Gran's Apple Butter Blog

December 14, 2010

Going Home, Excerpt: Rules for the Road (4/II)

Filed under: Books,Front Porch Rambles,Going Home,Gran,Home — Mary Batson - FrontPorchRambles @ 2:14 pm

Chapter 4 – Rules for the Road
from Going Home, by Mary Batson

Part of what Gran heard the people talking about in her dream was the Rules for the Road. You remember: the other sign hanging by her goal list. After all, if life is a journey, it makes sense that there would be travel tips, maybe even a guide for the weary wanderer.  

As near as Gran could remember, the rules went something like this:

  1. You will be supplied with a body that has certain gifts and certain limitations. Your lessons include learning how to work most effectively and positively with all of these.
  2. You will be born into a family from whom you will learn certain things, and to whom you will teach certain things. These people will be your primary influence.
  3. You will grow up in a particular community and society that will further shape how you see the world and everything in it. This will be your second greatest influence.
  4. You will meet new people throughout your life from whom you will learn certain things, and to whom you will teach certain things. These will be your third greatest influence.
  5. You will have many chances to learn about yourself and to make choices that will influence the direction, the speed, and the difficulty level of your journey. These opportunities include everything from kindergarten to the street, from the books you read to the places you go, from the work you choose to the people you hang out with, from the music you listen to, to all other things that you allow into your mind, where they become part of you. Before you come of age, the responsibility for these choices will lie with your parents. After you come of age – the age of accountability – this responsibility will shift to your own shoulders.
  6. When you have made your final choice, learned or taught your final lesson, fulfilled your contracts, and taken your final turn, your journey will be complete, and you will return home, to the joy and delight of those who will miss your presence here for so long.
  7. When you are born, you will forget all of the above. This is your greatest challenge.

The purpose of each journey was clear, Gran said: To meet as many of one’s goals and learn as many of one’s lessons as possible while living in the Here-and-Now. From what she’d heard, this wasn’t always as easy as it sounded, and she understood that the group was discussing best case scenarios.

While hoping, planning, and preparing for the best, everyone knew things might not turn out that way, because others, besides Gran, had their own lessons and goals to learn and achieve. Some of those might not fit with Gran’s plan, or maybe her expectations – for herself or others – might be a bit too high. Each person would do the best they could, but their plans might have turned out a little differently too, in which case they would find themselves in a whole new ballgame. This was all part of the journey, though, and Gran had the impression that some of those unexpected lessons might be the most valuable ones.

One thing Gran realized she’d been blessed with: That prize-winning okra? Apparently she got a body that came with two green thumbs, ‘cause she’d accomplished that goal a long time ago.

© Mary Batson, Going Home, Front Porch Rambles, and Gran’s Apple Butter Blog, 2010. All rights reserved.
Download Chapter 1 or order your copy at!
NOW AVAILABLE: Going Home: The Tour LIVE – 2 CD set. Mikey and Gran’s story put to music!
and Going Home: The E-Book, both released 11/28/10. What did you get YOUR grandma for the holidays?


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