Sunday, October 30, 2011

Roadside Attractions

This is a series I am doing for the month of October. If you are new, you can start HERE.
Day 30
Thoughts on Joy:
My family enjoys Sunday drives. We like cruising through the countryside, looking for interesting places, enjoying the scenery. Observing

Going fast would defeat the purpose. The pace should be leisurely to allow for optimal sight seeing and discovery. On these drives we may pass through a little hamlet. We may find a roadside sculpture or come across a historical marker. We slow down. Stop if necessary and take it all in. It's part of the journey and it brings us joy.

When I first started this journey, my brother-in-law shared a poem with me. It was one I hadn't read before. There is wisdom and beauty in it. As I read through it, I saw many parallels between the journey to Ithaka and my own journey.
As you set out for Ithaka
hope the voyage is a long one,
full of adventure, full of discovery.
Laistrygonians and Cyclops,
angry Poseidon—don’t be afraid of them:
you’ll never find things like that on your way
as long as you keep your thoughts raised high,
as long as a rare excitement
stirs your spirit and your body.
Laistrygonians and Cyclops,
wild Poseidon—you won’t encounter them
unless you bring them along inside your soul,
unless your soul sets them up in front of you.

Hope the voyage is a long one.
May there be many a summer morning when,
with what pleasure, what joy,
you come into harbors seen for the first time;
may you stop at Phoenician trading stations
to buy fine things,
mother of pearl and coral, amber and ebony,
sensual perfume of every kind—
as many sensual perfumes as you can;
and may you visit many Egyptian cities
to gather stores of knowledge from their scholars.

Keep Ithaka always in your mind.
Arriving there is what you are destined for.
But do not hurry the journey at all.
Better if it lasts for years,
so you are old by the time you reach the island,
wealthy with all you have gained on the way,
not expecting Ithaka to make you rich.

Ithaka gave you the marvelous journey.
Without her you would not have set out.
She has nothing left to give you now.

And if you find her poor, Ithaka won’t have fooled you.
Wise as you will have become, so full of experience,
you will have understood by then what these Ithakas mean.  ~C.P. Cavafy
So, to find joy in the journey take time to experience the roadside attractions. It's all part of getting to the end. When we learn and observe on our way, we will arrive at our destination "full of experience", wisdom and understanding. 

God has given us this journey. Yes, the journey is a long one, but it is also full of excitement, wisdom and beauty. And joy. So much joy.

Today I Found Joy in My Journey:
--attending an excellent Sunday school lesson.
--video chatting with my brother and his girlfriend.
--having a delicious spaghetti dinner with friends.
--seeing the sunset.
--carving our jack-o-lantern.

 What brought you joy today?
Other posts HERE

1 comment:

runningfan said...

I'm glad you were an English major; your posts are lovely!

I think that we have been a roadside attraction on more than one occasion. Once I was on a road trip with a friend and our three little kids in the back seat. Zach (then 3) needed a bathroom but we were int he middle of nowhere. I pulled on the side of the road and let him go. Just as we were getting back into the car, a police officer flashed his lights and pulled up behind us. I was convinced he was giving me a ticket for public urination, but he was just checking on the two ladies traveling alone. I then asked him to give Zach a lecture on staying buckled in his car seat!