Sunday, January 29, 2006

Road to Anywhere

When I see this photo, I lose my breath. It makes me stop and dream. Sometimes, long days and difficult life challenges paralyze me and keep me from dreaming. Throughout the day, I get trapped in my small world--the same mundane tasks over and over. This photo helps me to remember that I've yet to see it all. I've yet to dream it all.

Dream with me a minute...

You and I are standing on that road. Next to us is our "air conditionless" convertible car. I've got on a cowboy hat and boots, Daisy Duke shorts, and a plaid button up shirt that I've tied above my belly. The heat is beating down on our backs, and we can feel the sun cooking our faces.

We step away from the car and take a short walk down the road.

You say, "Nik, that's a long ass road ahead."

I take off my hat and wipe the sweat from my forehead.

"I know," I say. "But we've made it this far."

You look down and kick a loose pebble on the ground.

"You say, we don't have a map. And this is the farthest I've ever been."

I point ahead and say, "Look at that road. Honey, we don't need a map. That road has already mapped itself out. All we've got to do is follow it."

"But, Nik, I don't see anybody or anything along this way. If we run out of gas, we're dead."

"Look, someone has already forged this path. If they've placed a road here, it was intended to be traveled. That means the road will lend all the tools we'll need. But we can't find out if we don't move forward."

You say, "It looks risky."

I sigh. "You took a risk the day you were born. When you exited your mother's womb you didn't know what was at the other end. Ya' just knew it was time to make your exit, and all you had was faith. Along the way you were given tools: contractions, your mother's pushing, and the nurses helpful hands.

"So you aren't scared?."

"Hell yeah!"

You laugh at me.

"And I'm nervous as I-don't-know-what!" I say.

"So why are we doing this?"

"Because if we don't, we'll always wonder what was down there."

"Haven't you heard the saying: Curiosity killed the cat?"

"But cats have nine lives," I tell you.

You stop, tilt your head back, and listen to the wind whistling by your ear.

"See, it's calling you," I say.

"It is," you tell me.

"So, are we ready?"

We turn and face the brick-red rocks and you place your arm around my shoulder.

"The wind whispered in my ear," you say.


"It said that this road leads to many blessings. I'm still scared, but now I feel comforted."

"See?" I say. "You've been given your first tool--comfort."

We hop in the convertible and you drive us down the road. Along the way the wind continues to whisper in your ear. We encounter determination, perseverance, serendipity, and courage. We travel that road, and each mile brings new dreams and hopes. We travel that road for an eternity. Never meeting an end, but always gaining new blessings and new tools. The road is life. And we're driving to our destinies.

Happy Monday and continue to forge your road. And don't worry, the tools will be revealed to you, but first, you've got to dream and move forward.

A. P. Manque, something about your recent writings inspired me tonight. Just when I thought I had nothing left to give, I went to your blog and found my inspiration. Thank you for sharing your writing. Your work is authentic and brilliant. **Nikki's eyes are filling with tears**

Last note: As I was typing this piece, my mother walked into the room, saw the photo, and remarked, "That's beautiful." And for one moment, I pictured she and I on that road. My mother. My brick-red rock. My passage into this world. The woman who has given me many tools and inspired many of my dreams. May God bless and keep her always.