On this entrance ramp, I now travel on a road only I could own and name today.
It’s a steady ride as this road looks no different than the one I’ve been on for 310,000 plus waking hours.
The signs haven’t changed, if anything they’ve become a bit more difficult to read, as the eyes have grown more tired and lost some of their strength. Still, I recognize them from afar because I’ve been seeing them for a long time now.
The passengers on this ride have been a rotating cast of characters from all walks of life: spanning from the branches of my family tree (even the broken ones) through to the well of friendship, the line between branch and well becoming blurred at times. Along the road, I’ve also collected a host of mentors and professional connections in the worlds of art and business, my two conflicting states of consciousness always seeking refuge in their respective realms within me.
Everyone who has sat in the seat to my right has been given their appropriate place on this journey. I’ve invited them in and some have stayed throughout, others have exited when they saw it fit to leave or when destiny set them on another path. The point is the seat has never been empty and the dialogue has never been scarce, with words and language, additional passengers on the ride, allowing me to recount the many stories pulled from the pages of a reality that at times has felt strangely surreal.
I have enjoyed a varied history of adventures and experiences, leaving the echoes of a vibrant laugh to mix with the wind in the miles I’ve garnered across this road. I have also faced curves and bends that have challenged me far beyond what I thought I could endure as an average driver. Still I’m on this trek, finding my way down the main street of my life, enjoying every turn of the wheel.
I try not to ever look back through that rearview mirror on what can now be deemed as wrong turns or crossroads not taken, for these detours from the intended plan have led me here and here is a fluid, welcoming place. Here, keeps changing, as the backdrop matures and the many characters inhabiting my existence find their authentic voice. It is in the timbre of these collective voices that my path has also been altered, for I too have been a passenger on their drives through life.
As the scenery before me unveils, I realize that today is just another dawn in the awakening of an older me. What was my father’s inconvenient autumn, is now my deliberate spring. This journey, augmented by the wisdom amassed in the time-released lessons of five decades, is far from reaching the solemn valley that leads to a preliminary fall or a caustic winter. This is the season of a fully-baked me and everything from here on end can be and should be easier terrain.
I think I know the way, although up ahead no doubt there will be bridges of influence to school me yet again; for now, the road feels comfortable, steady, smooth and constant.
Highway Fifty-Juan is unlike anything I thought it would be.
With its vaguely familiar surroundings it is somehow more than I expected, so onward I go.