Gary Moore: On the road … again

September 6, 2018

Americans have a yearning for the road. We memorialize it song and verse. “On the Road Again,” the “Road Less Traveled,” “Road to Perdition.” Some of our greatest literary works, movies and songs are in someway representative of our desire to “hit the road.”

I guess it shouldn’t surprise us. We are descendants of someone who hit the road to come to America. A few who are reading this might be a person who left somewhere else to find a better life in America. Maybe it is ingrained into our DNA to keep moving.

Everything is on its way somewhere.

Nothing ever stays the same. The world and our lives keep evolving … changing … transforming. There is no constant other than the lack of consistency.

As a child, I never understood why life was often referred to as a journey. As a teen, I had trouble grasping the phrase “traveling through life.” I knew I was alive, but I didn’t think I was traveling anywhere unless Dad tossed me the keys to the car.

I now understand.

We are all on a journey.

According to life insurance stats, I’m now in the final third of my life. With the passing of time, I can now look back on the road I have traveled and understand the journey behind me. The choices I made and the directions I chose, brought me to exactly where I am today. When I hear someone proclaim, “I have no idea how I got here.” I can only surmise they weren’t paying attention.

To help an adolescent or even a teenager understand is impossible, as they do not have enough road behind them to see a pattern of movement. Regardless, it is there. With every passing day, the road becomes more visible and apparent.

Time is the great clarifier.

The passing of time creates a long winding road behind us. I believe that is why there is an increase in wisdom with age. There is energy, creativity and momentum with youth, but it is often misspent or misguided without the wisdom of passing time. I guess that’s why the word journey is so prevalent in people in the final third of their life. We’ve seen it. We’ve experienced it. We have perspective. We have the wisdom of learning from our mistakes and successes to share.

A very wise person has created a Facebook page “JudithOver60.” She writes about her journey from being raised in the shadow of the steel mills of northwest Indiana through her life as a big city hospital RN and now part-time educator, mentoring young nursing students.

In her life, in the final third, she shares her profound wisdom and insights on her journey down her road of life.

Last week, she penned on her JudithOver60 page about her love of the “Wizard of Oz.”

I, too, remember the first time I watched it on television and it became an annual must-see-event in our home. The sight of the flying monkeys still sends shivers down my spine.

What I remember most about this classic movie is the phrase, “Follow the yellow-brick road.” The instructions to Dorothy and her faithful companion, Toto, set her on a journey of discovery, representative of all our lives movement down our path.

I want to share one of JudithOver60’s observations here. “Sometimes we miss the final lesson ... the lesson being the journey itself.”

She goes on to write, “The answers always lie within you. The Scarecrow learns he can think. The Lion learns he has courage. The Tinman learns he can love. Dorothy learns she has the power to go home.”

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