This morning on the way back from visiting a community college, my daughter and I got lost in the back roads. She doesn’t do well with adventures, especially after stressing over college paperwork. I, on the other hand, while the grandbaby slept peacefully in her car seat, dove into the possibilities of finding a new place, exploring my surroundings, and prayed I didn’t run out of gas. I get lost often. Things get lost. Words get lost. People get lost. Life can become a lost playground if we aren’t present for the most part. Each day gets lost into night and so on. The hardest part of “lost” is never truly expressing it to someone. When a relationship is over (regardless if it’s of lovers, parents, children, or friends) there is a lapse of time that can mend and then there isn’t. Waiting for the perfect opportunity is like waiting for a unicorn to swift us away. It only happens in the mind.
I used to have an amazing sense of direction. I don’t anymore. I go into a new trail, a mountain hike, and if I am not consciously present I will find myself in the middle of unchartered territory. Just like this morning, it happens often. I rarely question the wrong turn. I somehow know that I will get through the moment. My daughter said, “Mom, do you know where you are going? (Several times with much expressed anxiety). And, I answered, “Nope…but all roads lead somewhere!” Not an answer that securely assures a fearful person. Complete exasperation came from the passenger side. What I have found is that in those lost moments I get the chance to enter a new direction. Beauty unfolds because I am not on track. Getting lost is never a waste of time in this sense. The unknown unfolds and opportunities arise in the most awed-stricken ways. It’s magical and mysterious. What an amazing ride!
Sometimes losing someone is just like that…you don’t know how amazing they are until you are in a different terrain. We take people for granted. We, as divine entities, have those awakening moments of appreciation but the human part of us clouds them. We don’t know our asses from our heads at times. My best friend, Bobbie, has a saying, “Get your head out of your ass. It wasn’t meant to be worn as a hat.” Getting lost in the world is magical. Getting lost in our own turmoil, chaos and mind is a dangerous place. We are our worst enemies.
I have a way of learning. I need space, nature and time. I need to be outside and roam endlessly in the freedom of the world. This is why I love traveling. I have on a bucket list the places I will visit and explore in order to find me. With each journey I know something will open up. Getting lost is not scary (not in my absent-minded little head). I am not daunted by this and have never been. I am, however, intimidated by the loss of people who I love and mean the world to me. I am perplexed at the way folks come into my life and quickly manage to leave without clearing up issues. This type of loss from humanity aches inside in a way I avoid…but can’t escape. We all go through it.
An hour later, and many mountain back roads, we found the way home. Now hungry and aggravated, my 18 year old laughs. She said, “I wasn’t really worried! I was just concerned that we would run out of gas or wouldn’t find a place to eat.” (As if we were on an isolated island with Tom Hanks and Wilson). I know she thinks that I am an airy-fairy hippie. I get lost in our conversations, laughter, and love. She knows this part of me well enough to feel that I can get us back on track while singing (horribly) to the great radio tunes. It was a gorgeous morning. The haze over the Blue Ridge Mountains was astonishing and seductive. I kept saying that “as long as I follow the mountains I know we can make it home.” And, just like that I found home to be right there in the car surrounded by two beautiful souls, bemused by my yearning to be an explorer. Getting lost never felt so great!