Gran's Apple Butter Blog

June 14, 2011

Going Home, Excerpt: Traveling Companions (6/I)

Chapter 6 ~ Sharing Our Journey: Traveling Companions
from Going Home, by Mary Batson

     We share our journeys with a wide variety of traveling companions and the occasional hitchhiker – the people in our lives. Some travel with us for the long haul, some we only walk beside for a short time. Others come with the road we choose, whether we like it or not. We may even see a hobo or two out there, but they tend to stick to themselves. That’s just fine, Gran said – we’ve all got a little lonesome cowboy in us.

     When it comes to these companions, one can never be too careful, whatever the destination. Those we journey with can make or break our trip – good or bad, or often times a little bit of both. Sometimes these people can help speed the trip along, help us stay awake on the long straight stretches, even take a turn at the wheel. Other times, they may keep us awake for different reasons, from a gnawing irritation that so-and-so has not yet offered to share the fuel kitty to slightly larger issues, like respecting our personal boundaries.   

     This isn’t to say we shouldn’t share our journeys, which can be a very good thing. But the point is, keep your eyes and ears open, choose carefully, and when in doubt, go with your gut.

     We learn from everyone we’re around, Gran said. Some people encourage us, support us, show us their way, and set a shining example. These are the companions we want to seek out and keep around. This is also the type of companion we want to be. Then there are those in our lives who help by providing us with opportunities to grow – steep grades to climb up and slippery ones to slide down. Either way, we learn, and we can be thankful for these lessons.

     But if you voluntarily agree to travel with one of the latter companions, better make sure you’ve got an emergency bag in the trunk, new tires, and snap-on snow chains. Four-wheel drive isn’t a bad idea either. After all, it’s not where you go, or whom you go with, so much as how you go – and how prepared you are for what you encounter along the way. And if you let someone else navigate, better make sure they can read your map first, and agree on the destination, or you may be in for a big surprise.

     Regardless of who’s in the car, sooner or later you’ll realize you have to steer alone. After all, this is your journey. You can’t drive very well with four or six or twelve hands shifting gears, but one set works just perfect. And eventually we’ll all come to that final split in the road where we have to walk alone. This will be much easier if we’ve been practicing for it along the way.

     Before we move on, let’s look a little more closely at relationships. What’s really happening between those lines?

—–
© Mary Batson, Going Home, Front Porch Rambles, and Gran’s Apple Butter Blog, 2010. All rights reserved.
NOW AVAILABLE: Going Home, The E-Book & Going Home: The Tour LIVE – 2 CD set – Mikey and Gran’s story put to music! www.frontporchrambles.com/store

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