Day 22: The Road Not Taken


Today’s first was about exploring the road not taken. I’ve been a full time realtor for 11 years, so I’ve driven on most of the streets and roads in the Joplin area, showing property to prospective buyers. As I’ve driven, with a destination in mind, I’ve noticed roads that I’ve never wandered down. Today, I decided to take the time to see where those roads went.

I had two roads in mind when I set out this morning. Both were south of Joplin in the Saginaw area. This is beautiful country, with hills and trees and streams. I love driving the winding roads there, even when the earth is gray and brown and the trees are bare. After mentally flipping a coin, I decided to explore the road that headed east off of Gateway Drive. Following the curves, enjoying the view of fields on one side of the road and woods on the other, I suddenly had a feeling about where this journey was going to end.  A few minutes later I was laughing. This road joined with Saginaw Road, and looking back west, this was the second road I had wanted to explore! The two roads I had been drawn to, were actually the same road.

That was a fun, and short, trip! Since I was on Saginaw Road, I passed through the tunnel on the aptly named Arch Road and continued east. I’d shown houses on parts of this road but I’d never driven on to see what was at the end. As I passed a house I’d shown several times, I remembered Samwise Gangee, in the Lord of the Rings, saying if he took another step, he’d be the farthest he had ever been from home. That wasn’t exactly true for me, but it would be the farthest I’d ever been down this lane.

The road wound through a narrow valley. Houses appeared in neat yards. One property caught my eye especially; a log house in the middle of a complex of red barns and buildings. In the summer, I could imagine horses galloping through the fields. I expected to reach a dead end. But as often happens in life, my journey took me through unknown lands and then came again into the familiar. I was back in a place I knew well.  And I found my way home.