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Susan Smalley, Ph.D.

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A Glimpse of Life's Journey

Posted: 09/02/09 06:46 PM ET

The road was circuitous, winding oddly right then straightening in a sharp left turn, the dirt changing at times from asphalt, to cement, and even spurts of cobblestone. As I walked my feet were covered in various fashion of dress - shiny black heels, sensible pumps, Penny Loafers, Earthshoes, flipflops of paisley pink, stocking feet, and the most luxuriously naked barefoot.

I moved slowly with intense curiosity at times listening to the sounds filling space, seeing colors painted on the landscape as it rolled by, feeling the cool air warming from the sun, smelling new moan grass, honeysuckle, horse manure, tasting the stem of wheat stuck between my teeth, a tasty strawberry plucked from a bush, a crunchy stalk of sour rhubarb, or a juicy sweet apple. But many times I just raced along the road thinking I would get to its end faster and win the race.

Mostly I travel alone but at times I carried a backpack full of seedlings needing nourishment or I would walk hand in hand with another experiencing the road ever so slightly different.

People stop here and there too tired to travel on, resting for a moment of eternity.

I turn to look back now and then to see the road fading in the horizon - wherever I look it just continues - steady, twisting, turning, and straight. It is so cleared now of tangled bush, of clutter in the way, machete-clean, most debris brushed away so that erroneous turns are no longer possible.

I now understand the words,

"And miles to go before I sleep, and miles to go before I sleep."

(Stopping by the woods on a snowy evening by Robert Frost)

 

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