“Monday 5 Things”™…..Of Routes and Realizations Redux…..

850 6231“Monday 5 Things”™…..Of Routes and Realizations Redux…..

It was a hectic but productive week, culminating with a weekend in one of my happy places, cameras in hand and on shoulders walking the hallowed grounds, the horseshoe, the bus stop, and 31-degree banks of a place called Daytona. As I returned to the hotel with the sound of Ferrari’s still ringing in my ears, I got a red flag trying to complete this week’s M5T.  Thankfully, I was able to go back 4 years into the archives for an apropos M5T that matched my mindset and offset this writers block. And with that, we have the green flag going into this new week.

The past few months and weeks, I’ve been driving more than flying. Mind-numbing, nearly auto-pilot, monotonous drives on highways 16 and 75 to Atlanta. Leisurely meanders along the emotionally calming and photographically breathtaking beauty of the Georgian low-country coast. The unbridled thrill of South Carolinian back roads in a certain red pony at speeds, which, if pulled over by local or state constabulary, would indubitably result in a license being revoked. No matter the type of road or speed traveled, the paths driven, determined, or discovered have afforded time to ponder and process; to filter how to function. To make decisions and take a direction. To meditate and pray. To consider life. Today M5T deliberates on roads as an allegory for our lives.

1. Highways, Boulevards, and Byways.

Roads of all types serve different purposes. They can be walked on, cycled on, run on, and driven on. Our chosen mode and type of road will dictate how fast we get to where we want to go, how often we stop, and how much we see. Diverse thoroughfares dictate our level of comfort or our amount of anxiety. They give us access, allowing us to get on and off to other roads, other directions. They can be beginnings and a means to an end, corridors for day trips, extended excursions, or life-long journeys.

2. Laneways, and One-ways.

Laneways are tight, constricting and force you to slow down. They are not usually seen from the main road and rarely allow you to pass someone. One-ways make the decision for us to take a specific direction. They don’t allow us to turn around and go back to where we started, compelling us to keep moving forward.

3. Detours and Roadblocks.

Reminders that life is never a simple straight line or path that we originally planned on. Both are diversions that cause us to reconsider where we are going, redirecting us to an altered unexpected course. At times detours and roadblocks can be painful, frustrating, and difficult, complete with solitude, fear, and longing; obliging us to get comfortable with the unknown, the unfamiliar. Yet they can be filled with excitement and joy allowing us to see things we wouldn’t otherwise have seen had we stayed on our original passageway.

4. Straight or Winding, Flat or Hilly.

We can accelerate with abandon on straight smooth roads. We often must brake hard, slowing on sharp corners that we can’t see around. We should be looking ahead but will often glance back in a rearview mirror to see where we have come from and who may be coming up behind us. If we look back too long, focusing on our past, we run the risk of crashing headlong into what is right in front of us, hurting ourselves and others. Roads can be bumpy or smooth that bring suffering or joy. They can be dirty and dusty requiring a need to stop and clean ourselves up for a fresh start to a new journey.

5. Forks.

Decisions points that push us to a resolution, or make us freeze, unable or fearful to make a choice. They can be the continuance along a path we want to take, or the unknown path to a new adventure in life. Forks can be transcending for our hearts and minds, representing hope for change in our lives. Forks can be points of entry, escape, or exit. As Frost wrote in his well-known poem, and as Matthew and Mark wrote in the New Testament, the choice to be made at a fork involves two paths. One path that is broad, trodden flat and easy to follow. The other path is narrow, seemingly confining, and hard to navigate. Either path will create life-shaping decisions; both having distinct costs and gains that require wisdom to make the best choice.

Here’s to a week of embracing all the paths you will take, for your travels and travails, your deepest most profound hopes, dreams, and the decisions to be made at all the forks in the road.

© 2018 and 2022 D. Paul Graham, all rights reserved.

For over 10 years, D. Paul Graham has published “Monday 5 Things” ™, also known to readers as M5T ™.  Each Monday, Paul shares his observations, thoughts and passions on people, life, and culture.

You can find M5T each Monday here on www.southmag.com and by friending D. Paul Graham on Facebook. Paul is a contributing photographer to South Magazine. His photographic work can also be found on Instagram @dpgraham and at www.imageGRAHAM.com . Your feedback is always welcome. Email Paul at dpg@imagegraham.com