grief and breathed in grace.
Eventually. Gradually. Slowly. I arrived in Prince Edward Island. My friend Corinne mets me. It was a middle-aged reunion of old stories, old friends. Within the first several minutes Corinne told me the way she loves to vacation. She loves to take breaks. She loves to turn on little side roads and see what lingers there. If she sees a sudden light house or a splendid view she delights in the freedom to stop and see it, live in it, capture it on camera. She wanted to enjoy the journey. I looked at her. I knew what she meant. I wanted that too.
Suddenly I wanted life to quickly slow down. I longed to live present to the moment.
Enjoying the journey changed significantly in meaning from the dawn of that day –bursting with joy and expectation—through the shadow of death to the dusk of my arrival. It certainly changed my island experience and I hope I’ve brought it back with me to land locked Kansas. I want so badly to live slower, to linger with my children, to love my Lowell more intentionally, to listen to my mother in law’s stories.
How about you? Do you long for life to slow down, to live in the present enjoying the moment?
Buy your copy of Between Worlds today! Have it already? Pick up an extra copy for your friend, your child, your dentist (they for sure live between worlds – between the world of teeth and not teeth.)
Read reviews of Between Worlds here:
- Nomad Trails and Tales by Jenni
- Djibouti Jones by Rachel
- Still Learning by Juliet
2 thoughts on “Enjoy the Journey”
Robynn, I know the family and share the pain of his loss. It is amazing how one phone call or email can drastically shift our focus and our priorities! To realize that ones we hold dear can be gone in an instant…that life as we know it is going all too fast and will one day be in the past, makes us value the present so much more.
Hug your family and the Bascoms for me!
Oh, Robynn, I’m so glad you got to PEI. In 1989, we took our oldest and second oldest granddaughters there. I had always dreamed of going there, and Melanie and Christi-Lynn were 9 and 6 at the time. We went in late August and it was such a memorable time. We drove from Mass, and we truly did enjoy the journey. So sorry about your friend’s son. Death has a way of bringing life into proper focus.